Tuesday, August 29, 2006

DISCUSSING TOURISM IN MALAWI

Personal note:
The following topic is what I can claim to write with authority due to my marketing background. It is a result of a detailed research work as well as detailed discussion held on Malawitalk.Special thanks goes to the likes of hon Kaliyati-minister of tourism, David mogg,Trevor chimimba,Cuthbert Kachale,Vuto lwanda,Dr Maggie Kalirani-Themuka,Mr[s] Isaac Ziba,Watipaso Mkandawire,Andrew Kumwenda,Junaid and many other people who took part in the tourism debate. The large part of this article is drawn from that debate.

Thank you all
Bright Mac E Malopa
by the way freedom of expression implies freedom to make errors.As such this article has been published unedited.Get the idea and not the grammar


Introduction
Tourism is Malawi s third largest foreign exchange earner after Tea and Tobacco, and a major employer, accounting between 5-9% of the total wage employment by 2002. It contributes about 11% of the gross domestic product (GDP).Unfortunately, tourism is no appreciated the way it should be. For that reason, I have decided to evaluate it analytically in the process, providing a step by step process of turning this largely ignored industry into a profitable therefore an economic turning point in the country's wider economic picture.

1.1 The Industry

All African Countries are beautiful of course, but Malawi is the most enticing. Despite being included in the 10 bottom world poorest countries, it perhaps is the only country that has not experienced civil conflict since her independence.This perhaps crowns everything entailing the culture and the pride of the people whose spirit in welcoming foreigners and visitors is next to nothing.

The principal tourist attraction is Lake Malawi which is set among rolling hills covered in tropical vegetation. There are two resort areas: Mangochi at the southern end of the Lake and the Salima area on the south western shore. Birdlife at Lake Malawi is plentiful. The Lake has one of the highest diversities of freshwater fish in the world. Around Cape Maclear, there are excellent snorkeling and diving spots.
There are five national parks in Malawi notable for their spectacular scenery, un spoilt beauty and rich diversity of wildlife. Of special mention are Nyika National Park, Kasungu National Park and Liwonde National Park.

Birdlife such as African fish eagles, Palm nut vultures and Pel's fishing owls are prolific among the flood plains and reed swamps. Malawi is also home to herds of elephant, hippos, waterbuck, reedbuck and sable antelope. The country has one of the largest numbers of orchid species in Africa. Zomba Mountain is one of the best places to see orchids and other native flora.

After impressive growth between 1960 and 1965, the sector experienced an unprecedented decline in 1990s, particularly 1991 due to worsening human rights issues and other travel restrictions on western travellers by the MCP government respectively.

Promotion of mass tourism from 1994 -1995 by the UDF government led to substantial increases in tourist numbers but drastic falls in per capita tourist expenditure, length of stay, hotel occupancy, hotel room rates, and Service quality. This tourism segment cannot be relied upon as a sustainable source of revenue as carrying-capacity limits of many tourism resources appear to have been exceeded. The capacity of the country to offer luxury tourism, the current target, has been largely compromised by the effects of years of promoting mass tourism.

Specifically, the capacity has been affected by over promoting tourist sites in the southern region at the expense of similar sites in the central and northern parts of Malawi.

Under development of tourist facilities like cape Maclear where there are no proper lodging facilities within the Lake Malawi national park, General insecurity in the country as often advised by many western countries in particular the US and UK governments through their ministries of foreign affairs.

Poor infrastructure, and environmental degradation deforestation issues in Dedza and Zomba mountains not least Chikangawa forest reserves. This poor situation in tourism is attributable to:

The fact that there was inadequate reflection, consultation and planning when the policy to focus on the mass market was formulated.
The absence of a shared tourism vision and a long-term development strategy.
Although the UDF government came up with a strategic document titled Tourism Development Plan for 2003-2008, the document itself is largely ambiguous and cannot be implemented given the scarcity of resources in Malawi.

Not surprising indeed that even after its adoption in 2003, Malawi still does not have a shared vision for tourism generated through wide consultation and open dialogue among stakeholders in the industry and the framework for tourism is incomplete in the sense that industry actors and activities are not adequately coordinated.

Consequently, the policies developed for the sector have been ad-hoc, un-implementable, under funded thereby making consistency, continuity, or a long-term focus almost impossible.
Malawi may have been in recent years not greatly been visited by visitors from other than neighboring African Countries and a few Europeans mainly those connected to the missionaries, but it is surely one of the most enticing destinations in Africa hence “THE WARM HEART OF AFRICA”

1.2 Change in Focus

Government is supporting the tourism sector by providing adequately maintained infrastructure, strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Wildlife to coordinate public and private sector activities in the tourism industry, and has formulated the Strategic Tourism Development Plan for 2003-2008. The plan charts the way forward for tourism development, putting the focus on ecotourism. Other initiatives to boost the sector include amendment of the Hotels and Tourism Act, the opening of two new casinos in Blantyre and Lilongwe, and the introduction of training programs for tour guides and curio makers.

The number of international visitors to Malawi rose slightly by 7-11 % from 298,830 in 2002 to 382,647 in 2003. The majority of arrivals were from other African countries, especially from Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Malawi has selected five sites for ecotourism development: Likhubula Falls on Mount Mulanje in the south, Manchewe Falls at Livingstonia in Rumphi in the north, Kande Beach in Nkhata Bay in the north, Maleri Islands in Lake Malawi and the nature sanctuary in Lilongwe.
Investment opportunities in the tourism sector include developing game and lakeside hotels, city centre and resort area restaurants, time share developments and game parks.

1.3 Strategic Intent and Current Position

Based on the ‘vision’ and the ‘mission’ of Malawi’s tourism, the following strategic goals should be considered:

Developing working relations across government departments and related private sectors especially those in the hospitality, agricultural, telecommunication to co-opt them as business partners.
Satisfying the high quality tourism infrastructural needs of tourists across national geographical boundaries.
Maintaining high growth levels and aggressively challenging competitors to be amongst the preferred destination in Africa.
Promoting innovation in the area of tourism packages to set new industry standards.

1.4 Situation Analysis
In the wake of the current performance which pose new threats and challenges for the future a situational analysis is carried out to identify the main issues influencing Malawi’s tourism. This is done through a SWOT analysis as given below.

1.4.1.1 Strengths

Relatively stable. The country has never gone through any civil strife
Uniqueness of the panoramic: Malawi’s dynamic country rich in contrast and colour where you'll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and an extraordinary chance to commune with nature in all her magnificence.
The country has one of the largest numbers of orchid species in Africa. Zomba Mountain is one of the best places to see orchids and other native flora.
The country’s lake is probably the only fresh lake in the world hosting a marine national park and home to about 695 different species of fish 95% of which cannot be found anywhere in the world.
Has everything competitors have like game mountains and valleys not least a the friendliness of its people to foreigners which is largely absent in competing countries like Kenya and South Africa.

Five sites earmarked for ecotourism development namely Likhubula Falls on Mount Mulanje in the south, Manchewe Falls at Livingstonia in Rumphi in the north, Kande Beach in Nkhata Bay in the north, Maleri Islands in Lake Malawi and the nature sanctuary in Lilongwe are by far one of the most beautiful in the region.
Malawi is very well placed to learn the hard-won lessons from the many triumphs - and disasters- that have marked the long gestation periods through to the present maturity of tourism Markets such as in Kenya and RSA.
The strength of its slogan: THE WARM HEART OF AFRICA’

1.4.1.2 Weaknesses
Lack of controls, structured planning and systems in many operational areas.
Poor performance of agency operations that in-turn affects other profitable products with more potential.

Bureaucratic culture with minimum flexibility on the part of the department of tourism.
Inability to meet corporate objectives of the department.

Lack of understanding the impact of global competition in areas of tourism as evidenced through underfunding of the department of tourism especially in foreign missions making tourism attaches operations almost impotent.
Poor infrastructure especially in the areas of road and telecommunication networks to most prime tourist destinations.

Lack of tourism appreciation as a shared responsibility across government and private sectors operations.
Exorbitant flight and hospitality prices due to low volumes of visitors.
Lack of website facility. It is somewhat comical for a department sharing the same ministry with the department of information to operate without internet.
The world has become technological oriented making it almost impossible to participate in global market without the use of internet.

Presence of Bilharzia Lake Malawi in especially in the Southern part of Malawi (Cape Maclear)as a threat to the Tourism industry. This problem is used by competing countries to decampaign Malawi as a Tourism area.

1.4.1.3 Threats
The presence of already established local agents in many countries with better knowledge of regional competitors like Kenya and south Africa.
Direct advertising and promotion done by competing countries in most of the overseas markets through their well funded embassies will pose huge threat.
Rapid increase in competition for certain products, like safari tours in countries with improved telephone and road networks which drives down margins.
The increasing numbers of new entrants like Zambia,Tanzania Mozambique and Zimbabwe who have increased their tourism budgets and agency operations at an alarming rate.
Many other countries around the globe are gradually gaining a considerable share of destination tourism market especially in the Middle East and eastern Europe.

1.4.1.4 Opportunities

The reputation of a stable and peaceful nation has not been utilised to gain a competitive advantage
Tragedies in Kenya’s terrorism attacks and increasing cases of crime in south Africa not least Zimbabwe’s political impasse against the western democratic countries offers an opportunity.
Increasing demand for specialized advertising modes, which gives access to target customer segments, E.g.-targeting the Scottish people to experience the Scottish highlands in a tropical climate. The Scottish Malawi partnership could help in this area, by establishing links with all the Scottish universities and travel agents and their public to exploit opportunities of the special relationship between the two countries.

Growing demand for eco tourism destinations due to increase income levels in most European economies with many customers identifying its benefits & potential.
The availability of information to customers via the internet
The expansion of the AU community through NEPAD initiatives provides an opportunity for migration and integration between member state.

1.5 CHANGING FOR FUTURE GROWTH

1.5.1 Introduction - Future Changes
In light of the risks and challenges in performance currently experienced by the department it is evident that some drastic changes are required if the tourism in Malawi is to grow. Therefore a new strategy is needed to ensure that Malawi meets its future growth and objectives.

