Thursday, March 24, 2011


In her rebarbative cynicism and her mordant clarity, Chancellor College Academic Staff Union (CCASU) acting president has been to any media house electronic and print, local and international making her case on behalf of her union so as to make people believe that academic freedom is under threat in this country. At its lowest point, people who are often associated with civility, liberalism and intellect were seen shouting, hooting, carrying out coffins and burning out forms designed by their council asking them to return to work .I wonder what sort of impression was being created of malawian intellectuals?

As one observer pointed out,"The wikepidia discuss Academic Freedom as a belief that has limitations in practice. The Encyclopedia Brittanica says Academic Freedom is allowed without unreasonable restrictions. Unreasonable restriction means there are reasonable restrictions. " There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition and design of chancellor college staff union’s position. It first excludes the general public from the means of information in the direction of letting us know exactly what happened, yet empowers themselves to act on a matter where the highest judgment is required. It must be established here that both mine and my opponent’s contributions on this debate are not definitive doctrine or theory let alone a true reflection of what happened. None of us were there when Dr Chinsinga delivered his lecture .Again; none of us were there when the inspector general and Dr Chinsinga met .We understand they met. But we don’t know what was discussed when the two gentlemen met. We know for a fact that Dr Chinsinga was not arrested, cautioned or warned and has not been charged. Basically, he is a freeman before, during and after the lecture. He is a free man before, during and after meeting the inspector general. Surprisingly, calls are being made for the inspector general to apologize. To who and why? The hyper-reality that destroys human meaning of moral consciousness, and hence solidarity, by simulating it with political greed and self importance to regain a political discourse grounded in autonomous, intersubjective mutuality and closely associated with the natural ego at the expense of innocent students, should not be given room to rise if we as a nation are to realize our dream. It must be condemned by all progressive Malawians. Why are Chancellor College lecturers boycotting classes? Certainly not over the informal chat between the inspector general and Dr Chinsinga for that will be majoring in minors. Certainly not over infringed academic freedom because the university council has already ruled that out.And finally not over alleged policing activities in the class rooms and fear thereof because they [lecturers] are bold enough to face the police in the street. It’s even better for them to meet police in their classrooms since they can easily claim home ground advantage. Matter of fact, this whole talk of “fear” is a fallacy. These lecturers have shown boldness of untold magnitude. These are people, who’ve defied a presidential directive, challenged their college principal, and have since taken the chairman of university council to court for contempt. They marched on campus burning UNIMA council’s forms they were supposed to fill to indicate their wish to return to class after five-weeks of boycott. They don’t fear anyone, respect no order and have a record of removing a serving principal. They have a tradition of addressing their problems through protests .Whether they have a point or not is not an issue. They simply are fearless people and dangerously so. In the absence of a common web of meaning, even small differences can turn into a major conflict. In such circumstances as has been the case in the past, there is every incentive to inflate suspicion and magnify difference. Their informality, seeming approachability, and apparent normality has been part of their successful attempts to make only their point heard. National interests cannot be served in this way. It can only come from the transformation of the individual union politics and the emergence of joint efforts from their combined skills under the auspices of patriotism, all summoned together in pursuit of the prosperity of their students. It is for this reason that the nation unsurprisingly is not in favor of the boycott. People take an exceedingly dim view of these priorities by our academic. They have seen right through all the false sincerity, the bogus and dodgy reason why there is a boycott. The public’s disillusionment is now so extreme that there is nothing the staff union can say in defense of their current position that will be believed by parents who desperately want their children to be educated and get their degrees. It is now evident that the legal and moral justification regarding the boycott did not depend on the Inspector General’s refusal to apologize, but on the fact that the academics are simply not interested in serving their country and the interest of the nation. They are boycotting the classes not because the inspector general refused to apologize but because they have a long held tradition of boycotting. A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives them a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. For the real damage done by this tumult is the way it brings to the front of those innocent students caught up in the cross fire of unionism and political depression .The union is now horribly exposed. Comments from Professor Chisi of college of medicine, Noel Mbowela of Mzuzu University and the change of heart from Bunda academics is quite revealing. If anything, it gives us a picture of a staff union’s inner circle which has all but disintegrated. Above all, its leadership cannot function without threats. It shows of a a performer with the thinnest of skins, who cannot survive without the cheers of marauding-students. The ceaseless conundrum of whether one is predestined or somehow the author of a particular fortune or fate in as far as this standoff is concerned seems impossible to solve through human logic. They teach logic but when differences occur, they take a position which cannot stand the pettiness of intellectual consistency. They express feelings first which comes in all forms of shapes and sizes like, anger, confronting authorities, boycott, defiance, venting anger through demonstrations Is this the message being given to the students who should soon be eminent decision makers of our society? Their indifference with the IG is just being used as a scapegoat. If truth be told, there was already anger at Chanco because the union was mobilising to remove yet another principal (Professor Chris Kamulongera) after Professor Francis Moto. His crime? Because the Disciplinary Committee of the college (not the principal) disciplined two of its members for defying submission of students’ grades; is the union above reproach???. Knowing that they had no dispute against their employer, they picked an issue with the IG who approached Dr. Chinsinga privately and accorded him with dignity. The union instead demanded a public apology. Was it to humiliate him? Or, did they think that the apology and assurance alone would solve their problem? Shouldn’t they have sought to meet and engage him privately, to reason with him as it befits intellectuals?

