Who will tell the King, he is naked?
There are two stories that I love reading them again and again. The Emperors New Clothes and George Orwell's Animal Farm. This week is quite a difficult week for Malawi rulers, whatever they decide to do or not do, it will define the legitimacy and strength of their leadership. Malawi is rocked in different crisis, all of whom can be solved if everybody went sober and tried to look at the deep cause of the current economic, political and social crisis without putting on political glasses. Stopping political rallies, arresting activists and using intimidatory language will not make the current crisis go away, just like Civil Society giving ultimatums to what seems to be a deaf Government. The problem seems to be the type of information each side has. Government strongly believes there is organised rebellion led by Oppositions, Donors, Media and Civil Society and is acting like a boxed cat fighting for survival.
Those next to the 'bwana' should stop creating a fantasy of regime change and get down to serious issues that need to be addressed. One of it as I have always said is to get back to the IMF programme at all costs, reduce the cost of living and its burden on the poor people.
The Public Affairs Committee ultimatum can move the Presidency and his Cabinet a challenge to prove critics wrong or get the country into a fighting mood. We have seen Police tear-gas an innocent rally in Area 24 without any provocation. Police are supposed to enforce peace and not create havoc.
There is also suddenly too much gossip passing as intelligence- imagine a report accusing Media houses of recieving K2 million each for propaganda. These are media houses that pay Government taxes between K30 to K70 million annually despite some misguided politicians thinking if people stop reading them, the papers will suffer.
Less papers, means less taxes including the new VAT, means less PAYE if newspapers retrench people and means all in all less revenue for Government. I find the sick call to stop advertising and buying of papers coming from a miscalculated strategy just like firing at a political rally, creating fake minutes of meetings that never took place and more importantly ignoring what people want now and not tomorrow. I took from Wicki the story of the naked King, whom everybody was afraid to tell the truth because of his culture of having his own ways. It took a kid to tell him the truth. You can chose to use someones name in substitute if you think fits the cap.....
The Emperors New Clothes:
A vain Emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance and attire hires two tailors who are really swindlers that promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "just hopelessly stupid". The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense. Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but holds himself up proudly and continues the procession, deciding never to be so vain again and to take his position more seriously.
|Author||Hans Christian Andersen|
|Original title||"Kejserens nye Klæder"|