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For one thing they demean us. We as a nation can't afford them so every time we need to hold them we've to stifle our sovereign pride, kneel and stretch out our begging arms to donors who only dole out funds on condition of the fulfillment of a long list of conditionalities. But perhaps more importantly, why hold elections when we can't really guarantee their results despite all the machinations we put in place to ensure they go our way?

We have chiefs representing us, not so? Yes, chiefs are the only accurate barometer of what the majority of forward looking Malawians want. We would all breathe easier if these true representatives of the people were expressing our collective will by picking who goes to State House, parliament, district and town assemblies.

Simple. Fast. Cheap.

But wait a minute. Do we really need MPs? Can't we just do away with them? Can't we just continue not having councillors? We don't need them. Our chiefs make them redundant, unnecessary leeches on our meager resources. The money saved in salaries and allowances can be used to pay for some of our dreams. The Greenbelt, for example.

Isn't it because chiefs expressed our wishes that we enjoyed a spell of life presidency in Malawi? Of course, whenever necessary the Young Pioneers would be trusted to rain blows on the skulls of the few chiefs who dared hold views contrary to those of their people. To unblind them so they could clearly see the errors of their ways, you see. It also isn't lost on the current crop of chiefs, particularly the newly created government beholden ones, that dissenting chiefs were not only locked up but also had their chieftaincy stripped from them.

As for the 1993 referendum, I've absolutely no doubt that if the government had consulted the chiefs instead of holding a totally unnecessary referendum, we wouldn't have this pesky multipartyism that made life so uncomfortable for you during your first term. Instead of suffering the yoke of tenancy at State House you would still be enjoying your life in exile, right?

But let's for now ignore the fact that you could very well still be wallowing in luxurious exile if Malawi were still a one-party state. Instead let's imagine that last year you were somehow at the helm of the country's only political party and, by default, the country's president. Were that the case, there would've been no need for you to put up with the inconvenience of a long campaign period during which you were subjected to sleepless nights and aching muscles from miles and miles racked up on bumpy gullied cattle trails that often serve as rural roads visiting god-forsaken places that no sane person voluntarily wants to visit; places whose people have never before seen a vehicle let alone a whole convoy of them led by a coach and a fleet of Hummers. Instead your boy Thotho, our information minister, would've got our views on who we wanted as president simply by 'consulting' the chiefs. His pockets wouldn't have minded, either.

Yes, chiefs are the answer to elections. And referendums.

Need to change the flag? 'Consult' the chiefs.

Need to go through democratic motions and find local councillors (though for the life of me I can't see their use when we've chiefs)? Simple, 'consult' the chiefs.

Tired of running the country and want someone manipulatable to take over? What can be simpler than 'consulting' the chiefs?

That's why I don't understand backward looking Malawians complaining that they weren't consulted on the urgent necessity of changing the flag. I know most of them aren't that sophisticated in their thinking but surely one wouldn't be mistaken in thinking that they should at least be able to grasp the simple reality that each chief represents the views of a million Malawians. If these unfortunate Malawians have never seen let alone talked to their chiefs in their lives, that's their problem.

In any case, what these imbeciles don't understand is that a national flag is like a mileage marker on a road. It records a country's progress in history, the same way that a mileage marker records how far along you've progressed on the road to your destination. So, needless to say, after 46 years of plastering a few roads with thin layers of tarmac (and patching and repatching them, time without number), we've to celebrate with a new flag. A few years down the line we'll toast the delivery of the port City of Nsanje with another flag; one with a different colour of the sun perhaps. We can again randomly shuffle the background colours.

Once the five new universities are all up and running, it'll be time to bring out the bubbly again as we unveil another flag to reflect the big stride we'll have made on the education front. And when your brother takes over from you as president, we'll mark the historic moment with yet another flag. In fact, this would be the opportune time to add blue to the flag. After all, it's the nation's favourite colour. Yes, you misguided cynics, blue is the colour of our most favourite natural resource, the lake. The fact that blue also happens to be the ruling party's colour will be a very welcome but coincidental bonus.

Understandably, we'll reserve the biggest celebration of new flags for the year after Malawi makes it out of the group of the world's 10 poorest countries. Since this will be the mother of all achievements, we'll celebrate with a new flag per month. In place of a glaring sun, we'll have a full moon followed by others depicting various stars such the Southern Cross. Yes, stars for a star nation!

So Mr President, keep on NOT listening to the incoherent voices of those who oppose the much needed flag change. Don't they know that at your age you're a bit deaf in the ears, much as you want to listen to them? Forget the nincompoops who say the full sun will be focusing, symbolically, uncomfortably bright light on our poverty. Pay no attention to the retards who say the glaring sun will spotlight our glaring underdevelopment that's otherwise hidden in the weak light of the rising sun. Take no notice of the dimwits who say the full sun will cast its angry glare on the poor hungry folks and enhance their pangs of hunger. Ignore the fools who say the full sun will highlight the plight of the children who have to glean their education out in the open due to lack of classrooms. As for the colour blind idiots who can't see that replacing a red rising sun with a full white sun isn't adding any new colour to the black, red and green, I only have one question: when did white become a colour? I think they need eye tests. They're free, after all.

Then there are those morons who think you cheated Malawians by not telling them of your intentions to change the flag during the recent campaign. Mr President, just let them stuff the old useless flags up their you know what.

Our progressive chiefs spoke on the flag issue. By extension it means that all Malawians spoke as one. So let there be no more complaints.

By the way, Mr President, when are you laying the foundation stone of the soon to be required museum of old Malawian flags?

 


Comments

07/30/2010 06:32

Well said Danny. I couldn't agree more... thanks for saying it.

Reply
Kanuka
07/30/2010 09:08

Lets just clarify, being president is not hereditary therefore I wonder why it should be that Bingu passes on to his brother instead of the vice president? That is taking such a step backwards. The man is abusing his power just like the rest of them. Dissapointing big man, disapointing

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07/30/2010 10:02

Well said Daniso, we no longer matter in our own country. I bet our views are nothing as compared to the few Chiefs who represent us. I even advise my felow Malawians not take part in the coming local polls and let the chiefs decide for us...They are better placed and their voices will be heard faster than our faint cries.

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