Knowing that they had no dispute against their employer, they proceeded to suspend the core business of the university – teaching! How were we solving the problem? Knowing that academic freedom does not include politicisation of students, they have always insisted on using students as their tool, by neglecting them so that they must become angry and help their cause. Are students happy to be used in this way? Do the students know that they are being used? Are parents aware that their children are used in this way? Is the IG issue the real reason why Chancellor College is behaving the way it does, or is being used as a weapon for other motives? The union is on record for “confronting” the Vice Chancellor, but why confront the authorities instead of discussing with them? Is this the work ethics our students should copy? Why does the Union always make public demands, expecting their demands to met, and when their authorities ask or “direct” them to work; they defy. Are they the only ones to be listened to but they do not want to listen to others? Since the university is there to teach reasoning and solution-finding, does the public have enough reason to be worried? Do the academics need to be reasoned with? Who will do that since they are defiant to their Principal, Vice Chancellor and their Chancellor? Do they want to exist without any authority above them? Do all academics agree with this approach of doing things really? I’ve met quite a number or them. They are descent men and women who’ve baked some of the finest minds of international repute this country ever produced such as professor Tiyambe Zeleza,prof Hangson Mpalive Msiska and Dr Peter Kumpalume to mention a few. If anyone was in great doubt about Malawi’s democratic credentials then surely he or she must visit Chancellor College .A regime armed with dictatorial pangs good enough to ply on academic freedom cannot let go all the happenings at chanco without an incident. It seems straight here that the current regime is tolerant therefore pausing no threat to academic freedom and democracy at large. The essence of the current regime it seems has always been a belief in human nature as distinct from abstract ideology. And the essence of human nature is adaptability, flexibility, ingenuity. I have no reason to doubt that the current adminstration’s policies throughout the last seven years have been designed to give these virtues room to grow. Now People have all the freedom they wanted on planet earth. The only trouble though is that they don’t know what to do with it. Instead, they want an apology from a law enforcer. As a hallmark of our endeavor, I believe that it Is important to mirror the values of the present Democracy in the context of our past with an aim – to look for healing not confrontation, for pastoral reconciliation and not punishment, to look to our shared witness not only in our political lens but in the processes by which our vested interest in our democracy works out the current tensions without compromising our security, rule of law and natural justice. Selfish acts committed in the context of an institutionalized position of systematic influence and domination by one authority or group of people over their subordinates ought not to be the credentials of Chancellor College Academic Staff Union. As individuals working for an institution of higher learning, they have made tremendous contribution to the country. They ought to be proud of that. Perhaps an experience I encountered few months ago, in New York can help explain my view point better. After a busy schedule one summer evening last year, I took a boat ride on Hudson River. Whilst sailing, west of wall street towards downtown Manhattan, I realized then that every time a ship was approaching us, the captain was getting hold of his wireless machinery and begun talking to his counterpart supposedly manning the ship coming from the opposite direction in the process, giving each other’s signs in passing, showing signals and soon a distance voice in the darkness would follow. In so doing, accident by way of head-on collision was being averted. I figured then that on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another. Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence. The beauty of life lies in the look and courage we give to each other. In trying to humiliate the Inspector General who in all fairness went beyond his call of duty to pacify an otherwise sensitive matter we make but mockery of our education system. In trying to boast about defying orders from authorities and take joy in getting rid of college authorities, we create but wrong impressions that academics are no different from villagers. As David Belasco once said, “For each day, we must say with our own self, how long shall I hear from my friend again? How long shall see the standards of friendly smiles and the sound of laughter from my country folks “And so fellow countrymen, I echo my own Hudson boat ride experience, talking to authorities and not demanding an apology with a view to humiliate our inspector general will not benefit anyone. If anything it only puts our country to shame. Which ever side of the story, let’s not forget that students have a right to education too. Democracy can become a bitter test, when the fullness of democracy is denied.


The Gentle Art of Persuasion( George Thompson - Dr.) How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable : Getting Your Point Across- (Suzette Haden Elgin ) Getting to Resolution : Turning Conflict into Collaboration-Stewart Levine - Getting to Yes : Negotiating Agreement Without Giving in- Ury & Fisher - Fisher, & Ury Alternative Dispute Resolution for Organizations : How to Design a System.. Allan Stitt - Hinkle Time to Declare War on Israel Times-Dispatch2010-09-10 Ali How to Win the Clash of Civilizations Wall Street Journal2010-08-18 Glick European Courts in the service of Israel's Destruction Jerusalem Post2010-07-05 Sharpe The Two-State Solution of Britain is 87 Years Old American Thinker2009-03-29 Eidelberg Foreign Policy of Israel vis-a-vis the US Israel National News2009-03-16 Anonymous Background check on Barack Hussein Obama Anonymous2008-10-27 Wilders Islamization of Europe 2008-08-25 Ware U.S. officials rethink hopes for Iraq democracy CNN2007-08-22 Frantzman Ethnic cleansing of Jews by Arabs in pre-state Israel Jerusalem Post2007-08-16 Vineyard Letter to President Bush about Jews 2007-08-08

Monday, January 31, 2011


On 29th January, His Excellency the state president of the republic of Malawi launched his sixth book titled The African Dream at Sheraton Addis Ethiopia. Launched live on MBC and Ethiopia Television and relayed via satellite, 0ver 100 million people were for 1 hour engaged into an intellectual discourse on issues affecting them and were more finely honed into vivid and intelligently articulated construct and or manifesto which has originated from the mind of a rare political thinker.

