Monday, July 19, 2010

Learning From Others...

One of the lessons my grandmothers now in her 80s, taught me repetetively was that I should always learn from the mistakes made by my peers whether at school, in the village or at the work place.
I think about that 'doctrine' and wonder how some folks seem never to pay heed to errors committed by others.
Look here! The 'sin' that sent the formidable partnership of the MCP and the UDF into political wilderness in the pre and post-2009 general elections was their abuse of parliamentary majority and being overbearing to the point of holding Malawi to ransome. Before that it was resistance of the MCP government to change, and the UDF's penchant for imposition of office bearers and too much lust for power that proved their undoing.

Now, one would expect the present government to learn from these clear-cut examples of how others lost it. Alas, the regime seems to have stuffed its ears and closed its eyes to realities on the ground.
Judging from popular opinion in the minibuses, the market places, discussion forums, and phone-in shows on radios, the majority of Malawians are against the Bill aiming at changing the country's flag. The government says it consulted, but evidently it was a staged process mainly involving chiefs who could not give contrary views as they 'work with government of the day'. Political analyst Noel Mbowera of Mzuzu University was recently quoted by MIJ FM as querying how on earth there could be such opposition to the Bill if indeed government (or MPs) consulted the masses!

My simple advice to government is please listen to the people, don't force on the citizenry things they do not want, lest you find that by ignoring the dissenting voices you had engaged in a self-destruction mode or had a embraced a 'death-wish' that similarly estroyed your predecessors.

On a personal note, I am back in Blantyre and gaining weight again after the 'boot camp' of Lilongwe. I don't like the look of my tummy!


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