A ‘growth strategy focused on key products with better potential and contribution’ will therefore be required for the Government. This effectively means that there will be certain radical changes taking place internally and the Government should be able to implement these changes successfully.

1.5.2 Why a Growth Strategy is Important?

As outlined in the situation analysis the competition in the market is increasing by day. Especially this is seen in the neighbouring countries like Tanzania and Mozambique. As a result the Government should come up with strategies to counter attack the competitors and reduce the business risk.

The recent performances of statistical visits to Malawi are not impressive. As a result this change is much needed in the Department.
The Government should aim at attracting more funds through floating in the alternative investment market from the private sector to support diversification and growth. Therefore it will be necessary to have a healthy and continuous growth which will give more confidence for any potential investors.

On the other hand the organic growth at the current rate is too low for the department of tourism to remain competitive in future. From a strategic point of view the Government through its strategic document 2003-2008 has a very ambitious diversification strategies and to achieve this, there should be sufficient reserves for investment. The low organic growth will definitely not support Government on achieving its long term goals. So far the Government has introduced many new projects without creating a sustainable infrastructure to support the proposed eco tourism and this will have a huge impact on its success.

For a poor country like Malawi the competitive advantage will be through identifying niche market opportunities especially the interest groups segment and becoming more innovative and capitalizing on these opportunities.
In order to do this the Government should overcome its internal barriers and weaknesses. Therefore it is important that the existing product portfolio is performing well and gives the required return in order to minimize the risk and go for new opportunities.

The above issues have made change inevitable for the department of tourism.
It is important that the changing process for growth is planned properly and more importantly implemented effectively to achieve the objectives.

1.5.3 What Changes are Needed?
To maintain tourism growth and achieve its goals it is important to identify the growth drivers for the department. These are critical areas for achieving growth in the highly competitive tourism industry and thereby eventually meet the overall corporate goals.

The whole focus ontourism should change across the ministry and its related departments to adopt a more enterprise approach by creating an environment where each and every project should be able to support itself in future. Tourism may be a growth industry, but it is a competitive business also. My point is a simple one. To get the maximum benefit from tourism in any country facilities must be of an improving standard.

So the costs of developing tourism, not least for Malawi, will inevitably be high, and especially for central and local administrations. The current budget of MK37 million is way low and cannot retain satisfactory results. I understand the current economic impasse and do agree to extent when it comes to difficulties in sourcing out funds to finance a competitive campaign.

On the other hand, I believe a realistic figure can be raised through a government-and private partnership through creation of a multi sectoral organisation- say “MALAWI TOURISM BOARD where substantial investment is involved by both government and the private sector to promote Malawi’s tourism.

To achieve this, there is an urgent need to introduce an entrepreneurial oriented tourism body called “MALAWI TOURISIM BOARD”. By creating and delivering community-driven planning processes through Malawi’s tourism board it will be easy to come up with Sustainable Tourism Destinations.

1.6 Malawi Tourism Board (MTB)
To attract the luxury cadre of tourists, Malawi needs to develop an appropriate vision and long-term strategy and start rebuilding its capacity to deliver high-quality products.

The tourism vision for the country could be built around pro-poor and sustainable development, based on the tourism products in which the country has comparative advantages.

1.6.1 MTB’s Main Functions and Tasks
To host communities for the investment of their resources in tourism development.
To integrate tourism into the social and cultural fabric of community life.
To create community understanding and enthusiasm for tourism.
To attract the right visitors and create high quality experiences for them that reflects well on the community and its residents.
To give direction for development of tourism businesses.
To generate fiscal and economic benefit through increased tax revenue, job creation, employment and income.
To encourage sustainable resource use.
To enhances preservation of the natural and cultural heritage.
To retains scenic values and sense of place.
To develop Destination MALAWI Campaign

1.7 Branding Malawi
Uniquely Malawi - Unique is the word that best captures Malawi, a dynamic country rich in contrast and colour where you'll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and an extraordinary chance to commune with nature in all her magnificence.
A bridge between Southern Africa and Eastern Africa for centuries, Malawi described by many as “the WARM HEART OF AFRICA” continues to embrace tradition and modernity today.

Set in the heart of pristine wild landscape, and the friendly people brimming with unbridled energy and bursting with exciting cultural events, the country commands spectacular views over lake Malawi where the full moon gazes at her own reflection and countless unique, memorable experiences waiting to be discovered. A single day's trails will take you from the past to the future, from a colourful ethnic enclave to an efficient business centre in three cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, from serene gardens in Zomba the old capital to sleek mountainous skyscrapers in Mulanje.

Malawi is truly a country like no other, a world of possibilities. With its friendly and welcoming people, state-of-the-art infrastructure and something new happening everyday, your stay will be a memorable mix-and-match of all the things you have always wanted to do. Come and enjoy countless fascinating experiences, and take away memories that are uniquely MALAWI.

1.7.1 Communicating the Brand
To make this effective, there will be a need to come up with a Brand development unit within the Malawi tourism board where the Brand Management division’s task will be to develop the destination brand and maps out the strategy to effectively communicate the brand essence and brand promise of Malawi to all key stake-holders, local and overseas, and potential travelers to Malawi. Internationally, it works with the Board's Regional offices as impactful advertising campaigns and invite high-profile international media like SKY, CNN, ITV, and SABC to mention a few to increase the visibility of the destination. It will also be important to communicate this through the use of various media and distribution channels such as advertising, brochures, collaterals, videos, photography and online initiatives.

The division will need to work with third party destination information providers and expatriate organizations and where possible be the official custodians of the “visitmalawi.co.mw or malawitourism.com. This will ensure that the destination brand remains consistently applied to the visitor and awareness of the destination brand continues to be reinforced. While the primary audience is the traveler, the brand awareness among Malawians and residents is also important. This includes a comprehensive domestic tourism program, strategic outdoor advertising and communications platforms such as signages and display panels in immigration checkpoints, airports and districts with high tourist traffic. The overall objective is to achieve strong brand recognition among travelers and position Malawi as a premier travel destination In Africa.

1.7.2 Film in Malawi Scheme
The Film in Malawi Scheme (FIM) is another strategy which can be used to increase the prospect of attracting tourists in Malawi. Recent statistics concerning visitors statistics are somewhat disappointing considering that many of those came from our neighboring countries. In essence, this implies that since we share most of these tourist attraction centers, there will be no need for them to visit those places.

If tourism is to be worth rewarding, we will need to have people who can spend not less than $1000.00 in Malawi. The FILM IN MALAWI SCHEME in this way will help to facilitate international film-makers and broadcasters in the shooting, production and post-production of quality movies and television programs in Malawi. The program will aim to promote Malawi as an attractive destination for international visitors through the effective medium of movies and television.

Through FIM each film-maker or broadcaster may be granted negotiated duty waiver support, on a case-by-case basis and/or project facilitation and information provision. Each project could be evaluated with specific focus on how the film or program will uniquely showcase Malawi's locations like Nyika Plateu, Cape Maclear, Mulanje Mountain and or Dzalanyama range.

It may also a be a good idea to convince the state house to make available some of its state residencies like Sanjika palace and Chikoko Bay to the targeted filming organizations. If this is fine by them, the department of tourism could then use this as a unique selling preposition to woe the target audience ie Celebrities and firm makers .

In addition to that on-going international press promotion with paid up page supplements in major magazines like people, spectator hellow etc could be launched,this time concentrating on experiences available in the country which may include paying for one or two, full colour advertisements on opposite sides of major newspapers and suggested magazines featuring the celebs having fun in Malawi while creating an interesting and highly visual 'story' and a link through to country's tourism web sites.The aims here are simple.To increase awareness and recognition of the Malawi tourism brand.


1.7.3 Short Term Planning
In the short and medium term it is advisable for the country to continue relying on a blend of high- and low-volume markets as it raises the quality of tourist assets and service. A simultaneous but gradual increase in prices would restrict tourist numbers and enable the resources to recover. Once resources have recovered sufficiently and facilities and services have been improved, prices could be raised to a level sufficient to turn the country or designated parts of it into a high-value tourist market.

High-value tours to game parks or wildlife safaris complemented by quality resort beach along the shores of Lake Malawi holidays remain Malawi’s primary tourist products. But Malawi’s natural environment, cultural diversity and the people themselves have the potential to give the country distinctiveness.

In the immediate interim, Malawi should adopt an aggressive marketing oriented approach and take competition seriously by taking the fight right into competitors or market leaders own backyard notably South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Dynamic marketing campaign designed to intensify its efforts to attract more travellers from the Eastern African Republics and South African visitors to Malawi.

For south Africa, this can be done by targeting reputable travel agents like Renies, Travellex while posters of “WARM HEART OF AFRICA” sponsored by visitmalawi.co.mw/visitmalawi.com could then be placed on major bus liners like Greyhound, City to City and Messina –Johannesburg minibuses often called kombis and other leading safari tour companies.

As for Kenya, six Kenyan travel agents, Bunson's Travel and Style, Raj Air, Muthaiga, Holiday Bazaar and Going Places will need to be partnered with Malawi Tourism Board for the roll-out of the ground-breaking campaign.

Captivating billboards visible at strategic points including the airport and shopping malls - posters, brochures and multi-media presentations will all be used to nurture a more informed awareness of Malawi and its diverse attractions. In addition, a deal-driven campaign will offer value-for-money packages designed around the warmth of the people and the beauty of its nature hence-‘WARM HEART OF AFRICA’

Adding an element of excitement to the campaign will be a competition that involves one of Kenya's largest retailers, Uchumi. Weekly draws of discounted tickets with air Malawi and interested hotels will need to take place every weekend with prizes consisting of hampers from all the Sponsors. The final draw could then see the winner walking away with a dream holiday for two to Malawi, including business class on Air Malawi tickets and accommodation for seven days.
The main objective here will be:

To increase the volume of tourist arrivals, spend, and length of stay;
To improving seasonality and geographic spread; and promoting transformation within the local industry.

It comes without saying that South Africa and Kenya are key Emerging markets and most likely first choice for Western travellers, hence why it is important to target them whilst holidaying in their preferred destinations.

