Thursday, February 28, 2013

MPs’ MK10milion Demands: Street Democracy at its best!

Never has President Joyce Banda been pushed in a corner of governance uncertainty than she has been with the recent ‘Kids Revolution’. It is interesting to note that every Janet and Jack, every Haroon and Halima is busy flexing muscles with the intention of making president Banda’s days darker and ever more darker ever since the Kids Revolution. 

Given that, it is little wonder that the honorable Members of Parliament are the latest Jacks and Haroons busy stretching their muscles demanding a whopping MK10million each. 

As a matter of clarification, democracy is not necessarily about speaking out but knowing what to speak out. By extension, it is about speaking out about national issues with objectivity and not personal tissues. That is democracy as conceptualized by the old intelligent folks.

But when one peddles an issue solely guided by prejudice, contempt, and sheer desire to deliberately make an environment unfriendly for the other, that’s street democracy. Sadly, street democracy seems to be the whole, and arguably the only business in parliament this session.

 It be made clear from the onset that the author is no fan of president Banda, but is here compelled to state the fact as it is; which is that MPs have it planned to make Malawi ungovernable to president Banda.

While it is tenable that the MPs’ demands might be justifiable somehow, it is wholly unthinkable, honestly speaking, that the MPs’ demands can be met at this time that Malawi is at the pinnacle of economic and political turmoil.

You may argue to the contrary, but, truth be told here, even the best of economists and technocrats of Adam Smith caliber, or locally, of the Matthews Chikaonda type, will surely fail to glide out of the economic mess with a MK10million payout (or handout?) to the 193 MPS. 

It does not require an Economics genius to see that the payout defies economic sense. Almost everyone—from intelligentsias and ignoramuses, from kids to adults, from anarchists to patriots—thinks, and of course rightly so, that such a payout is a needless drain on the government pulse.

And here now you happen to get to sobering surprises; what is it then that is making the MPs insist on this pay out? Is the MK10milion demand all there is in the current sitting? Are there no alternative ways of sorting the MK10 million pay out?

It is at this point the critical mind begins to see the MPs hidden agenda. Interestingly, here one rushes into opining that the MPs in the current sitting are up to no good; that they are hell bent towards frustrating government business. The current session might be the grand opportunity for the MPs to come back at president Banda, but, coincidentally or other, it is no doubt a sad repayment to the voters. 

It is perhaps at this point that the wiser readership would agree with the author that, if indeed opposition parties are governments-in-waiting, the current economic crisis characterizing the Joyce Banda administration would have been a perfect opportunity for them to manifest their leadership prowess. 

Otherwise, judging by what is happening in parliament, one is tempted to conclude, with no regret whatsoever, that the larger part of the opposition benches is occupied by people who think very little, if any at all, about offering solutions to government and being welfaristic to the people who voted them into power—the local masses.

You would be on the right side of the argument if you stated that the MPs are playing hide-and-seek with government as they knowingly or unknowingly playing seesaw with the precious lives of the 14-plus million citizens. Such games are typical of street democracy where nothing matters to the powers that be (MPs in this case) other than getting what one wants, get this right, what the MPs want, and always at the expense of the needs of the voters.

If the honorable MPs are serious about serving the people in their constituencies, then let them let the government go this time. Let them give the Banda administration some breathing space hoping that they can pull some economic miracles and be able to pay the recently raised salaries, and more importantly, recover the economy.

At this juncture, the article rests its case but is quick to point out that the honorable MPs’ MK10million demands is both ludicrous and selfish, and at worst, unMalawian. Most sadly, the demand smacks of street democracy at its best.

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