In those brief moments, those present at the time of the launch and millions of Television viewers across Africa got inspired. They could realize a future in which many an African can finally begin to dream in audaciously bright colors of previously unimaginable possibilities without any mental constrain to perceive unlimited abundance.

The eloquent summary of the book by Hon Dr Ken Lipenga minister of tourism, wildlife and culture, a prolific writer and linguist himself summed up the African Dream as an impressive work of art.

He observed that “The African dream represents a watershed moment of dynamic and practical political leadership”
Going by his scholarly account ,Professor Bingu wa Mutharika is a unique mind and a rare African leader whose economic and political insights - captured in The African Dream - is set to catapult him into the records of Africa’s future history as an innovative custodian of a visionary, new beginning

The size of Martin Meridith’s book “The State of Africa ”, the 600 + paged book, is a recollection of the author’s life experiences that, seeks to challenge its reader to tap deep into an inner well of passion and aspiration. But unlike "The State of Africa", in which Meredith's writing has been described as authoritative and well-documented, despite the pessimism inherent in his subject matter; The African Dream represents a sequence of contemplative suggestions that seek to point the discerning African mind onto a lofty plain of emancipation and renewal.
The power of thought that is embedded in The African Dream will effectively drive Africa’s disciplined generational thinkers towards a unique and inspiring quantum of enlightenment based on which steadied steps towards true economic emancipation can be achieved.

Directing the launching ceremony of the book, the internationally renowned broadcaster Phil Molefe famous for directing proceedings at Nelson Mandela’s birthday party in Cape Town where the Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman was a guest of honour, declared in a valedictory narrative thus:“The African Dream is a powerful basket of thought that will stimulate the minds of Africa’s Visionary leadership into the origination of novel solutions for a needlessly hungry with a deep yearning for change and a dispirited continent that desperately wants to change for the better”

Phil was not alone for George Twumasi; CEO for Africa Broadcast network who flew all the way from London to witness the launch of the book alongside other international media gushapats like Jean Marc Belchi of radio france, William Wallis of financial Times, and Patrick Smith of Africa international who could not hide his excitement.”I have been looking for this moment” He said. “
”The African Dream represents a seminal point of introspective reflection, which mirrors Africa’s new reality of hope. It is the catalyst that will reframe Africa’s socio-economic and political dialogue. I like this man and his vision “George concluded.

In the eyes of the European, Virginia Woolf’s apt observation in her book A Room of One’s Own that
“one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” The African Dream has for far too long come to represent a disparaging reality of hopelessness which Africa must now overcome. To the American mind, the words of O. Henry, one of that country’s most prolific writers, “love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man’s starving”

However in the African Dream, the author’s rhetorical question to Africa’s current and future leadership when simply rephrased is summed up as follows:
“Our people expect us to resolve issues of hunger and poverty once and for all within our lifetime.
Posterity will judge us harshly if we do not take action now. If not us then who?
If not now, when?”

Of the unease of being in the global world by adopting foreign habits and the precarious antidotes to its tedium, toil, and troubles; of living a life examined yet still not lived; of the entangled desire and reluctance to articulate obstacles standing in the way of a developing African continent, the author comes to agreeing on and believing in a common vision for the future when he observes:

“Of even greater importance is the search for new directions in Africa. A partial answer is to create a united front by defining a common identity. An identity provides the means by which a person, tribe, society, nation, country or continent is recognized and described. It is how an object is recognised as having characteristics distinct and separate from other objects.
True, Africa is not a homogeneous entity, but Africans do share common origins. Therefore, the African identity is how African people show and recognise who they are, how their cultural and traditional beliefs distinguish them from other people. It is also how they show or prove to other nations across the globe that Africa does exist, requires recognition, and has an important role to play in the shaping of human and world relations.”

When it comes to developmental frameworks,the author notes with impish wisdom,the issue of children as central theme to development.

“A child denotes a human being under the age of sixteen years. Children in any society, whether developed or underdeveloped, rich or poor, white or black, represent future human capital”

As a scholar, leader and observer of international politics, the author makes a brilliant observation , sharing a strong feeling of inequality and injustice by powerful nations of the global North against smaller nations from the global South:

“The struggle of small nation-states for their mere survival has become more complex. Political reforms, multi-party democracy and good governance, essentially motivated from the outside, have now been firmly imposed by donors as the main prerequisites for assistance.”

"The African Dream” is an incredible work that demonstrates relentless effort and abilities in four main intellectual disciplines, History, Economics, Politics and Philosophy. The application of the elements in these four disciplines to the continent of Africa by the author, culminates in a recital of the rich history of democracy and governance, the application of science and technology to life by early Africans as well as an in-depth analysis of the recent past and finally a prescription of how to align the factors of economics and politics in order to grow the tools that will achieve the African Dream of self reliance and an equal competitive player in the global market.

