Talking Blues: Of hyaenic mishaps, lies and a presidential confession

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Once upon a time, livestock numbers were mysteriously dwindling in a certain village. Then one day, a hyena was caught in the very act of stealing chickens.

It was quickly apprehended and brought before the chief’s court. Before long, several villagers with missing livestock formed a band of complainants baying for justice.

Lazarus Chakwera and Peter Mutharika

Mutharika, Chakwera who is the worst liar?

By noon, the hyena’s charge sheet contained a whole range of crimes, from attempting to steal chickens to multiple counts of theft of hundreds of assorted droves of livestock.

Now, just as the chief was about to pass judgment, a lady who had been farming in her garden came by and reported that some castor seeds (msatsi) she was sun-drying before processing into oil had also gone missing.

She begged the chief to add theft of her ‘msatsi’ to the already long repertoire of the hyena’s crimes.

At this point, the hyena, which had been very quiet, snapped and weighed in. With an uncharacteristic honesty, it said;

“It’s true that I steal chickens, goats, cattle, pigs, guinea fowls and pets. But as you all know, I don’t eat castor seeds. I therefore emphatically and categorically deny pilfering the msatsi!”

Blues’ Orators, I will unpack this hyaenic mishap later.

MCP President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera recently called President Arthur Peter Mutharika a pathological liar.

Chakwera’s ground for re-christening Mutharika a liar is Mutharika’s irritating shifting of goal posts on national issues.

Chakwera recalled that in October 2016, Mutharika promised 78 megawatts of diesel-powered generators to supplement power supply.

The promised connection deadline was December 2016. To date, we are still waiting.

Chakwera then revealed what he says is the reason for continued blackouts.

According to Chakwera, greed at the State House is why the generators were delayed.

As far as Chakwera is concerned, State House officials are still at it, trying to make a killing out of the procurement of generators with resisting ESCOM executives like the gallant Ms Evelyn Mwapasa being unceremoniously redeployed for getting in the way of State House goons determined to loot.

Responding a few days later, President Peter Mutharika claimed he did not lie to the nation on the generators.

But admitting that indeed the generators are not yet here, Mutharika expressed optimism and reassured the load-shedding weary public that the long awaited generators are now on their way.

Mutharika then went personal, saying that Chakwera is a liar who claims to have earned a PhD degree in America when all he has is an honorary degree from some nondescript Bible school.

“Chakwera is the pathological liar! Not me.”

Going back to where we started, the parallel between the proverbial hyena’s breaking the silence to selectively address the allegation of stealing castor seeds from a litany of allegations; and Mutharika’s failure to defend the State House and by extension himself against accusations of corruption, opting instead to enter into a pathological-liar-tug-of-war with Chakwera on who the worst liar is, is amusing.

It’s an analogy that offers insights galore on our president’s cluelessness.

Let me sum it up: in the face of Chakwera’s accusations, Mutharika, like the hyena, had the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. But the truth hurts and he understandably lost his cool.

Fine by me.

But what beggars’ belief is why, in the face of the pain and suffering we are going through due to his boys’ botching the procurement of generators and in the process sabotaging Mutharika’s October 2016 promise – the very basis of Chakwera’s “pathological liar” tag; Mutharika seems so focussed on refuting the obvious instead of fixing the corruption which is putting him in a position where his survival is now dependent on peddling lie after lie.

What Mutharika should be doing is dealing resolutely with the saboteurs he is sheltering rather than trying to prove he is not a liar when the generators he promised are nowhere to be seen, a development which is forcing him to juggle delivery dates year after year and peddle even more lies that his predecessors were all forcing us to live in the dark.

Look here Blues’ Orators, after hearing Chakwera’s allegations; I expected Mutharika, a Juris Doctor, to know that being called a ‘pathological liar’ which under the circumstances is appropriate and accurate; isn’t as bad as being accused of shielding corrupt aides in the State House.

Come to think of it, Mutharika’s loud silence on the corruption allegations does remind me of the mishaps of yet another hyena in a different context.

When a hyena is ensnared in a hunter’s trap-hole, my granny used to say, it keeps quiet. In other words, for a hyena caught peddling lies, or stealing, or attempting to steal, silence is golden.

True to form, until the thieving hyena in the msatsi mishap opened its mouth to deny stealing castor seeds, there was nothing that could be construed as admission of guilt with respect to the missing flocks of livestock.

From a legal perspective, the hyena’s silence was an asset.

But reminiscent of Mutharika, the moment it opened its stinking mouth to repel the illogical ‘msatsi’ accusation; it unwittingly removed all doubt vis-à-vis its Machiavellian role in the theft of the village’s livestock.

Had Mutharika kept his mouth shut, Chakwera’s allegations would have been taken with a pinch of salt and Mutharika could have just disciplined his corrupt and good-for-nothing boys to effectively get rid of the neurotic liar tag that he hates so much.

But having decided to cherry-pick, and having settled on refuting the less serious of the accusations instead of addressing the root cause, i.e. corruption at the State House; is why he is doomed to peddle falsehood after falsehood to the extent of convincing all Malawians that he is indeed a pathological liar who delights in presiding over corruption and gets his kicks from watching and hearing us suffering.

Tell me Blues’ Orators, what is your honest take on Mutharika’s copy and paste act of the kleptomaniacal hyena which by trying to extricate itself from a felony, unwittingly admitted committing more severe crimes?

Funny how guilty hyenas betray themselves, isn’t it? Indeed, our ancestors knew a thing or two by coining the adage that when you tell a lie, dawn comes fast!

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