Written by MARISENI MWALE
THE BOTTOMLINE – MAESTRO’S BIFOCAL PERSPECTIVE
Co-existence may seem a trait taken for granted or regarded at face value but it is one fundamental quality that is slowly eluding us as Malawians with varying and diverse raison-deter – observes the Maestro. Several reasons may be speculated upon as having awakened or rather revived nepotistic, segrigatory, or discriminative mindsets among Malawians. Some argue that the attitude is just ingrained among us and sometimes lays dormant only to burst like a volcano when provoked.
The perpetrators of such ideology posit further that our differences – ethnic or otherwise will divide us for ages and that the attitudes will never be scrapped off our mindsets – they are just natural – so the argument goes. Other schools of thought blame the different political regimes for instigating and nurturing such tendencies in diverse degrees or forms but the question remains whether such attitude are good for the wellbeing of our esteemed young democracy and nation at large. It is however unequivocal to appreciate that nepotism in whatever form – discrimination or segregation – has detrimental and retrogressive implications for the wellbeing of our nation.
Whether we be different with respect to the region we come from, or due to our ethnic or tribal background or whatever might be the disparity – religious inclination or carder or otherwise- the fact still remains that we are all Malawians. We need therefore to appreciate that there is unity in diversity.
The question that might arise with reflections on and upon such position or discourse might be what provokes the whole blatant reminiscing. The fact is that it is pathetic that the misnomers herewith being alluded to in the guise of nepotism, discrimination and segregation are slowly infiltrating some communities, work places and institutions of higher learning. Of cause the blame according to many as already alluded to is politics – with political regimes that propagate regionalism or tribalism or nepotism or both being singled out as the main perpetrators.
The bottomline however remains that when people begin to label communities [even urban cities], work places, or institutions of higher learning as kwithu or pakwithu it becomes a cause for national concern. Not only that, it even becomes more dangerous when such people resort not only to labeling others as strangers – infidels or foreigners – who should go kwao because they don’t belong pakwithu – community, workplace, or academic institution – but further become barbaric savages, animistic, aggressive, idiotic, and violent- with threats translating into intimidation and intimidation translating into grave dangerous scenarios as burning of lecturers’ offices or assaulting, denigrating, and humiliating officers due to such ingrained animosity.
When such cases are just isolated such archaic institutions could absolve themselves from public condemnation but when the cases become a norm and precedence is being set with all people construed as strangers becoming targets for one reason or another, it becomes an anathema.
It is pathetic that in this 21st Century when people are expected to behave in a civilized manner; when democracy and its principles of upholding human rights and freedoms and of cause the principles of natural justice and human dignity are expected to be normative some people drag us back by perpetrating such animalistic, idiotic, savagery, archaic and barbaric attitude that only bears semblance to obsolete animal jungle communities where the sense of reason is just a far fetched dream.
When such human rights and freedoms are trashed in favor of smug jungle antics and circus due to ethnic, regional or tribal differences it becomes laughable and shameful to herald and it is even more ironic and paradoxical when such prevails at an academic institution of higher learning.
Such action not only breeds a recipe for disunity and dissension in such communities but such has been the precursor to many incidences of anarchy and civil strife in most war-ridden African countries. It is painful to note that such people who instigate and bolster such barbaric acts in their regions of origin have milliards of their kin in other regions. The question remains therefore whether they would be happy if their kin were exposed to such inhuman and barbaric treatment in other regions.
Let’s not treat one another like animals on the grounds of differences in ethnicity, region of origin, or tribal background. We are all Malawians. Co-existence is good for the welfare and wellbeing of us all as a people and as a nation. We are one people and one nation and we should not let trivial, petty and barbaric antics divide us.
Co-existence breeds unity, love and brotherhood and is even supreme in the eyes of God. We are all equal and we need to respect one another regardless of whatever differences exist among us. Nepotism however ignored only breeds anarchy and is just an affront to human dignity and unity. Let us love and respect one another as neighbors, brothers and sisters for the good of our nation and for the sake of our young democracy.