The author says something about every aspect of economic and political life, agriculture and production, mining and wealth creation, regional and sub regional economic integration, the future role of the African Armed forces, the role of women and youth, civil society and private sector, donor community and politics of ruling and opposition parties.

Towards the end of the book, the author asserts his authority by challenging the skeptics and critics when he says:“This is not a small dream, and it is not apologetic"
All of the conclusions drawn and the prescriptions offered spring from two points of strength: :
1-As an observer of the process.
2-As a participant in the process at the highest level as President of Malawi and Chair of the African Union. Launched simultaneously in French and English,The African Dream is available both paper back and hard cover. Certainly, a must read

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Until some where around mid 90,3rd March was closely associated with John Chilembwe, the 1953 insurgency and Nyasaland’s state of emergency. For sure, John Chilembwe must be given credit historically for his effort to show the British rulers the independent spirit of the people of Nyasaland. But to the disappoint of most of my pan-African friends, in particular my American based good friend Dr Sharra who at 16 began his social consciousness, sharing a strong feeling of inequality and injustice by powerful nations of the global North against smaller nations from the global South, I have not been able to share the praise and the mellow dramatic nature of heroism often attributed to the legendary acts of John Chilembwe.

The more I reflect on what happened in mid January of 1915 and the tragic events that followed, the more I begin to appreciate the importance of planning .As Dr Banda would say “to be successful in politics, besides determination and leadership, one must have good planning, complete cooperation and dedication to the plan by others, and good timing.
Planning must be perfect down to the last detail and must consider carefully, alternatives or contingencies. Cooperation and dedication is essential between all; no jealousy, no tribalism, no secret cliques and finally there must be a ground-swell of support, complete support of all factions.

When John Chilembwe returned home as a minister, he was arguably angered by the racial divide and its associated injustices on his natives. He wasted no time and quickly organized himself into an army. Since he had no money and armory, his plan was to steal opponent’s weapons and this is where the whole plan cracks me up. We are told; about 12 guns were stolen from Mandala.

However a forensic study of pictures of executed Europeans during the uprising revealed that almost all colonial casualties had no bullet wounds, creating an impression that probably the stolen guns had no bullets and I have strong doubts as to whether any of them had any knowledge on how to use a gun. With 12 guns, probably without bullets, and no formal training on the part of the church goers now turned soldiers, war was declared against the white settlers. Believe me, I am a patriot to boot but this does not stop me from detecting a crazy plan.

And if you think this was the only crazy military plan on planet earth on how to fight oppression and injustices of the time, then wait until you hear the story of South Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma’s fight against white supremacy whilst hiding in Swaziland. Weapons were scarce in those days and the liberation movement needed every gun it could lay its hands on.

Rumor had it that a certain white foreigner who used to go out with young Swazi woman had a pistol. When the boyfriend went abroad, news reached the ANC underground operatives in the area that he had left his pistol with her. And so the leaders of the ANC underground in Swaziland, Thabo Mbeki and Albert Dhlomo, instructed their most trusted cadre, Jacob Zuma, to get the gun. The plan, they told Zuma, was for him to woo her, get close to her and then find ways of acquiring the weapon through his seductive prowess with theft as a fall back position.

Even though “the woman was not beautiful as Zuma would recall, he followed the orders and proposed to her”. Within days, Zuma had charmed his way into her heart. Now as her lover he could freely ask her about her ex-boyfriend and his prized pistol.
The boyfriend had indeed left the gun with her, she told her new lover. But, to Zuma’s horror, she had also sold it just two days before he asked her about it.

Inculcated with modern warfare’s, military strategists of all times like author of the Chinese classic-The art of war –sun-tzu, great army commanders like Yamamoto,
T.E Lawrence,Shaka,Zulu,Genghis Khan,Napoleon Collin Powel and many others would have failed Chilembwe’s war strategy. Firstly, he allowed emotion to run his independence effort. Secondly his was a much localized activity; there was multi-factional or tribal jealousy, leadership rivalry and so many negative factors. But I do give John Chilembwe credit for clearly expressing discontent with the increasingly restrictive rule imposed on his country by the colonial power.

If people are living in terrible conditions for whatever reason, they become desperate and desperate people will risk everything in a fight. Already defeated by circumstances, they have nothing to loose.

In the search for success in life, people tend to rely on things that seem simple and easy or that have worked before. Everything can take away from you and generally will be spent at some point. Your wealth vanishes, the latest gadgetry suddenly becomes passé, your allies desert you and so fourth but when your mind is armed with a sense of pride and personal Identity, there is no power that can take that away. In the middle of a crisis, your mind will find its way to the right solution and there in lies the strength of John Chilembwe.

By 1900,he was already educated and with a little more time in class perfecting his intellect and knowledge, he could have easily joined the wave of earliest African scholars and educationist, the likes of Booker Washington, William Dubois, Martin Hughes, Tolson and James Farmer sr to mention a few.