One of the challenges however will be to convince business travellers to also experience Malawi as a preferred holiday destination. We already have an enviable reputation throughout the continent as a peaceful nation full of untapped resources. The disadvantage to that is that we have a very poor infrastructure good enough to provide a widespread offering of world-class tourism products, The question in this regard will be “are we most definitely well equipped to achieve our goals. ?

1.7.4 Long Term
The long-term tourism development strategy could be based on the following elements:
Integration of tourism planning into overall national planning
Pursuance of sustainability
Improvement of competitiveness
Regional cooperation and collaboration
Development of an institutional framework for stakeholder dialogue and Partnerships
Conservation of natural resources
Appropriate and effective marketing and promotion
Effective public sector support
Capacity development and research
Development of a dynamic technology strategy
Deliberate strategies to maximize net social gains from tourism

1.7.5 Summary on Tourism

Malawi tourism remains a chicken and egg situation. Mass tourism, as such, is unlikely to feature in the early evolution of Malawi's International tourism industry.

It is the high cost of air travel to Malawi which creates this continuing 'chicken and egg' situation. Relatively low volumes of visitors equals high air fares; inadequate or inappropriate infrastructure equates to insufficient visitor arrivals to generate the revenues required to invest in upgrading and modifying the existing infrastructure to attract them in the first place.

Chicken and egg. Venture capital will not be attracted to cater for mass markets that are unlikely to appear - even assuming such a model is desirable or sustainable - within a reasonable investment cycle.

On the positive side, Malawi is very well placed to learn the hard-won lessons from the many triumphs - and disasters- that have marked the long gestation periods through to the present maturity of tourism Markets such as in Kenya and RSA.

Tourists will not come in sustainable numbers if there is no the Infrastructure in place to support them. Without tourists to sustain such an infrastructure, investment in its development will remain at best patchy. Malawi's tourism success lies in maximising the Scottish -Malawi partnership relationship.
For ages, the scottish people have shown un paralled love for Malawi.In their smallness, they have done what they can for the counry.They are therefore better placed to be charged with the responsibility of promoting Malawi tourism in scotland. They have the money and purchasing power.
The relatioship between the scottish and the Malawi people need to move from donor -partners to business partners.They have the experience and resources not least access to the world markets.
There is a need to enterprise the relationship

As I have observed a number of times over the years on Nyasanet and Malawitalk debates on this very subject;

The chief obstacle to attracting overseas tourists to Malawi remains the relatively high cost of getting there. That cost factored in to any package makes the product uncompetitive in the mass market in comparison with Kenya, RSA etc. etc. Without comparable infrastructure and the related product cost economies the airlines and tour operators will look elsewhere.

Other factors such as increasing population density placing unsustainable pressures on the flora and fauna will also eventually make Malawi less desirable as a destination. Fewer trees in an eroded landscape sustaining fewer animals. The answer In the short/medium term anyway is Niche Marketing. Selling bespoke, high value products to special interest groups. For example, targeting the Scottish people to experience the Scottish highlands in a tropical climate. The Scottish Malawi partnership could help in this area, by establishing links with all the Scottish universities and travel agents to increase Malawi's tourism awareness in Scotland.

Packages such as Chilembwe Trail or Livingston’s Trail will be quite attractive to students.
For example, I know some one who did a detailed research on John Chilembwe Trail and has produced detailed, related proposals. He has even researched the very narrow area within which he was buried:

Identified by an octogenarian ex-Mulanji boma colonial sergeant in the 1950s who was a member of the secret burial detail. There are many other niche markets I have identified to be tapped which would profitably link-in many elements of the existing infrastructure.

At present there are probably too many hotel and resort beds chasing too few visitors. This inevitably leads to a diminution of quality and Standards. Perhaps Malawi might be better served discussing the possibilities with people Who have made substantial profits in tourism for the companies they managed in Malawi, rather than paying high consultancy fees to outsiders with little or no Practical or pragmatic experience of the realities of running hotels and tour operations in the Warm Heart of Africa, let alone have an affinity to its peoples, history and culture

Friday, August 25, 2006

UNDERSTANDING GULE WANKULU-NYAU

Last Year, I visited the British museum, especially the Sainsbury sponsored lower part of the Museum where I was surprised by the shear number of people staring at unusual display of a certain African collectable item.

I too was attracted with this object especially the fact that it was sparking interest from many visitors. When I moved closer, I soon discovered that it was a mammal like four legged mask imported from Njombwa
Village, Kasungu in Malawi and they call it KASIYAMALIRO.

I felt connected back home.Perhaps a bit of folk telling here may help those that are not familiar with the NYAU thing.One of the long held traditional symbols of the Chewa people is a dance called Nyau. It is more commonly referred to as Gule wankulu (The big dance) although in Mozambique, they call it VIGURE.

In reality, the Nyau is more than a dance. It is a way of life. It has rules that go beyond dancing to cover how people belonging to the Chewa tribe relate to each other and to life around them. In performance, dancers wear masks or make-up. These dancers are referred to as Zinyau.
Strictly speaking, it is offensive to call the dancers Zinyau. Rather, they are referred to as Zirombo (Animals).In fact this reminds me of a story I heard about the cult.

Around Kamphata area/ Nkhoma turn off on the Blantyre Lilongwe road, these mask dancers more often in summer or Easter, tend to roam along the road Seeking arms by performing dances or kidnapping non members and demand ransom fines. Some times it also occur to them to ask arms from passing motorists on Malawi's busiest road.

It is said that one day, a truck full of German back parkers was passing by on their way to Blantyre from a German sponsored Museum in Karonga and when they made a stop at Kamphata to relieve themselves, they saw some people running away as if their lives were in danger.

No sooner than latter, their Truck was surrounded by Nyau escorters. Minutes latter a towering four legged Nyau emerged and started performing some dancing rituals.
The tourists were amazed with this bizarre creature which was seemingly violent to women than men. They couldn't figure out the connections between the vigilantes and the beast.

A debate ensued amongst themselves. Was it a real beast or a ghost? If it was a beast, why then were women the only target. Since they were coming from Karonga Museum where it is alleged that fossils of a dinosaur were found, some clever chaps were quick to declare it a ground breaking discovery of a
" LIVE LIVING DINOSAUR"
In no time others started taking some notes whilst observing the beast’s
unique features .Other notes were reading thus: "ground breaking discovery of Africa’s
remaining living dinosaur, it has a small head with sisal like skin and human feet. Can respond to human drum beatings”

It seems they seriously took this to be a life time discovery. The excitement further increased when upon enquiry, the on lookers told them that it was Chirombo[animal]
To the Chewa people, animals belong to the world of the irrational and spirits. As I said earlier, the dance is done through, and very often in animal masks. When a dance wears such a mask, he becomes the irrational animal his mask depicts.

In this state, much as the songs the dancer sings might have significant messages for those who come to witness the dance-drama, the songs and antics of the dancer are understood by all as coming from an animal within its irrational world. In other words, all present on the occasion "suspend disbelief" only during the performance of the dance.
When these German tourists crossed checked the term (CHIROMBO) with their Chiche-English dictionary, the discovery morale grew even bigger for the dictionary confirmed that chirombo was indeed" ANIMAL."

At which point serious plans were being drawn trying to map out the way forward. They imagined themselves making headline news in major European papers.
"We are sitting on ground breaking history they thought”

On the other side, vigilantes and the Chirombo were banking on a big pay day. For sure, there is going to be some big monies after this performance possibly in excess of K40.00.
Unknown to them was that these German tourists were in fact drawing big-big time plans as to how they could smuggle the beast out of the country without seeking permission from the authorities.

A number of options were suggested but they needed a quick one before the scene becomes a venue of curious glances.
They settled at killing the beast, and skin it off so that its parts are then dried and packed into their hiking bags in attempt to sale them in major European universities and Museum.

Suddenly this idea gathered pace. The driver had a hunting gun and he volunteered to kill the beast. The vigilantes stood in awe when they suddenly saw a Big Time paying opportunity turning into a murderous event. They fled, by this time other women were already sobbing. The Gun man charged his gun and took position as he started aiming at the beast.

The beast was left alone. It peeped through the drilled face like holes only to see a white gun man aiming at it. The inside guy realized the aiming object as a gun and knew this was now a matter of life and death, judgment day was night.
The man in the animal mask had only himself to save. As the gun man drew closer, the man in the animal mask started panicking and just as he was about to pull a trigger,
the animal shouted for help in a usual soft first tenor voice thus:

“SORRY I AM A PEOPLE"

MOURNING HARDY NYIRENDA-THE LEGEND PART THREE

A few minutes past 15hrs, his casket was opened and there he was, dressed in a black suit,white shirt and a marching Savoy Tailors Guild black tie.It cant be real,I thought.

But when I saw the bishop coming to conduct a service,and when he started mentioning the future, when he started saying all those prayers of hope and peace, my senses came to reality that this was indeed the last time we were seeing the a humble man with a giant spirit-the spirit of love care,fairness and patriotism.Our high commissioner Dr Moto was there.

He spoke passionately.He had come to represent the government of Malawi,the people of Malawi and himself.

"On behalf of the Malawi government,on behalf of the Malawi people and on behalf of the Malawi mission office in UK,I would like first of all to express sincere condolences to Mrs. Nyirenda,for the loss of her husband Mr. Hardy Nyirenda" he said."We have come together to pause to remember and reflect, upon the terrible devastation to the Malawian UK society and Nation at large.

So much has been said and written about Mr. Nyirenda. It has brought unbelievable, unbearable grief to so many people here and at home.We think of this Day of Mourning and Reflection We also think though, of the wonderful response of mankind to this terrible loss.

I learned about Hardy,in the late 80s whilst here when some one smuggled a copy of Chilunga news letter to me[in the UK] where his poem come-come and mend was featured.I have also spent some considerable time to read expressions of sympathies from people around the world on the internet and one safe conclusion I could make and continue to make is that

" it is not the number of days with which we live that matters but what we do during our life time that matters most"
Hardy it seems was already a graduate before coming to the UK.But he felt a calling from within to pursue a particular course in media law so he could go back home to contribute to the development of his country.
He did great things for his country,and he was going to do great things to others.

THE PEOPLE OF MALAWI HAVE LOST A GREAT SON"
he concluded.

