Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Mutharikas: A Tip of the Iceberg


Money stashed under mattress photo
                                                  
Malawian English Daily The Nyasa Times reported recently that police intercepted the cabal of the relatives of the former president, the late, Bingu wa Mutharika as they were trying to ferry money and other government property out of the state house.
The paper said that among things found in the bedroom of the former president are cartons and bags full of dollars and kwachas.
the Nyasa Times quoted undisclosed source privy to the government as saying, “ It is not yet established how much was the money as some senior police officers have directed to count how much was it. It is believed that the hard cash can be in excess of five billion kwachas. Most of that money is in the US dollars in millions.”
Those who know how Mutharika used to present himself as a transparent leader, this is a big blow not only for him but his family and all those had some wheeldeals with him. It is a shame especially for a PhD holder president who was regarded as one of economic gurus in the continent. For the president to hide money under bed in the 21st century is something not easy to understand.
The source added that other valuables given to Mutharika as president were also involved in this covert exercise while they belong to the government.
It baffles beyond imagination to find that two Mutharikas, prof also a minister for foreign affairs and another president would do such unthinkable things. Just imagine. Peter Mutharika is a law professor who doesn’t know even the constitution so as to dream about usurping power and inherit his brother’s presidency. On his side, the late Bingu a ‘renowned’ economist would stash bundles of dollars and kwachas under his bed. Were these guys really educated? If PhD holders and urbanites like they would behave this dastardly, how rural would farmers in Kalonga and Nsanje behave? Is it unfair to say that Africa has lost a lot in educating such uneducated doctors? How many Mutharikas-like are out there waiting to be unearthed? Mark my words. This is not the first or the last time to see such presumed educated people behaving like ignorants. Who has forgotten the Gbagbos all PhD holders who sunk Ivory Coast in chaos and lawlessness till they were thwarted and apprehended? Isn’t this education for ignorance?
Ironically, Mutharika was regarded as a moderate and transparent while he actually was the opposite. Can this lead to a clue of real faces of our modern moderates who are still doing contrary to what they preach? Astonishingly, while Mutharika was sitting on such huge amounts of money, many Malawians are dying of treatable and preventable diseases that need just a diddley even a scintilla of the amount found in Mutharika’s bedroom. This shows how greedy and myopic our rulers are. Moreover, if anything, venal rulers like Mutharika are the major cause of Africa’s economic backwardness. Apart from stealing from public coffers, they extravagate and have no vision even mission of being power except to loot and squander. Africa, if she wants to go forward needs to have liberal consitutions that declare and stipulate openly that presidents are not above the law.
In principle, there is no psychological difference between African rulers and the leaders of developed countries. The difference is that African mumbo jumbos are above the law and those of the latter are under the law. Although donor countries have been shouting about democratization and development, they don’t want to advocated accountability based on constitutions knowingly that if they do, their vested interests served by thievish rulers will be ruined. It does not make sense for donors to keep on pumping money into the treasuries of countries under thievish and extravagant rulers like in the case of Mutharika.
More on Mutharika, when he built his palace every eye was open and saw everything. Who asked him how he made such fortune to build a castle?
it is time for committed and patriotic Africans like Malawi’s new president Madam Joyce Mtila Banda to see to it that they are unearth dirty deeds of their predecessors as it happened in Mutharika’s crime.
Ironically though, Banda has consented to kwachas over 150,000,000 to be spent on Mutharika’s burial instead of spending the already impounded money in possession of Mutharika.
More on plundering public coffers, if president of the poorest country like Malawi is sleeping on millions of dollars what of those of natural-resource-rich countries such as Angola, DRC, Tanzania, South Africa, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria? Importantly, for those that have not been exposed, beware that death does not know power. Swahili sage has it that mficha maradhi kifo kitamfichua literally he who conceals his malade death will dress him down as it is in Mutharika’s case.
What was unearthed in Malawi is just a tip of icerbeg in conjuction with how so-called educated African rulers behave. In Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa with his masters degree did things even a kindergarten pupil cannot think of doing. Even Bakili Muluzi was literally educated. But looking at how he messed you wonder if education received by the crop of our rulers is worthy paying for.
Source: The African Executive Magazine April 25, 2012.

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