But earning himself scholarly achievements while his natives were being oppressed by a tyranny of a majority elite was too much of a pill to swallow.
He wanted to refuse them the freedom of time and space they need for their mayhem against his natives.
In crowning John Chilembwe as a symbol of martyrdom, we do so in recognition of the latter spirit, the spirit of resistance. As prof. Thandeka Mkandawire once said, “We have a laudable history of resistance”

As anyone can imagine, chilembwe’s struggle for equality met insurmountable challenges. Waging an uprising at a time when the British colonial office was entertaining John Cecil Rhodes’s commercial empire was not easy but his love for humanity taught us something.
In a country where facts were blurred by superstition and denial, where mothers were separated from their children and prevention was hamstrung by divisive racial politics, pulpit ceremonies of loving people, touching them, hold their hands and finally becoming symbol of resistance was by far the greatest of all achievements.
It took the courage of young Chilembwe a middle income earner to hatch a plan that would change the plight of his peasant natives. They had no capital hill or parliament to discuss it.Future martyrs, the likes of Dunduzu Chisiza,Ching’oli Chirwa,Attati Mpakati,Mkwapatira Mhango,Chief Gomani,John Grey Kufa and many others long gone, were the salt of our new found freedom,Future pillars of struggle for equality.
Their willingness to challenge the injustices of the time and the inhuman nature of the manner in which their natives were being treated were not ordinary acts.Malawi may not be experiencing the wrath of racism and the degree of imperial injustices of 1915, 1953.1959 and the ninety’s.
There is no doubt that what Malawi has accomplished within this short period is both impressive and inspiring. Among African nations, we remain a model for representative democracy - a place where many different ethnic factions have found a way to live and work together in peace and stability.
But for all the progress that has been made, we must surely acknowledge that we have not yet fulfilled our potential - that the hopefulness of the post-colonial era was replaced by repression is a regrettable fact.
That a post repressive administration was replaced by a decade of corruption and mob justice is another sad reality and that political despair, and that true economic freedom has not yet been won for those struggling to live on less than a few dollars a day, for those who have fallen prey to HIV/AIDS or malaria, to those ordinary citizens who continue to find themselves trapped in the crossfire of political depression needs a united front that brings the nation together.
In each case, what has been required to meet the challenges we face has been good judgment and clear vision from our leader, and a fundamental seriousness and engagement on the part of the Malawian people – a willingness on the part of each of us to look past what is petty and small and sensational, and look ahead to what is necessary and purposeful.

Friday, January 01, 2010


Your Excellency Sire

All protocols observed,
We are here to witness history. We are here to experience what it means to dream in color. What it means to tap into the heavenly resources of wisdom through creativity and well focused visionary minds. We are making history.

Your Excellency,
it has become an irrefutable truth of immense proportions which will remain as a heritage for all to retrieve .Indeed History will be able to speak about it at great length and where possible assign responsibilities more clearly to the future generation ,that there once lived a man who seriously thought that there was only one way in which we could address our economic challenges and that that one way would not be found in throwing mud at each other through petty arguments bent on cheap popularity but that the only way we can move forward as a nation is to bang our heads together and come out with HOME GROWN SOLUTIONS to address the challenges of our time and that man was Ngwazi Dr Bingu Wamutharika.

Your Excellency
Today is one such a day where our country will in a few minutes from now be recognizing men and women who have done just that.
Allow me to share with all who are in here and beyond that it was your vision to honor ordinary men and women who have done allot without knowing it and have improved the lives of others.

Perhaps I did not mention it to you Sir that after conceptualizing your idea of recognizing men and women who’ve done a lot without knowing it, I made an attempt to sell the idea to a few people where I was told point blank that whatever plan I had regarding this event was wishful thinking and that it couldn’t work particularly so in Malawi and while you encouraged me to soldier on, I was told by a media mogul that I was brazenly crazy and Your Excellency this, to some extent did put me off temporarily .

However, on reflection, I dismissed his hell bent sentiments towards frustrating me, though to some extent he probably would have been partially correct for craziness is a necessary ingredient for creativity and invention to forge ahead,for as you may be aware sir, through history, a man of humble achievements and yet in this very point the former leader of Burkina Faso namely Tomas Sankara once said that “You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness.
in this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future, thus he went to say that“ It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future."

In tonight’s show, we have a sample of men and women drawn from all regional corners of this country through a research process which saw us coming into contact with a mother and daughter forming a new understanding of each other, bonding as never before.
There are in tonight’s program stunning stories about the sacrifices made to keep a family together. They showed a community where buildings can be damaged and even destroyed while living our spirit indestructible. They too make us proud of the extraordinary resilience of ordinary Malawian people.

Government officers in a district yet to be recognized in a few minutes from now showed remarkable concern over those we consider to be the outcasts due to their mental illness when they together went to work to clean up the streets, shaved and bathed the mental patients , Long after the society considered them to be a nuance.