Mr. Nsembe Gondwe a close friend of hardy and his family gave us a brief back ground of Mr. Hardy."Hardy was born on 10th october 1965, went to Rumphi secondary school where he was selected to to go to chancellor college.He'd worked briefly for Sky links travel at the time of his suspension and joined the democrat news papers and GTZ before coming to the UK.At the time of his death, he had just finished his batchelor's degree in media law.
He was planning to go home in 2/3 months time"
he finished.

I have never said anything to a mourning public ever since I was born except singing and when I was asked to say a few words, I felt both terrified and concerned at my own inadequacy to such a task.

But when I reflect, however, on the encouragement in particular the way in which Hardy's acts dissolved barriers, that people have been helped irrespective of their religion, of their tribe, of their region of origin, of their political beliefs, as evident from the sympathies that we have seen over the past few days, a spontaneous coming forward of that great common humanity that we all share, I paused for a moment and told myself :

" it is an occasion like this that serves to remind all of the peoples of the world of what they have in common, and of the things that they have in common, and that the things that unite them are always stronger and more important than the things that divide us"

We have seen how a man born in 1965 changed the history of an institution that was established in 1965.

Like I said in one of my other writings, " When I was a kid, I fell in love with one primary school poem which had the following words.

IF ALL THE TREES WERE ONE TREES, WHAT A GREAT TREE THAT WOULD BE.
IF ALL THE LAKES WERE ONE LAKE, WHAT A GREAT LAKE THAT WOULD BE.

SIMILARLY

IF ALL MALAWIANS WERE AS KIND-HEARTED,COMPASSIONATE,COURAGEOUS AND CARING AS HARDY NYIRENDA, WHAT A GREAT NATION MALAWI WOULD BE"

Over the past few days our memories were taken back to some scenes of unbelievable sadness and tragedy, but we have also been inspired by the response and courageous acts of one great son from Rumphi -Hardy Nyirenda.
As Malawians we can all be immensely proud of the response of our own nation.It has been a response not only of the government through the high commissioner Dr Moto, but also a response of all of the friends and family members of the UK malawi community,the responses of the press in Malawi who for the first time in the history of post independence and post democratic struggle have decided to honor a man who spent all what he had to defend his colleagues and the contributions and the sharing, as best as we can in our own ways, of the grief that Mrs. Nyirenda and her two kids have suffered, is a demonstration to the world of the good heart and the decency and the humanity, that resides within the Malawian people.

But more need to be done.We need to share the responsibility Mrs. Nyirenda[new in this country] has.
There still remain some bills that needs to be settled.The courageous and bravery acts of their late beloved one Hardy Nyirenda affected their finances.She will be going back home to face untold challenges.Where they had home and savings,their loved one's quest to attain skills that would help him fight for the voiceless drained it all.

Lets reach out our pockets and offer whatever we can.Those who can please contact Mr. Mabaso on 07762006227 or mabasohwz@blueyonder.co.uk

Hardy's body will leave heathrow airport on sunday via south africa and is expected to land at Kamuzu international airport on tuesday at 13:00 pm

IF ALL MALAWIANS WERE LIKE HARDY NYIRENDA, WHAT A GREAT NATION MALAWI WOULD BE

Bright Mac E Malopa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

MOURNING HARDY NYIRENDA THE LEGEND PART TWO

Dr Tembo writes:
"What a pity that a man who loved sports - Hardy Nyirenda - who has been lovingly remebered by Bright Malopa, is no more. I felt so touched reading this piece by Mr Malopa. Yes, the good and bright ones don't live long."

Dr[s] Tembo and Shara,Franklin and Hese and many others who have written in private
The story of late Hardy Nyirenda is just too unreal if taken in the context of what others say about Malawians in general.
Time and again we hear of so and so doesn't wish me well.We have heard of people trying to pull others down.There are some people to date who have taken courage to report fabricated stories against fellow country men for reasons not far from vice and malice.
Hardy was different.
Dr Tembo correctly addressed hardy as some one who loved sports.What is even striking was that not only did he like sports but also created a platform where talent could be exposed.He was not interested in known and established players.

He could pick a player,analyze him and highlight his strength.He crafted his articles in a clever way such that they would influence decisions.
He did this with many players notably a soccer ace by the name Acton Munthali whom he had watched playing for Bata.In this tournament, Bata was playing against Silver Strikers and it must have been one of his earliest games.His performance impressed Hardy and from that day, Hardy told a colleague thus:
" I want this guy to play for Malawi national team"

For the next three weeks and probably months, all the concentration was on this lad.He highlighted his strength and how his pace could provide a useful link to another established player in the national team. It was not long before Acton Mnthali was called to take part in the national team a move saw him playing for his country without knowing who did what.It remained like that and they never met.

Come to think of it, there was no relationship between him and the lad neither did he know him personally.All he wanted was to create an environment where this lad could realize his dream.He did not do it for fame or money but for the love of humanity.
Hardy's love for people did not require him to know them.He could invite strangers and offer them shelter.Thus in 1995, he came across a young Man by the name Chinyeke Tembo.Chinyeke was born and raised by Malawian parents resident in Zambia.He had heard about the stories of Dr Banda through family friends who were exiled in Zambia like the Chibambos,Bwanausis and many other freedom fighters.

When his parents died,he did not see himself as a zambian.He wanted to go and visit the birth place of his parents but he did not know anyone from Nsanje to Karonga except an old pal late Dingswayo Chirwa. Burbled with patriotism ,Chinyeke left Zambia for Malawi, destination unknown. When he arrived at Kamuzu international airport,he was welcomed by late Dingiswayo Chirwa who was not established yet.The arrangement was that Dingiswayo would welcome Chinyeke and probably escort him to a bus deport where he could catch a bus to Mzimba where his parents were born.From there ,Chinyeke would probably trace his parent's relatives.

At the airport,he was welcomed by his friend Dingiswayo who was accompanied by a work colleague Hardy Nyirenda.As they were heading for Lilongwe city,Hardy became interested in Chinyeke the visitor.He wanted to know where he was going,where he was living and all sorts of questions anyone would ask a stranger.

It was through these interactions that Hardy realized the degree of patriotism.From no where, Chinyeke became Hardy's visitor.He took him to his house in area 18 and made him feel home.The following weeks,he started giving him some lectures about current affairs and on several occasions took him to the democrat offices where Hardy was an associate editor.
This led to Chinyeke assisting Hardy with a few things[while at work] and later found a way where Chinyeke could earn some income.He negotiated a space for Chinyeke at the democrat and in no time,Chinyeke became a regular contributor.Hardy loved Chinyeke's work and realized that the only way he could grow himself into an established journalist was to move on to a bigger place.

Thus he contacted his friend Jika Mkolokosa at the nation publication for a possible job opportunity.It worked.Now Chinyeke Tembo the young man who had come to visit his parent's country of origin found himself in full employment with the nation through Hardy's personal effort.At the nation, Chinyeke came with a bang.His articles became a hit and attracted the attention of hon John Tembo chairman of Blantyre print at that time.

Hon Tembo invited Chinyeke for dinner at his Nyambadwe house and at the end of that dinner,Chinyeke was offered employment with better conditions and terms of reference.While at Blantyre print,Chinyeke continued to perform and no sooner than later he was approached by the Mirror news paper where he ended up becoming managing editor and became one of the highest paid news men at that time[K15,000.00 although it stayed there for the next3/4 years until he left the paper after months of no pay]
To day Chinyeke Tembo writes for reuters and has traveled extensively to pick other international assignments .

The issue here is not about Chinyeke Tembo and his successful career.
Rather It is about the uniqueness of a man who against all stories the world is told about Malawi and Africa in general,inscribed a self principle to wish others well.To be a solution to the needy,to create an environment where people even unknown to him can prosper and flourish.To use his talents not as a weapon to intimidate,humiliate,belittle and ridicule others but to add smiles on faces which would have otherwise been left bewildered and destroyed.
When he fought for a fair and equitable university selection system at Chancello college,he did not do it because those who were being disadvantaged were people from his region of origin.He did it because it was unfair to humankind.

I should have added that when Aford joined the UDF,he was offered a lucrative post in government to which he turned down on principle because he felt that the move had the potential to compromise his hard held social democratic convictions.Instead he picked a good job with the GTZ a german sponsored NGO because the organization had an interest in democracy and human rights issues.However, continued to contribute to major papers.

It was for this reason that he got into trouble with the UDF.It would appear like the young democrats had been tracking him for some time because they had the nerve and courage to call him whilst attending to some business at Ryalls hotel.Despite being tipped about the planned attack,he ignored well-wishers warnings and took a bold decision to face his accusers face to face.They violently attacked him in broad day light, humiliated him and did all what they were known for.
His reaction was what surprised most of us.

To begin with, he had money to sue the culprits and could personally afford a lawyer.Beside, his organization was in a position to finance any court battles in pursuit for justice.
But other than thinking for himself, he thought about the many journalists who were working for unestablished papers.He looked around and find that many of them were not as privileged as himself and that they could not afford lawyers.

He looked at their swollen faces,some of them in clutches,some of them had their offices literary dismantled for the simple reason that they spoke against the leadership of the time.
The pain of having to see the cries of brothers in arms yet treated as rogue elements and enemies of the state by others was too much for him ,indeed too much to bare.He look straight into their eyes and saw a sign of helplessness.
The only way he could reduce their pain was to be their voice.

That's when he made a final decision to quit his job and journalism altogether and left Malawi for UK to read law.He felt challenged when he saw cases of brutality rising by the day and told himself, "unless some one take a personal responsibility to defend the voiceless,the voiceless will continue to be brutalized."
He sold all his belongings and withdrew his savings and investments to read law in the UK
He graduated with a batchelor of laws late last year and was planning to go back home in 2/3 months time,to start his work at legal aid and later establish his law firm where he was going to champion his cause.

When I called him few weeks ago, he was in Manchester buying a car so he could send it to malawi in advance.
Imagine draining all your life savings to invest into an area whose whole purpose is to defend the voiceless with or without money.

As Ellen G White once said,"The greatest want of the world to day,is the want of Men who do not fear to call sin by its right name.Men whose conscious is as true to duty as the point needle to the pole and finally men who will always stand for the right though the heavens fall" Malawi nation is inneed of these people.It is inneed of people who are willing to sacrfice their time to serve and not to be served.

