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Apparition of Aleke in Saulos? Muckraking Xtra

In Memory of Raphael Tenthani

Many years ago when Aleke Kadonaphani Banda, may his good soul continue to rest in eternal peace, was Minister of Agriculture there was an Agriculture Policy conference somewhere in Lilongwe.

As a green journalist, learning the ropes of the trade, I was told to make sure I get hold of the minister’s opening speech in order to get the story right.

After the speech, we broke for tea and I got my trusty speech. Ideally, the minister was supposed to leave after the speech and, with him, his PSes and directors…

…Us too.

But not with Aleke; he went back to the plenary, which meant the lot of us had to stick it out.

At 5pm the Master of Ceremonies said the day was gone so we should break for the day. But AKB rose up to inquire: “The next day’s programme starts at 8. But we still have two sessions left today; you mean we have to come at 6am tomorrow to finish today’s left-overs before we tackle tomorrow’s programme?”

The Director of Ceremonies got the cue and ordered the session to continue.

It was not until after 8pm when we closed for the day!

Such was AKB for you, workaholic extraordinaire.

And we seem to have an Aleke incarnation on our hands. Saulos Chilima, the Vice President, goes to the office at 8.30 and leaves after everyone has left.

I know Saulos is a private sector product; he wants to inculcate in the public sector the hardworking spirit of the private sector through leading by example.

Apparently he is aware of Law 45 from The 48 Laws of Power that too much change is traumatic and may lead to revolt if the ‘changer’ does not lead by example.

Take, for example, the ministers’ retreat in Mangochi where he never forced any minister to be punctual but he silently adjusted the closing time by the same minutes or hours that the ministers delayed.

This is the spirit if we hope to reform the civil service’s laissez-faire attitude to work.

By mirroring the spirit of Aleke, Angoni is telling us that all is not lost for our dear country.

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Raphael Tenthani
Raphael Tenthani
Raphael (Ralph) Tenthani (1 October 1971 - 16 May 2015) was a freelance journalist from Malawi. Tenthani was a BBC correspondent and a columnist for The Sunday Times. He was a respected journalist in Malawi well known for his popular column, "The Muckraking".[3][4] He was well known for providing political analysis on topical issues. He had been the subject of controversy for his candid reporting on political issues. He was very critical of the crackdown on journalism during the Bingu wa Mutharika administration. He was also a columnist for Associated Press, Pan African News Agency, and The Maravi Post.

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