But tested again and again the resilience of the awardees has been a powerful proof of the character of our country. And lastly your excellence, my father Ben Everson Malopa is a Minister of the Seventh - Day Adventist Church.
Although he is a Pastor, I don’t recall all the sermons my father preached Sabbath after Sabbath, but I will never forget a phrase in one of his sermons that “we must be givers as well as getters” and learn the art of Putting something back, And by doing so make a difference. All awardees fit into this criteria, thus they gave their onself to better others while making a difference in the process

To the power of Television and the spirit of tomorrow,
I now present to you, Your Excellency, the people of Malawi and Africa
the 2009 tv Awards- OUR PEOPLE OUR PRIDE

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


A response to government appointment of Bright Malopa as deputy director general of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. Entitled BYE-BYE BRITANIA,it was posted on malawitalk in january 2007.
Friends and critics,
I have no words to express the warmth and support my family and two little children have received from friends,relatives and the people of the republic of Malawi. Expressions of support have come from as far as government officials to my village headman.In this season of goodwill and fellowship I am well aware of the expectations my appointment alongside that of my colleague Mr Patrick Khoza has generated .
Iam also aware of the many calls there have already been on those who are not wishing us well. But I want to draw your attention to the plight of a victim scarcely less deserving than the causes for which you recently rang and wrote –“The Malawian mindset”One that seems to suggest that only those that have a background in journalism should have a monopoly to enjoy managerial positions at the nation’s broadcasting house, a position laughably being pursued by NAMISA ..Sadly this is a mentality that has led our nation’s broadcasting house into this sorry state.
A sorry state that seek to believe in running a media house in an ever growing demand driven environment using journalistic theories and article scribbling experiences as opposed to best business practices.A sorry state that has seen the current DG and the DDG inheriting their offices without handovers.A sorry state where the nation broadcasting house’s has news reporters and their senior managers isolated from the cyber world,A sorry state where support officers went as far as going outside office complex to engage in car washing “ganyus” during working hours And finally a sorry state where all vehicles are grounded except 3 with none in the central and northern regions.
As some of you may know, in contrast to the DG, and to several other senior managers at MBC, I'm a relative newcomer to the topic of public broadcasting and its role in contributing to the development of civil society. But like so many of you who have invested your trust and confidence in me, I have been brought to it by both the demands of my work as a professional marketer, and my personal experience as the former moderator of Malawitalk.
Ever since I obtained my first Malawian passport some 15 years ago, I've devoted my life to the notion of “malawianness”, and I've had my eyes and heart opened as I traveled through emerging democracies , a thing which has been a motivating factor whenever an opportunity arise to contribute to the development of my country be it in my private or official capacity.
Now that the government of Malawi through the ministry of statutory corporations and the board members of Malawi broadcasting corporation gave me a rare opportunity to steer this organization to safety lands , I feel a real sense of urgency about changing not only MBC’s mindset but also that of its listeners so we can breed and cultivate , a culture of enterprise that encourages people to get on as far as they can, with decent public services and a net beneath which no one can fall.
Like many of you, we at MBC want to make a difference. We are currently re-evaluating our strategy and role. We want to identify where in the world it is important for us to be, and to join forces with other organizations that can help make our presence useful and effective, with the resources available.
We have received enormous amount of support from government and have been told no any other advice other than to uplift the organization from its current mess and direct it towards self financing.As public service broadcaster, MBC has helped build civil society and democratic institutions in our country. Many of its listeners have also contributed to social development outside their own borders. I have tremendous admiration for the work that many of the serving broadcasters at MBC have done and are doing in this regard.
Personally, I accepted the offer fully aware of its challenges. I accepted the offer for the very simple reason that it is a hard job. As others have suggested, It could have been a good idea to secure employment with foreign office so I could work at one of Malawi’s leading embassies as its trade attaché. But doing that would have been doing what I together with other friends –the likes of Watipaso Mkandawire,Dr Lweya,Levie Nkunika,Mr and Mrs Kandulu and many others were already doing in trying to shape the future of Malawi’s foreign investment with the direction and guidance of Malawi’s mission representative to the UK Dr Francis Moto.
Going for an appointment whose tasks were evolving around something I was already doing in my spare time was a demotivating factor. And so I did it intentionally because easy jobs are for light minds and those who are not willing to take risks, not that I have a tough mind although I may agree with anyone who may say so.I accepted the offer well knowingly that despite few comforts it may bring, by and large the nature of the DDG office has envy, jealousies, gossiping and backbiting as its occupational hazards.
There is plenty of evidence on nyasanet and open display of envy by a minority, but a minority that possesses a characteristic human psychological deformity and can't stand the pettiness of intellectual consistency. They want it all ways, and are capable of holding two mutually contradictory positions at once. Thus they can wish you well in the first posting only to be irritated by a sea of those that are joining them in wishing you well and are capable of not only destroying the spirit, trust and confidence of others but can go all the way to the point of wishing others dead.
I do not fear being killed for the simple reason that I was born a Malawian, raised a Malawian and will probably die a Malawian. If Malawians were to decide or plot to kill me for holding a differing view than that of their own, such an act though not acceptable to my close friends and family members will serve as an honorable act to the decency of my high held views At which point my epitaph will read thus:"THERE LIES A MAN WHOSE NATIVES FAILED TO DESTROY HIS CONVICTIONS"
For those that are concerned with the path negativists and agents of mendacity are pursuing, I wish to assure you that I have done my homework, and I have come up with a far more effective solution.
As ever, I have consulted the ancient texts, and have been reminded that the Greeks and Romans were also convinced of the importance of making a sacrifice before any tricky voyage. You will recall that the Greek task force for Troy actually killed Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, in the hope of guaranteeing good sailing weather -- with bad consequences for Agamemnon's conjugal relations. I too have made a sacrifice and have since killed my fears death in the hope that I should serve my country and my government because they hold view - one which I happen to share - that for Malawi to develop, there is a great need for a certain degree of patriotism and that a mindset where ambitions and dreams can flourish should be given room to grow .My role at MBC is simply to provide business direction and where possible propel confidence and a spirit of malawianness.
I also believe that changing technologies and markets are opening opportunities for us to fill that need around the world. As a quasi university, I together with my boss- a veteran broadcaster one Patrick Khoza will make all efforts and see to it that our 36 months reign at MBC are served in the interest of the nation in line with government’s millennium goals .
I am convinced that the government of Malawi and its people will look back at MBC and stare at us in ways that makes one to say: "There once live a DG and his DDG whose contribution to the broadcasting house will be a source of inspiration to future generations as well as a model of business to struggling state run corporations."
I have no reason to doubt that I have managed to leave this mark on Malawitalk.Now that Malawitalk has managed to position itself in the society and is considered a serious source of information and ideas,, I have all the hope and trust that the M-Team currently being managed by David Mkwambisi,Timothy Sukali and Isaac Ziba will work on my weakness to provide direction which may appeal to reason and not emotions. Sadly, though, internet is painfully slow in Malawi such that I may not be able to respond to best wishes sent to me both on the forum and in private now reaching 800. May God continue to bless you in your various endeavors
Bright Mac Everson Malopa
Deputy Director Genaral-MBC