Last night together with Harry Mabaso and his wife,we went to see Hardy's wife and children. I'd gone there not only to be with them in these difficult hours but also to give them a huge chunk of money from other mourning talkers in particular Mr. Trevor Chimimba [May God bless you Trevor]

Whilst there, I also took an opportunity to read her, Mr.. Kachale's poem.She was very attentive and on several occasion, I saw her smiling.As I continue reading Mr. Kachale's poem,her son Hardy jr.[knowingly or unknowingly] switched the family's min-hifi on.It seems he knew what he was doing because he skipped several songs before settling at one song "MWIKHE THEMBA" by Wambari Mkandawire.

"Mumie,that's dad's song" he concluded while pointing at the radio.In response,the mum rolled her eyes to the left then to the right and finally, I saw some tears dropping down her cheeks.

AT THAT TIME I FELT THE PAIN OF DEATH .
THAT DEATH IS REAL,
AND FINALLY AGREED WITH DR MARK TEMBO THAT "THE GOOD AND BRIGHT ONES DON'T LIVE LONG"

As I was leaving the place,I saw a cd cover of the famous country and western singer : Kenny Rodgers.I took note of the title album and realized it was not my kind of music. Not that I hate Kenny Rodgers but because the songs listed were ballads and unfortunately not my favorite-Real country blue grass.
However, for interest sake, I went past Virgin and bought the CD @£9.99 and played it at home. I went from song to song.From islands in the stream,to Reuben James,past good by marie and many more.But one song stood out and it was

"something inside so strong"

Earlier, I had seen a star like scratch against one of the songs but cannot claim and confirm that the star was scratched against this song. However, the phraseology and the composition of the song and the way it was worded gave me an impetus to suggest that this might have been Hardy's other favorite song for it went like

THE HIGHER YOU BUILD YOUR BARRIER
THE POWERER I BECOME
THE MORE YOU TAKE MY RIGHTS AWAY, THE FASTER I WILL RUN
YOU CAN DENY ME YOU CAN DECIDE TO TAKE MY RIGHTS AWAY
BUT NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY AND DO
KNOW THAT THERE IS SOMETHING INSIDE SO STRONG.

The song moved me and brought me back to his early days.It was then that I realized that this guy may have indeed strong convictions on issues which required his intellect,time and wealth.At which point, I remembered Mr. FRANKLIN SIMTOWE's posting which ended with:
"HARDY WAS A WARRIOR"
There are many patriotic Malawians here but few if any are as courageous as Hardy.We hear about people who are praised publicly for courageous acts, yet some of them commit acts of courage in private. They go through hell in life being afraid, yet they still face each and every single day, doing the very best they can at every given moment to better others. They have courage throughout their lives and it comes to the forefront without much planning or thought.

One last amazing thing about Hardy was that despite all the name he had created as student activist and a journalist, he hated publicity.This explains why he did not release any official photograph to any media house.Such is the case that the only picture available to the media[now] is the one he posted to Malawitalk after Justice Mwaungulu's impressive presantation at the COMMONWEALTH head office[By the way, Dunstain Mwaungulu and Jack Mapanje were his only mentors] Thus all the stories being published about Hardy's tributes have a picture where Hardy was with Justice Mwaungulu.

The story of Hardy Nyirenda the legend is a statement to Malawians that they need not remain silent out of fear, that that they have the power to turn the tide of history. It is a message that states unequivocally that the real heroes of this world are not people who rush to grab each and every headline in cyber spaces, neither are those who seek to sophomorically compete on how many girls they once dated at a given period of their fame.Rather it is about those dedicated men and women who are prepared to invest their wealth,time and intellect to serve mankind even when no one knows.Those who are prepared to repay malice with love and finally those who are prepared to love their enemies and forgive their tresspassers.

This has not been an easy task to Hardy and his family it seems.The tore this task has taken on their finances is evident .
From what I have seen,it seems we need to step in as a society.If there is anyone who feels strongly and share the views and ideals of Hardy Nyirenda,please share the little you may have to help Rhoda and kids. You can do this by calling Mr. Mabaso on 07762006227 or write him at mabasohwz@blueyonder.co.uk .
Mrs Nyirenda just joined her husband recently and has no any other known friends apart from her cousin.It may also be a good idea to pay her a vist .
IN MOMENTS LIKE THESE,WE RISE, WE CHEER AND WE MOURN TOGETHER.

Iam told,all Malawian based journalists are planning to receive Hardy's body with a heroes welcome. They have effectively asked the family as to whether they can take charge of all arrangements once hardy's remainings are in Malawi.Iam told minibuses are being hired to transport people from where ever they are to the port of entry.Several leading papers have donated several pages of space where the reprints of condolences from the internet and some of late Hardy Nyirenda's articles will be published.
If these reports are true,they signify the greatness of the man whose acts had impact on the lives of many people.

When I was a kid,I felt in love with one primary school poem.It went like:
IF ALL THE TREES WERE ONE TREE, WHAT A GREAT TREE THAT WOULD BE
the poem went on to went to say :
IF ALL THE LAKES WHERE ONE LAKE, WHAT A GREAT LAKE THAT WOULD BE
Similarly,
IF ALL MALAWIANS WERE LIKE HARDY NYIRENDA,WHAT A GREAT NATION MALAWI WOULD BE

Bright Malopa

Sunday, August 20, 2006

MOURNING HARDY NYIRENDA-THE LEGEND

Until now, I am still in a mood of existential doubt about the news that Hardy Nyirenda is no longer with us.This existential doubt started when I lifted my finger and dialed his number at around 11:AM on friday[18/08/06]We had agreed to meet at my house[on saturday-evening 19-08-06] partly to discuss a few things but most importantly to pick a hard copy of late Albert Muwalo's judgment where the notion of no smoke without fire was applied.
He had made this request on malawitalk.Unfortunately,I had no soft copy and I could not find time to re-type the 32 paged document.I therefore asked him to come and pick his copy.

Within minutes of dialing his number,I suddenly found myself bewildered,shocked and surprised at the news that my friend hardy had added "LATE" to his name.As my desire to speak spluttered and momentarily died,I felt a bit like a solo pilot whose engine has just cut out in the mid atlantic.I did not know what to say to Rhoda[hardy's wife]Here I was, trying to speak to person who was dead 30 minutes before my call.Rhoda, late hardy's wife realized my voice and she had to collect herself before breaking the news.

"YOUR FRIEND DIED AT 11:AM FOLLOWING UNSUCCESSFUL OPERATION AT KINGS COLLEGE HOSPITAL" she informed while sobbing.

I last spoke to hardy barely 13 days ago.The UK high commissioner had prepared lunch for Malawian londoners and had offered me an opportunity to invite friends.Hardy could not make it because the day coincided with his program in Manchester.

There is an old saying - don't judge a man in ragged cloths as someone who is poor and not worthy of recognition. The name Hardy is rarely heard off on the list of post independence freedom fighters but Hardy Nyirenda will be remembered for his bravery acts at chancellor college when he poetically attacked the Malawi congress party's CCAM[chitukuko cha a mayi Mmalawi] in 1988 through his famous story of Come-Come And Mend.

The CCAM organized functions at the university which students, especially women, were obliged to attend. What had incited him to have a go at the CCAM was that they had erected some exhibition stands on the college's hockey ground,in the process destroying the beauty of the ground.Hardy was passionate sports man.

Here it would appear Hardy's supine love for sports was tasted to its fullness and using his mastery of poetry and figurative expression,he decoded a story which was published in a campus magazine"chilunga news letter " He further took an opportunity to use the campus magazine to express his deep political views against MCP policies.This led to the publication of highly sensitive topics where a number of grievances were raised including the introduction whereby students were admitted by region of origin rather than purely on merit.

The Chirunga Newsletter also criticized a decision not to readmit students who had interrupted their studies for maternity leave. This decision was taken without warning and without retrospective effect. Finally the magazine was critical of high rates of interest on student loan scheme, funded out of foreign aid grants.

"The editor of the Chirunga Newsletter, George Chazama, and two of his reporters, were called before the Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr. John Dubbey, and told they were suspended for the remainder of the academic year. This was confirmed by a letter of January 23, 1989 which stated that the contents of the magazine were "considered prejudicial to the good order of the university. On February 6 four students--George Chazama, Peterkins Chinoko, Tasosa Gondwe and Hardy Nyirenda--were expelled from the University. The expelled students were prevented from getting jobs and believed that they were under threat of arrest.The suspensions provoked the first ever student demonstration at the University [Africa watch pp90].

These people were the salt of the new found freedom and were the pillars of democratic struggle.Their willingness to chalenge the autocratic rule in ways that veteran politicians could not by way of publishing the cries of most Malawians and their most honest concerns were not ordinary acts but sadly their courage remain unsaid.

One thing that has not been mentioned here and in most transitional literatures is the fact that most of Hardy Nyirenda's views against CCAM were also picked by a veteran exiled journalist late Mkwapatira Mhango whose house was blown apart in the process wiping out the whole family following his attack on CCAM .

Who ever interacted with Hardy will bare testimony on one thing:He had an impact on people.He had this amazing pollen that would make you like him.He knew how to communicate his radical views and managed to skip through.This became apparent when a young lawyer by the name Ralph Kasambara who decided to defend the suspended students ended up becoming one of his best friend towards the end of the first quarter of 1992.This relation continued until his death such that the former AG called me to confirm about his friend's demise.

When he was re-admitted,he continued writing but this time , contributing to various news papers notably the monitor,and other tabloids.It was during this time, that he made himself available to the media world following an article in the enquirer where late Dr Kalonga Stambuli had written an article outlining the economic prospects of Malawi if Malawians were to elect the UDF government.In the article,late Stambuli argued that UDF will use "network analysis" as one of their benchmark for the country's economic success.

