Somebody is really playing monopoly with hard cash with our national innocence.
Which brings me back to my friend’s question: “Why are we, Malawians, not angry over this?”
Maybe we are a resilient or meek lot, if not outright stupid. Surely, we cannot let a few people play chess with the lives of 15 million of us and continue looking the other side.
The media has tabulated how these billions that escaped government coffers to end up in people car boots or under some beds could have helped save a life in Bwanje, could have sent a poor but bright kid in Nthalire on a scholarship to the cash-strapped public universities. Indeed with a quarter of such loot, we could have eased the queue for university places for our kids by furnishing the university Bingu stole from Lilongwe and planted on his farm.
Never mind Bingu’s selfish desires but the university belongs to us all and we have to fund it with the money which some selfish people hid under beds or car trunks.
Maybe we are beginning to get angry after all. I heard one Thoko Banda, him who wants to do a Chiyenda Yekha to State House, whipping up our bottled up anger the other day. Indeed the Catholics have even donated a new term to the nation, ‘holy anger’, a sort of non-destructive form of anger whatever that means.
Of course, there is nothing like ‘non-destructive’ anger. Anger is anger. If in our angry state we are not breaking things, inside us we are hurting ourselves.
That, of course, is subject for another day but the point is: is it not time we do away with our national pastime – meekness – and show some raw anger at the people we send to State House, Parliament and Capital Hill on our behalf? Perhaps if we get real angry will Malawi stop having an international airport without running water 50 years after independence just because the money to change the faulty pipes with were stuck in somebody’s car boot?
May be if we begin getting angry will our Speaker and President stop recalling Parliament to discuss a national crisis only to end up with the legislators tussling over who, among them, stole the most money?
Perhaps if we begin getting angry will we stop letting that innocent Chilomoni guy die of preventable rabies because there were no ARVs at Queens while we rush to evacuate people who preside over the not buying of the ARVs to South Africa whenever they complain of some headache?
Perhaps, indeed, perhaps.