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Firstly I am thanking His Excellency the state president through the ministry of statutory corporations for considering and entrusting me with a responsibility to manage the images and aspirations of Malawians through visual footages at Television Malawi. What His Excellency the state president has done in this regard has changed the sad verses and chapters of our history where young people’s contribution to their country was to beat their elders and break their knees into numbness. It is the rarest of administrative phenomena- a collective change of hearts towards the youth of this country and I will for ever cherish the pleasure to take more responsibilities government may wish to assign me.

I also wish to add that I am just one of the many citizens of youthful years both in Malawi and outside looking forward to cut their teeth and try their trade in public service in a fashion that proves to the world that the love of our country beckons us, that the things that matters aught to be worked for and that with a bit of mindset change, a bright and prosperous future cannot be found across distant hills but rather within the corridors of our self courage ,confidence and determination.

As I leave MBC, to head TVM my approach will be to pursue and work on a high quality, distinctively Malawian program which reinforces both the degree of audience engagement with Malawian content and the TVM’s role in producing it. These I believe are the broadcasting measures designed to build a better sense of public ownership of the TVM.

I believe that our country has gone through an impressive economic turnaround and that the media in particular Television can transform people’s lives and participate effectively in the development of the country. I see Television as an important tool to reach out to the masses and to promote a positive sense of Malawian ness.
I also see the media as effective partners in reducing poverty and that media houses such as TVM should actively be taking part in developmental issues. My job at TVM will not be to be the boss of these virtues but nurture talent that can deliver them. I believe there is talent out there in particular the print media where brave sons and daughters of this nation have risen above their qualifications to claim awards of international repute as has been the case with our State President.

I am also aware of the world focus now zeroing in on this country economic successes and predictions not least expectations the world at large has on Malawi. With the presence of satellite, our program content has to match that and create a sense of Malawi we can all be proud of, where talent can be groomed and given room to rise. At each and every stage, we will be seeking the views and advice about the sort of TVM we all want to build. And when that happens, I will be the happiest Malawian on planet earth.

Your messages of good will are in order.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Barack Obama has opened another page in the books of world politics where against all odds; he has become the first black man to be elected America’s president.
He put up a spirited fight from the word go taking each and every advantage to put himself in the lime light whilst developing his campaign around people’s participation. With the help of chief strategist David Axelrod known for his political magic, The Illinois senator built his decisive win on three leadership principles: a clear vision, clean execution, and friends in high places.

While his opponent John McCain is a great American war veteran whose economic platform made better sense for business, especially in terms of free trade, tax policy, and job creation, Obama's message was inspirational in its simplicity. He talked about the failings of George W. Bush. He talked about change and hope and health care for all. Over and over, he painted a picture of the future that excited people with a clear and consistent vision of a change they can believe in. The result was a tremendous success.

It gave American people hope. Rekindled late Martin Luther King’s dream of an America where people will not be judged by the colour of their skin, gave Africa someone to relate to but above all it made people believe that they will have someone who can listen to their concerns. This gospel of change seems not to escape anyone such that even people who have never changed like honourable Tembo are now talking of change.Whilst questions have been asked as regards to what exactly will change, it seems unlike Barack Obama, hon Tembo’s change is something no one can believe in.

The question, however, is not about whether hon Tembo’s change should be believed in or not but rather the relevance of the Malawi congress party as a political fabric in the history of Malawi. Where is the change when Hon. Tembo still presides over the MCP, squashing and trampling upon the spirit of the people who built it through its tenets? Where is the change when those who died for MCP would rise only to be confronted with the sad reality that has seen it degrading itself into a regional and personal estate?
The only change worth mentioning is the change from a truly national Party to a party where all top positions are exclusively predestined for one region, apparently operating from a personal residence and in the process permanently installing Hon. Tembo as chief landlord of MCP. Is this a change Malawians can believe in?