This argument troubled Hardy.In no time he dispatched a scholarly written article to the "Democrat" where he attacked Dr Stambuli saying that such complicated process could not be manned and understood properly by the UDF leadership which according to him was composed of failed pedestrian entrepreneurs therefore a dangerous delusion on the part of Dr Stambuli.The article was a hit.It had commentaries more than any article in the democrat [judged from the comments to the editor]

The Democrat management of the time Dr Mapopa Chipeta and Mayinga Mkandawire were left with no option but to offer him employment.Here he met other talented young firebrands in the name of Charles Simango,late Dingswayo Chirwa,Mntheto Lungu and together, they formed a team any malawian paper has ever seen.They forgedgood working relationships too.I was not surprised to receive another call from his old friend Charles Simango who called me from chancellor college where he is reading his Masters certificate in international .....[I cant remember]

It was at the Democrat that he made his name through a personalized column titled "Hardy's Image".He latter established himself as a sports analyst this time writing under a pseudo name of Nick FAO.
He captivated his audience and made them feel as if they were watching a live game.In fact reading his sports comments,you will be left with an impression that "Malawi will win the world cup"

He too had a satirical way of looking at issues.His favorite player was "Nyalugwe" and when he was roughed up by late Dickson mbetewa in one of the highly emotional soccer competition, Hardy wrote
"for reasons best known to his ancestors, Dickson mbetewa tackled the terrific left magic footer with a condemned rugby tackle"

Like so many before him in particular those who had tried to walk the path of compassion by way of freedom of expression during the UDF era,Hardy was violently attacked by the young democrats. But with courage gained from his social democratic convictions, he was able to walk where the brave could dare not go to render encouragement to good-hearted people and those in despair.Thus he comforted the likes of Chinyeke Tembo who suffered similar fates. He did so joyously and with no complaint or regrets because he believed in the power of reason.

Hardy had a very unique way of expressing his comments.I remember inviting him home last year for an arsenal match.I had just received a bottle of sobo[orange squash] and we thought it will be better if there was some african snacks.Since we had little time, we settled at "Dzitumbuwa"

In no time, we bought some banana,crushed it and mixed it with maize flour and later fried them. "Madam musavutike ndife .Kasi kuno nkhu ingilandi" he told my wife while going past her to our low linteled kitchen unit. I was upstairs when he tested the first one.
He could not resist starting with a confit belly of a self impressed chef

"Oh Bright" he sighed.I rushed downstairs hoping to hear something like "it is nice or sweet or at worse something has gone terribly wrong" but to my surprise and whilst munching the first chitumbuwa with his eyes closed, he commented thus "Kapoto aka ni kawemi" a rather crude tumbuka translation for "This pot is great"

I laughed.
"Hardy, I thought,you would talk about the greatness of chitumbuwa and the memories it brings about home?" I asked
"No, you need to appreciate the dynamics of this pot before enjoying the chitumbuwa"
I joined him in the testing staccato and we could not stop eating from the boiling pot since it sounded too much for an appetite that had already been given a thorough work-out by an array of traditional canap├ęs and amuse-bouches which was hopping with astonishing speed into our mouths.

We had just finished eating them all when my wife asked thus:KODI AZIMBAMBO INU, SIMUTIGAYIRA??? While I was struggling with the most suitable words to explain the situation, Hardy had a readily available answer
"ACTUALLY, THERE WAS A CRISIS" he started and we all laughed.

During his short stint in journalism, Hardy wrote numerous articles with an impressive arsenal of words.His greatness and radical views will be remembered by a few.Sadly in Malawi,there is no memorial to writers and journalists who risked their lives in bringing about change the way Hardy Nyirenda and friends did prior to and soon after referendum.Even the dead,long gone before Hardy ,the likes of late Obrien Mapopa Chipeta,Matembo Mzunda,Meki Ntewa,Chakufwa Chihana and many others would not reject the idea of having to crown the likes of Hardy as fallen heroes and give them the respect and dignity they deserve.

As for journalism, hardy Nyirenda will be remembered for his unique way of describing senior politicians.
Describing hon Tembo he once wrote:
"What is known about him comes from a chain of someone claiming to know someone whose uncle is a friend to an uncle of someone who has worked with a friend who has a brother who has a friend who knows a friend that knows John Tembo's friend"

Mourning is hateful and irksome to poor human nature. From suffering and sadness our spirits instinctively shrink. By nature we seek the society of the cheerful and joyous.The measure of a man is not judged by his lifetime achievements but rather the impact of his talents,achievements and skills on others.Hardy Nyirenda was one such a great character.

His work may have been forgotten or deliberately ignored by the political elite.But surely he was not an ordinary person.I was happy to have known him.I was happy to have spoken to him a week before he died.But I am saddened to have called him 30 minutes after being pronounced dead. I did not know that he was admitted at the kings college hospital.May be If I had known,I would have visited him and whisper into his ears"Bamdala,KAPOTO AKA NIKAWEMI"

To his 7 year old son
To his 5 year old daughter
To his lovely wife Rhoda,close family and friends
Your loss is our loss

Mwafwa tafwa

RIP HARDY I was 30 minutes late,I wish I could talk to you.I may do it in heaven
Bright MacE Malopa

Thursday, August 10, 2006

ARRESTS NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

the article was published in the sunday times on 13/11/05

Once again an unproven and highly exaggerated threat is
being utilised to force through a reactionary political
agenda. Personally I am of the opinion that everybody is
equal before the law and that those, committing any
crime, are liable to face punishment.

All those thinking that they escaped justice or managed to evade the system
must be made to understand that politics has taken a new shape. Little by little, there seem to me growing and emerging powers from the electorate which is the major
step in consolidating our infant democracy.

When arrests are made against politicians, misconceptions tend to rise either by will, political manipulation or shear ignorance. Make no mistake, there indeed exist the notion of political arrests and our country's history is full of examples where people have been or were arrested on political grounds.

Thus in the late fifties, we had the likes of Aleke Banda, Orton Chirwa, Dr Banda and many others who were arrested mainly because they were advancing their political ideology.
The trend resurfaced soon after independence when allot of freedom fighters were persecuted for their beliefs. Throughout the MCP’s brutal regime, innocent Malawians suffered for harboring dissent views with some being victimized for simply being Malawians from a blacklisted region which was being perceived as a threat to the then regime or triumvirate.

Dr Chiona, Dr Mwanza, Prof Felix Munthali, and many others are good examples of politically driven arrests ,many of them arrested as a result of a scheme masterminded by the political
authorities which saw secrete agents engaging themselves into clandestine projects where they could forge letters and board a flight to Zambia or Tanzania and post their forged letter to their selected victim and latter on intercept their letter and build a case to confront an innocent citizen. Just like that a man is gone regardless of his innocense and his only crime was that he came from the northern part of Malawi.

In 1983, four innocent politicians in the name of Dick Matenje, Twaibu Sangala, Chikwenga and Gadama were clobbered simply because they criticized government expenditure as well as objected the idea of changing the constitution to allow the creation of the position of prime minister or acting president at a time when Dr Banda was deciding to take a sabbatical leave

A spell of political arrests continued with the arrests of intellectuals and other prominent figures notably Prof Jack Mapanje for his intellectual poetry prowess and Dr Ntafu who was merely arrested for refusing to offer an apology to Dr Banda after questioning the implications of MCP’s Anti northern policy which saw the repatriation of civil servants [mainly teachers] to their region of origin. The last known victim of MCP's political
arrest was hon Chakufwa Chihana who was arrested for promoting his human rights campaign.

In the post single party era, Malawi witnessed several arrests by the UDF government. I’m reminded of Dr Ntaba’s arrest who was simply arrested for nothing other than being critical of the Muluzi government and the arrest of Gwanda Chakumba on almost a non existence case
of forgery which Dr Muluzi advanced to limit the damage being made after the leaking of his memo to the press and the diplomatic community and latter, the arrest of a
noble citizen Matafale who sadly died in prison after being manhandled by the police for criticising Dr Muluzi's government.

There are sharp contrasts between the list of the above mentioned examples and the arrest of political figures we are witnessing today and the role of the ordinary citizens. Interestingly common in the arrests of political figures during the MCP and UDF regimes were
heavy presence of political figures and or secrete agents with links to the political elites of the time.

I am told during the stand off between hon Mpingajira and Dr Muluzi, there was large presense of politicians who were actively involved when effecting an arrest and were seen almost updating Dr Muluzi on an hourly basis via the mobile phones. On one account where Mr Makande BJ's-right hand man was arrested, Ministers like hon Mwawa and Late Lemani were physically present during the interrogation.

Sadly we have in Malawi today a situation where Influential people including lawmakers who were supposed to be exemplary ,are often arrested for immoral related
offenses.

The difference however between the past regimes and the present one is the nature of offence. Here we have real crimes being committed with sections of the law being seriously contravened. What distinguishes these developments is the public’s role or approval in the saga. The recent arrests of hon, Milanzi and Lucious Banda are cases in point. Here there is no evidence of heavy presence of political operatives let alone the humiliating nature of prolonged detentions and torture but rather a new dimension in that it was the public which fed the authorities with information about the gentlemen’s wrong doings. (Milanzi and Banda)while Mr Mpasu’s arrest was a result of recommendations made by the commission which was set up by Dr Muluzi.

If anything, All Mr. Mpasu should do is perhaps to quiz his master Dr Muluzi why the commission's report on his alleged corrupt activities was left un destroyed.
As for the public with regards to the role of the public,discontent experienced by the UDF soon after 2004 elections,tells me something more than the political skirmishes and harassment songs, UDF operatives would want us to be singing against the government.

It tells me of a society wanting to hold accountable any individual be it a politician whom they perceive as an obstacle to reforms and development by earthling out
his/her misconduct into the public domain as the only way to ensure a sustainable progress along development lines.It also shows the trust and confidence in the system without which, the same society would have resorted to mob justice .

Perhaps it is important to highlight here that the momentum of struggle for reforms can open people up to awareness of the need to fight for much more thoroughgoing change—and of the
power of their movements to do so. The coming together of the single-issue campaigns over the last 18 months to support the present government has created precisely such a momentum. The tendency to see things in terms of a confrontation with the system as whole, rather than
just one aspect, has grown ever more marked.

From being implicitly anti-political ideology to dub any politician insensitive to their needs such as HIV and Hunger as an enemy of progress and development, and indeed society
has become increasingly explicitly so.

