The food shortage in Malawi has had no real face until recently. Reports are now inundated in the media—print and online—of how our fellow Malawians are in dire food need in almost all corners of our silent nation.
Of great concern about the food shortage curse, however, is how it has affected Malawi’s prison service. At Maula prison in particular, it has been widely reported that inmates have gone days without food. This prompted some well-wishers to do something to save the starving souls from their near-death food shortage experience.
One such well-wisher is democratic progressive party’s Peter Mutharika, who, upon pondering about the situation, organized food and drugs to be donated to Maula prison. But alas the food and drugs were rejected on grounds that do not add up at all.
Maula prison officials have been quoted as saying that they got instructions from the authorities that the food and drug Peter Mutharika was donating has poison. One wonders, “Really?” You mean to tell the nation that Peter Mutharika, or any reasonable person in his stead, would dare donate poisoned food and drugs in that way? Just like that. What a cheap propaganda!
Malawians maybe gullible, but surely, will never go down to buy this obvious propaganda. Unfortunately, all what this cheap politicking on the donation will do is dip deeper the hunger situation at the prison.
This is unthinkable! Here is a prison that has been neglected by authorities as to leave the inmates for days without food. And here is someone who wanted to help. That Mutharika somewhat wanted to sell his political career through the donation should be clear. But the political overtone, planned or implied, should not, especially in the circumstances, be a justification for the rejection of the donation.
It is funny enough that those issuing the rejection-order did so with a full belly fed by cashgate. Furthermore, it is certainly the case that those implementing the order came to work with full stomachs. It is therefore disgusting to note that the beneficiary of the donation—those inmates who had braced a week from an empty stomach—had no say on the crazy politicking surrounding the donation.
It appears, and of course is the case, that the government gets joy from the sad prison situation, and would want to play Big Dad to the solution—always claiming to do the needful but always doing nothing.
It simply does not make sense that after playing blind to the food shortage at the prison the authorities were galvanized into doing something about the situation after learning about the Mutharika donation. Where were they all this while? Where were the unpoisoned food and drugs before the ‘poisoned’ Mutharika food and drugs?
Observably, the authorities appear to have had no clue about the whole thing and only acted to save their muddy faces. You would wonder how quickly the whole machinery acted after the rejected Mutharika donation. In just no time the authorities were roused to act all in the name of acting as a government. Perhaps, they were waiting for someone to act for them to realize that something had to be done. But hey, is this how government should government? Nope! Only to add that this type of governance is a sign of failed leadership.
If indeed the authorities were serious enough as they should, one would have expected them to do the expected by ensuring that there is adequate supply of food to these precious lives. But they never did. They are only doing it now, in bits and haphazardly.
So, all we learn from the Maula prison donation saga is that we are under a government that finds joy from the suffering of its citizens. In fact, we have a sadist government that leaves no room for one to be happy for the good of the nation. Little wonder then that everything this government is all sadness.
Whatever the Peter Mutharika’s wrongs, and however bad his party maybe, the donation, undoubtedly, would have somehow eased the food shortage scourge at Maula prison. And rejecting it was not only inhuman to the welfare of the inmates but also was a tell-tale of a sadist government feeding its political macho at the sadness of its citizens.