The MCP is neither transparent in its dealings nor fully accountable to its wider membership. Furthermore, the current leadership’s trend of clogging the whole hierarchy with people from one region has failed in its political function to inspire the nation and attract support from other regions. Frustrated with this and many other issues, people from other regions no longer find it worthwhile to belong to MCP. The MCP has out of its own accord, created a vicious cycle in which MCP itself often finds it hard to truly inform the national electorate about policy decisions. Certainly, and i repeat, certainly, this is not change we can believe in.

As history will attest, The MYP and the police under the instruction of the MCP political leadership were empowered to detain anyone without trial. Others were tried in traditional courts without legal representation and some were even murdered in fabricated “car accidents” In 1976 the religious denomination of Jehovah’s witnesses was declared an unlawful society. Its members were targets of massive repression and thousands were imprisoned.

Civil and political rights did not exist. Basic rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of information and the rule of law were barbarically and unashamedly violated. The censorship act and the information monopoly of the regime compromised the right of free access to information more over the reporting of false or damaging information about Malawi was considered a criminal offence punishable with life time imprisonment.
Rightly or wrongly, one name that has been associated to all these mis-hapennings has been that of hon Tembo because of his life-long desire to be the leader of this country.
If Hon is a changed man, then he has given up this life-long desire to always be in leadership. That is a change we will believe in.

The former head of state himself repeatedly detested any idea that would see hon Tembo becoming a leader, changed man or not! MCP’s idea of only reserving the presidential candidacy to hon Tembo is a serious threat the theory of change and to MCP’s own chances of reclaiming government. Over a short period in which he has been leader of MCP, he has inspired and provoked nothing but contempt. His performance over the last 5 years has made it even worse.
He presided over a brutal and egoistic section 65 position where he, himself won nothing and changed nothing, but only succeeded in denting the political image of his ably young and upcoming parliamentarians who are going to lose en masse.

When the president was fighting for a change in the tobacco prices for farmers most of them proud residents of the central region where remainings of his party are confined, this changed man blocked and ridiculed the president’s proposal as unworkable. Today farmers from Ntchisi, Kasungu ,Dowa and Lilongwe have regained their glorious past. Their lives can boast a change they can believe in. What is even more disappointing is not that he has been leader of MCP by decree for so long, but that he has been at the centre of breaking the very same ideals and values upon which MCP was founded- NATIONALISM.

When MCP was founded, it attracted young nationalists the likes of Masopera Gondwe, Stenings Msiska, Mikeka Mkandawire, Gomire Kuntumanji, Lali Lubani, Abdulla Thabi, Thengo Maloya, Hatwel Solomoni and many others now turning in their graves. These young men were inspired by the love of their country such that without any money, they often walked long distances preaching the gospel of nationalism and the coming of independence and a change they could believe in.
They did so often on empty stomachs. Their health steadily declined, they were dragged through the mud, tried and persecuted, castigated and ostracised, and dismissed as rouble-rousers and agitators, but they refused to abandon the cause because their belief in nationalism and a change they could believe in was greater than the enormity of challenges they experienced. Sadly the independence that MCP helped in bringing has had its celebrations boycotted by the allegedly changed MCP Ayatollah now assured of once again being its candidate.

Times have changed. Hon John Tembo has not.
People may be less desperate than in history, but they have more focused interests, they are more professional as advocates and they have stronger tools at their disposal. There must be amidst all the confusions and happenings in the MCP party at present undisturbed remnant MCP honest people who still have within them, a vision of a change Malawians can believe in. These change agents are not purveyors of coercion and violence. They are change advocates who are willing to stand alone if it is necessary for the way of peace and are able to identify themselves as advocates of progress and meaningful development.
These are such young and intelligent people as Ishmael Chafukira- minus his love for allowances; upcoming politicians such as Nancy Tembo who has been making objective contributions in the chamber; maverick and radical politicians like Willard Gwengwe; Fatherly and honest politicians like hon Kamoto-a kindhearted politician who stood for Maltida Katopola in the face of strong opposition from his colleagues and many others. These are the future leaders of a changed MCP.

There was a time when Malawi Congress party was a mighty party. They were holding their meetings and caucuses at their party offices and in conference rooms. Now they meet in somebody’s house. There was a time when MCP had membership across the country. It was rich in resources and manpower. Now it has been reduced to a party that is hunting for running mates. We don’t know whether that is desirable change.

The Malawian community may have strongly held opinions on both the presenting issues and their underlying causes. In this new Malawi we have not been afraid to discuss those views openly and honestly in our efforts to understand the machinations of government and politics. But equal to all of this is our central belief that forty-two years ago, democracy was perceived as dissenting but now its part of an integral system and because of our past , We must not loose site of the challenges currently facing our country and that any attempt to preach the gospel of change should be based on our values and belief in a better Malawi free of plotting and conjectures and responsibility, a Malawi where leaders can address our problems with scientific approaches as opposed to empty political hectoring

At a time when there are fresh and intelligent entrants into the political scene, when Malawi can see itself as a country where dreams and ambitions can be realised, a future Malawi of sky scrapers, Olympic stadiums and green revolution, it is a sad reality that the MCP convention was bullied into endorsing a leadership that has outlived its usefulness and that cannot contribute anything of value to our country.
This is not a change we can believe in.