We are witnessing a political paradigm shift where days are not far away when the people of Malawi would free the nation from the politics of killing, repression and deprivation of the masses,". Such radicalisation does not take place in some uniform manner. Reformism is not
merely a set of ideas about how to improve society. It also finds embodiment in institutions of a various sorts—especially parliamentary institutions—which are based on channelling such ideas, but this cannot be done by people who cheated their way into the chamber.

Individuals who are prominent because of the connections with such institutions can play a very important role in providing a focus for bringing movements about in the first place. By pulling people around them to press for change they create a focus for activity—and in doing so
set off the tendency for society to grow that look beyond mere reform. For this reason, the involvement of such individuals in initiating these developments is not just something to be tolerated—it is to be positively encouraged.

It is often the key to the growth of democracy to which level headed citizens must and
should be proud of.

The way in which this crisis of belief has been intensely amplified through the perpetual complaints from the UDF, has been one of the main drivers of the recent unrest. But don't blame the Government for doing what it is supposed to be doing and that is to make sure that law and order is maintained and if I were to go further,that public officers and lawmakers should be the first citizens portraying good examples for others to follow.

Understandably, UDF's cynical criticism of authority is quietly shared by those who wielded power and through their influence, fermented a belief that they should not be held accountable even in the face of clear violations against the laws of the land. By letting the cat out of
the bag, the UDF party simply transmits the message that politics lacks meaning.

Not surprising indeed that UDF sympathisers are offering no evidence to demonstrate that these arrests are political. One thing interesting about their argument is the evasive manner in which they seems to suggest that these people have not breached the law. By that, they
wants us to believe that these people were arrested because of their political beliefs and values.

I do not deny the fact that these arrests are being made in a climate mared with political tension, but I am also aware that malawians are not fools to be duped into
believing that all these developments are being politically motivated because they know that forgery is a crime, that exconvicts can only take a public office seven years
after their conviction.

To suggest that these people are being arrested for their beliefs is to imply that
offenses were not committed and I find it extremely hard to believe that we as a society can be so politicaly warped

To put it bluntly: there are no UDF values to share. I cannot see any sense in sharing the belief and value that all party donations should be banked in a leader's personal account, neither do I see any logic in continuing to defend the leadership whose misguided tactics are tearing the party away. There is however the danger that the once loved party with its well researched manifesto wants to position and brand itself as a party where lawlessness, chaos, phonication,
corruption and bullfighting is adopted as a tactical strategy to advance her political cause.

In the absence of a common web of meaning, even small differences can
turn into a major conflict. In such circumstances, there is every incentive to inflate suspicion and magnify difference. That is the politics of today, and probably of tomorrow if the UDF still want to entertain such kind of lawlessness.

Perhaps I need to remind the UDF party that contrary to this biased view, these gentlemen committed crimes and if the law is meant to be observed by all, they should expect to go through the same process and wait to be cleared by the courts.

UDF's arguments on the coincidental arrests of politicians who have genuine cases and queries to answer should not in either way be referred to as political arrests.
This kind of thinking and mentality is dangerously misleading because it creates a situation
where senior and influential politicians should be left free to commit any crime of choice while expecting the rest of us to obey the laws. Sadly, it is through this mentality that people who should not have been called honorables are now being elevated for their mastery to
evade the system.

One crucial point society is also forgetting is the bizarre manner in which our parliament conducts its business. Time and again, we’ve had numerous calls from various stake holders including the voters who’ve gone to great lengths to voice their concern and dismay
against our lawmakers. I am now beginning to understand why there is such amount of childishness and skirmishing petty fighting in the chamber because many of these lawmakers
are people who have cheated their way in.

They have no morals and manners because many of them are fugitives.
This why they refuse any suggestion in the direction of introducing a recall bill.

I have no reason to believe that the UDF is suggesting that our Parliament should be made of forgery activists, fraudsters, ex convicts and outright thieves and expect them to make laws on our behalf and expect the laws to be applied on us ordinery citizens. I therefore would
not accept the views of the UDF party leaders that law breakers should be declared innocent and should not be punished.This is simply political foolishness and too dangerous for a country like ours to adopt.

UDF needs to move beyond this negative image and reform itself into
an ideological based political entity.

It needs to embrace itself and create a mechanisim where lawbreakers are disciplined "Just because the culprits are politicians, it should not be construed that they are not answerable and that the government authorities should shy away from executing their noble task of
enforcing law and order fearing that politicians will twist their actions and dubb them political harassments.

It must be emphasized here that the object of all legal punishment is not altogether with a view of operating on the offenders themselves, it is also for the sake of
offering an example and warning".

Mo Rocca, comedian and author of "the entire President's Pets, once said "There are different ways to end the debate: There can be a two-thirds vote for cloture, or there could be a head butt," explaining political procedure in the Russian Duma, which is similar to the
United State's legislative branch and finally our own legislative assembly.

According to Rocca, Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky makes Sense. Reid and
Frist look downright polite.

"If he feels strongly about something, he'll spit at the opposition," Rocca said.
"If it is a real important priority, he will throw water. If something is extremely important, then the nuclear option is orange juice."

The politicians in Taiwan have also been known to get a little rowdy. Their government officials have thrown punches, kicks, even bananas and apples. I am reminded of the statement of Nazi leader Herman Goering on trial for war crimes telling the court in Nuremburg,

“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.”

What we are witnessing in Malawi is nothing to that scale. There is no clash of ideologies or political thinking. It is simply government institutions doing their mandated duties. The best thing our politicians should be doing is to make sure that they are
not on the opposite side of the law.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

POLITICS OF NKHWENZULE PART TWO

Before I pass on to the theme of my posting, the POLITICS OF NKHWEZULE chapter 2, I consider it my duty to express my thanks to the readers of this blog for not emailing me to tell me that I am insane.

In the same breath, I would also like to thank Dr Peter Kumpalume Mr Watipaso Mkandawire and Dr steve Shara for laughing a loud whenever I relate the current Malawi’s political developments to "POLITICS OF NKHWEZULE"

But most importantly, I would like to thank Mr David Nthengwe now working for United Nations as mass information officer who countered my theory by offering a totally different view.
I met David in London for the first time and when I introduced the doctrine of Nkhwezuleism, he rejected the idea on spot but as we went deep into the subject, he bought the idea only to devise his own theory by linking it to journalists without my permission.

In his rebarbative cynicism and his mordant clarity, he made attempts to represent an authentic counter argument suggesting that my description of NKHWENZULE, created a strong feeling that the mythical bird is no more than a messenger of death as such Journalist and not politicians are the ones who should be linked to the notion of NKHWEZULEISM.

I warned him to avoid becoming a NKHWEZULE himself if he dare change my thesis without considering the time and effort I have invested in this theory (This warning had the added bonus of probably being true.) but he counter warned me that he will not wait to tear my argument at its earliest publication.[come on David, I’m waiting]

Firstly, my theory is contested in the traditional left wing perspective. I’m on the lower-left of the political spectrum, but I’m often tempted by those on the lower-right. They’ve got this beautiful capitalist theory where the people who do work get paid and society automatically adjusts things for the greater good, and everyone lives happily ever after. (My problem is that it doesn’t work. Capitalism gives cash to those who exploit the system, pays people for different tasks than those I consider good, and assumes people are intrinsically bad and need to be corrected.

Before I proceed I need to make it clear here that this thesis is not a definitive doctrine or theory. It is merely a personal account formed over a series of events which took place and continue to take place in Malawian politics and seeks in general terms to explain what is meant by "the politics of NKHWENZULE."

It does not wish to limit or exclude, but provide a general introduction to the topic. Apologies for inaccuracies, misinterpretations, or (inevitable) overgeneralizations.
Hopefully, I shall perfect it when my request to review it in scholarly terms at a masters level is granted by any of the universities that I have contacted.

For those who missed the POLITICS OF NKHWENZULE’s introduction, Nkhwezule in most Malawian communities is seen as a mysterious and sinister bird believed to be only hunting at night .Such is the mystery that the few people that I interviewed failed to find its English name.

It seems every conceivable Malawian has had a go at that old night bird myth and have failed miserably to come up with a plausible idea of what it is. Its exact colour and looks also sounds confusing as others seem to mistake it for an OWL[kadzidzi].To some the mere idea of mentioning it was so scarring.

Based on this myth, I intend to coin a theory which seeks to pursue an argument based on "conventional wisdom" by relating certain behaviors with a view of ending the grossly selfish and greedy attitudes by people who use their influence and privileged positions to exploit the vulnerable without weighing both the short and long term effects of their actions on others and society in general.

Conventional wisdom is a term coined by professor John Kenneth Galbraith to describe certain ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public. According to his book
" the affluent society"conventional wisdom can be correct when backed by facts and years of experience. Sometimes conventional wisdom is based less on facts and more on opinion and speculation.

In most African culture, which craft and magic related myths, for example, are accepted on the basis of being "conventional wisdom". Conventional wisdom is also often seen as an obstacle to introducing new theories, explanations and as such, I am not surprised to see that David rejected my theory of "The politics of Nkhwenzule at first.

This is to say, that despite new information to the contrary, Conventional Wisdom has a property analogous to inertia, a momentum, that opposes the introduction of contrary belief; sometimes to the point of absurd deniability of the new information set by persons strongly holding a outdated views. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kenneth_Galbraith

Since I’m not fond of such self-deception, especially when used to defend things I find noxious, this series of articles will look at places where "NKHWENZULEISM" theory breaks down and eats itself

WHAT IS NKHWEZULEISM?

NKHWENZULEISM is a shorthand term for "NKHWENZULE politics[vice versa] that critiques the totality of political selfishness, greed and abuse of privileged position from an abused, oppressed and affected perspective which seeks to initiate a comprehensive coinage of largely accepted mythical terminology by a deprived society in order to initiate change of heart and transformation of an authoritative individual to behave in ways that are politically, culturally and religiously acceptable through which the interest of society are seen to eclipse those of an individual or group of people.

Individuals associated with this current do not wish to be adherents of NKHWENZULE ideology when practicing their selfish motives. They are merely people who seek to become free individuals in free communities in harmony with one another and with the biosphere but suddenly change whenever an opportunity to carry out certain societal or political responsibilities arise.

