Friday, April 5, 2013

Should We Celebrate Bingu's Death or Life

Today marks a year that fate took away the dark cloud which had enveloped Malawi. I would in this short piece to my little brother, doing his form 1 somewhere in the land, show why Malawi should never ever celebrate the life of Bingu wa Mutharika. Of course the DPP, the party he founded to instill fear in us, the Malawians, can celebrate his life.
DPP under the order of Bingu wa Mutharika, suspended a number of constitutional provisions and changed some without holding any referendum. This is contrary to what is stipulated under Section 6 and as demanded by fundamental principles of the Malawi Constitution in Chapters 2 and 3.
DPP arrested activists (such as Billy Mayaya, MacDonald Sembereka and Undule Mwakasungula) politicians (Ralph Kasambala, Atupele Muluzi) and killed dozens of Malawians in cold blood merely because they had opposing views to that of Bingu wa Mutharika.
Show me one thing which DPP did that deserves a standing ovation. I know you people may mention the universities, but those deals were entered during the first term when Malawi left Taiwan for China. The last time I checked, Joyce Banda was the Minister of Foreign affairs then. However, DPP did not implement fuch plans for political reasons. And personally I detest Malawi being a battlefield between the US and China.
Ohh, it feels like yesterday when Bingu christened us as drunkards, tiankhwenzule (i.e. wizards and witches considering what tiankhwenzule connotes in Malawi).
Bingu, during “independence” celebrations ordered his cadets and lieutenants to terrorise Malawians who opposed his autocracy.
Who butchered academic freedom?
Samva Nkunkhu Bingu Mutharika
And what is at stake here is that the people who helped Bingu to terrorise Malawians through Zikwanje are still there in DPP.  Remember the saying: if a hyena leaves one jungle for another, it does not at all cease to be called a hyena. It may be called by other names such as pundu, fisi, chimbwe or a hyena, but it remains what it is.
Let us not be cheated.
Under oath, DPP lied to Malawians about the bridge at Tete when fuel queues were meandering along the highways and pumps were as dry as the Sahara desert.
During Mutharika’s time, contaminated fuel at the black-market was selling at £10 (MK1500). To get your hands on that fuel was an enormous hustle.  NGO, like the one I was working with, closed projects, offices and even relocated following this fuel shortage.
Uncontaminated fuel is now selling at around £1 if at all devaluation is taken into the equation.
As one facebooker said, Bingu was a failed economist. He gave a false value to the kwacha which was 'unofficially' already devalued.
To get your hands on foreign currency such as £100 notes required a written permission from the Reserve Bank of Malawi. The inflation rate was skyrocketing. A thousand bank note was printed to blindfold Malawians.
The country's maize was donated to Zimbabwe when hunger in Malawi was looming.
The Citizen, an online newspaper in Tanzania, claimed, not in verbatim, that Bingu had on purpose reached an agreement and set up plans to discuss with Tanzania to officially give a portion of the lake to the Tanzanians but without letting Malawians to be aware of this move. According to the Citizen, his death messed up those plans.
Being someone from the Lake District, I have no problems in dividing the lake for all sides need to benefit from it either by dividing it or making gentleman's agreements. The only problem I have is keeping Malawians on the dark side.
Because of his oppression, Mutharika chased development partners such as the UK and partly the US.
He then lied to Malawians that the country was running on a zero-deficit budget which he had doctored as recently revealed by Ken Lipenga that they borrowed some little portions from the banks, which was far from adequate. The country was on its pathway to destruction.
As we are all aware, Bingu governed the country on the basis of tribalism and nepotism. He claimed that university students from some districts were being given answers by lecturers at the Mzuzu Corner.
Senior Government positions and contracts were offered to certain tribes.  This aspect is yet to depart from DPP which has forwarded trabalistic arguments before. In a leaked phone conversation, Bingu’s young brother and heir to the ‘throne’, Peter Mutharika, even claimed that he spoke “better Chichewa” than Chimunthu Banda who had shown interests in opposing Peter Mutharika’s ascendance to power on the basis of his relation to the Big Kahuna. Peter Mutharika claimed that Malawians would not vote for a tonga; just as DPP senior cadets claimed Malawi was not ready for a female president.
Peter Mutharika’s remarks, in developed countries could land people into the cooler or barred from running for any public office. I am surprised that the Malawi Police have not caught up on Peter Mutharika for promoting tribalism.
Should I even mention about the dodgy deals Bingu’s government entered with mining institutions like Paladin and constructing companies? This “visionary” leader even failed to demand Paladin or other companies to set up power plans running on uranium. Malawi can hardly develop into an industrialised state with the persistent blackouts yet we have allowed our uranium to power other countries. He signed deals on the basis of kutsolala. Mansions were constructed in Malawi and other foreign lands for this departed dictator. Visionary, Bingu was, huh?
Buddies? Bingu wa Mutharika with fellow dictator, Roberty Mugabe
I may be at pains to see the rationale of having anniversary celebrations to mark the 100 days that PP has been in government; but likewise, I’m at greater pains with the memories that I have of departed autocrat that is Bingu wa Mutharika.
Even his landmark achievement during his first term came following stiff but constructive opposition from people like Aleke Banda.
I am yet to find any reason why I should celebrate the life of Bingu wa Mutharika.
When they left, along the way, they wailed, remembered and wished they could go back to Egypt; but Egypt was not their destination. Our hope lies ahead. 
May his soul, if at all Bingu wa Mutharika had any, never find peace.
P/S: The Singini report claims that Peter Mutharika  and co. wanted to solicit legal interpretation of who was eligible to take over the country after Bingu’s death on a day like this one last year. However, it is also reported somewhere that Peter Mutharika was among the people who drafted the country’s constitution. Are you with me?

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