At best, then, NKHWENZULE ideology is a convenient label used to characterise diverse individuals with a partisan let alone selfish common project.The abolition of all power relations e.g. structures of control, coercion, domination, and exploitation - and the creation of a form of community that excludes all such relations.

Simultaneously, the theory examine the evolution of greed, inconsiderate and selfishness in our midst in order to suggest new terrains for contestations and critique in order to undermine the present tyranny of the modern totalitarian discourse in parliament.

The behavior of some members of parliament has been very disappointing this year. We have seen members of parliament acting in ways that are unrepresentative of their constituents. We have seen members of parliament rejecting the president’s speech out of malice. The Nation has had to go through an embarrassing and shameful period of having to see members of the donor community pleading with our MPs to pass the budget when common sense tells us that that’s what they are supposed to be doing.

Towards the end of the budget, http://www.nationmalawi.com/articles.asp?articleID=17915 and after all the squabbles and highly personal yet misguided arguments which earned our MPs a staggering K500,000.00 + richer through allowance claims alone ,when their constituents were going on an empty stomach, one individual held the nation hostage by demanding thus:

"NO PASSING OF BUDGET UNTIL I AM APOLOGISED".

That the passing of the budget was key and crucial to the funding of fertilizer subsides was immaterial That the passing of budget was key to the funding of the ministry of health which among other things is responsible for the purchase of drugs and that some people would die in the absence of such medical supplies was immaterial.

What was important to this honorable Member of Parliament was an apology. He did not care about what would happen to the nation should his intimidated followers agrees to shoot down the budget. He did not care that some hardworking men and women in the name of civil servants were waiting for the passing of budget to receive their payment .

All he cared was "I MUST BE APOLOGISED"

12 years ago, the whole nation paid a huge price due actions which benefited a few individuals.Thus when the then government decided to go against established procurement through engaging "field york" in the excise book scandal, Kwacha automaticaly nose dived from its K4.50 to against a pound to K16.00 to a pound.Since then, the kwacha never recovered.When one compares the negative impact such activities had on our weak economy,he or she is tempted to question the morality of the individuals concerned.

That 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 national interest, underlying all struggles for freedom and social injustices is central to the understanding of "NKHWENZULE POLITICS"

The aim of conceptualising this doctrine is to develop a synthesis of primal and contemporary banjaxed view, a synthesis of the politically-focused, inconsiderate and authoritarian aspects of individualistic and selfish acts by relating them to "Nkhwezule" a mysterious and sinister bird believed to be only hunting at night.

For years in particular the Ngoni ,the lomwe,tumbuka and Chewa people of Malawi, Nkhwezule has been associated with, witchcraft and death with some believing it to be an evil spirit, in animal form, used by witchcraft practitioners to perform evil deeds and cast malevolent spells a head of time.

Its effect are felt a day or so by villagers after flying past a village at night, leaving a helpless and panicking community behind as its terrifying and unusual sound dies into the darkness of a sombre night. http://brightmalopa.blogspot.com/2006/07/politics-of-nkhwezule.html

By linking NKHWENZULE to selfish behaviors ,the aim is not to replicate or theorise/philosophise their acts but rather to coin a doctrinal frame work which society particularly the voters can use to enforce change on those representing them in various political and gubernatorial forums.

Selfish acts committed in the context of an institutionalised position of systematic influence and domination by one authority or group of people over his [their] subordinates http://www.nationmalawi.com/articles.asp?articleID=17957 or constituents and committed with the intention of maintaining personal or partisan interests without regard to humanity or societal interest by way of exploiting one’s privileged position[s] are increasing in Malawi .

They are equally increasing elements of NKHWENZULEISM outside Malawi too. The difference however is that when NKHWENZULEISM is practiced outside Malawi, the name will change and I shall call it OWLISM.[again not yet discovered] These acts may include abuse of power, to crimes such as murder, enslavement, deprivation of physical liberty, and corruption the sort of things we are now seeing in Iraq and elsewhere.

It my considered view, one of the reason why some of these selfish acts are on the rise in Malawi particularly those related to politics and or politicians is because, they are given foreign names which have little impact on both practitioners and the vulnerable.

When a politician exploit his position to enrich himself regardless of societal needs, we either dub him as a tyrant, corrupt or inconsiderate but these terms have no meaning in most culture hence the main reason why politicians and those connected often gets their way out. As a result, we accept their practice as part of politics. Matter of fact, people vies for such positions so that they can enrich themselves whenever chances arise.

These selfish acts have had an adverse effect on the public particularly the poor. Remember what happened in 2002 when the then authorities decided to sell maize[malawi's staple food] to Kenya.Allot of people died because they could not find food.
Today Malawian faces are swollen with rivers and seas of painful tears of the past. They have gone thorough series of lies and false hopes.

There are people in Malawi who have been made widows as a result of politics.There are mothers who have lost their beloved sons and daughters to the next world because politician a or b wanted to protect his position.They have gone through severe trials, and have become more sombre as politics become more brutal.

The notion of power to the people has completely gone and the idea that constituents are being represented is now becoming a dangerous delusion. The country has entered into a period of great change. It is a great change that has seen the voters being abandoned as their representatives becomes more and more interested in their self.

Its extreme expressions are package rise and budget cuts. The barriers of right and might are overthrown and replaced by the strength of numeric representation in parliament .The only way we can end this unbecoming behavior is to brand such acts with our local names, hence the doctrine of NKHWENZULEISM . It is my considered view that by branding and relating their acts to behaviors of dark characters such as NKHWENZULE’s, voters will up their chances of enforcing change as practitioners fear to be associated with such characters.

WHY NKHWENZULE POLITICS?

My layman understanding of this mythical bird and the tales I have since gathered about this bird seem to suggest that when this bird flies past a village, it does so without taking due care of villagers concerns which comes in the form of panic fear and discomfort upon hearing its hissing and weird sound.
It doesn’t even bother its implications of flying past a house where a critically ill person is being nursed. That caring relatives will loose hope of their loved one’s chances to survive when they hear or see it flying past is of little concern to NKHWENZULE.
What matters most to this bird is that it flies and makes its weird and strange sound.

Similarly, anyone who propose to act in a manner contrary to the opinion of society by acting in ways that puts his or her interests above those of society automatically practice the politics of NKHWENZULE.
It's like a religion.The contradictions are obvious to outsiders but don't disturb the faithful. You believe when you're in its warm embrace. In order to understand how one gets from the "moral principles" above to the sort of fanatical proselytizing seen everyday on discussion lists, it is important to grasp how the ideology actually works out, from theory to practice.

To start off, NKHWENZULEISM is highly axiomatic. Note how the above quote touts its logically consistent approach. http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/publications/studies/eagcp_july_21_05.pdf There's a set of rules to be applied to evaluate what is proper, and the outcome given is the answer which is correct in terms of the moral principle of the theory. But in practice, the rules are simple and tight enough to produce surprisingly uniform positions compared to common political philosophies. Urmson, J. O. (1953) "The interpretation of the moral philosophy of J. S. Mill" Philosophical Quarterly 3 pp. 33—39 Immanuel Kant Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals 1st ed. (1873) Hobbes Leviathan Part 1 (1841) Socrates Euthyphro 3rd ed. (I892)

Webelieve that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

Now, how many ideologies have you ever heard state anything like
"We believe that disrespect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud are good things in human relationships, and that only through slavery can peace and prosperity be realized"

Why is it that when there's a problem, our first question is not, "How can government solve this problem," but "who must be eliminated to improve this situation?"

Every ideology has weaknesses and blind spots, but the specific manifestation of NKHWENZULEISM is to make its followers completely unable to deal with any sort of analysis of power other than the most basic sort of political action. Thus, not only do they develop a mental block against the actual functioning of huge portions of our society, but this block then often turns into raving denial when anyone else says something outside their blinders.This is why you will see an entire opposition following an intelectualy tired and obsolete politician to withdraw their support on national budget unless so and so apologise or shunns the voting.

Why do people from one social group oppress and discriminate against people from other groups? and why is this oppression so mind numbingly difficult to eliminate? The answers to these questions are framed using the conceptual framework of social dominance theory but practiced by individual beings. http://www.londonfetishscene.com/wipi/index.php/Dominance
Social dominance theorists often argues that the major forms of intergroup conflict, such as racism, classism and patriarchy, are all basically derived from the basic human predisposition to form and maintain hierarchical and group-based systems of social organization. In essence, social dominance theory presumes that, beneath major and sometimes profound difference between different human societies, there is also a basic grammar of social power shared by all societies in common.

I am using social dominance theory in an attempt to identify the elements of NKHWEZULEISTIC behavior and to understand how these elements interact and reinforce each other to produce and maintain an individual oriented thought of putting self interests before those of society. As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the means of calling the right of it in question and in matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the sufferers[voters] been aggravated into the inquiry.

The only way to end this madness is to stop referring to these selfish acts in foreign term which if anything raises the profiles of such disgraced members of society.
The habit of not thinking a thing wrong because it is being mentioned in foreign terms, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

In a democracy, any one who believes and practice democracy is called a democrat. In the Christian kingdom, any person following and practices the teaching of Christ is called a Christian.
In my theory, any one who practices the politics of NKHWENZULE as described in this exposition is a NKHWENZULE .
To hear a recital of these facts would make people shudder; and the tear of sympathy would communicate from one man to another with congenial celerity leading to the change of behavior from those practicing the politics of NKHWENZULE.

A country that has preachers, prophets, poets, houses of worship and parliamentary democracy does not need politicians expressing its piety collectively threatening the livelihood of a nation in in such a sacred place like parliament.

Individual citizens can be trusted to find their own appropriate ways to express their own political convictions and train the young in virtue. What the people need from political leaders are the virtues of truthfulness, justice, practical wisdom, courage, vision and a kind of compassion whose effects can actually be discerned in the lives of the poor and the elderly.

IS YOU MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT PRACTICING THE POLITICS OF NKHWENZULE? RATHER CYNICAL, IS HE/SHE A NKHWENZULE??

Bright Malopa
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as NKHWENZULEISM or NKHWENZULE POLITICS although the behavior does exist.