THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES
So the Emperor went along in the procession under the splendid canopy, and all the people in the streets and at the windows said, ‘How matchless are the Emperor’s new clothes! That train fastened to his dress, how beautifully it hangs!’
No one wished it to be noticed that he could see nothing, for then he would have been unfit for his office, or else very stupid. None of the Emperor’s clothes had met with such approval as these had.
‘But he has nothing on!’ said a little child at last.
The tale that has been around for years and you would think people would learn from it but everyone wants to make all the mistakes themselves instead of learning from others. Most may not be familiar with it but those who don’t the tales about an emporer who paid lots of money to get the best fabric for a suit which those unfit for his post would not be able to see just to be cheated. Instead what he got was nothing but yet the weavers fooled his ministers into believing that they were weaving some gold cloth and they inturn convinced the king the same though to the naked eyes they could all see that there was nothing on the loom. The emporer not wanting to be the stupid unfit and incompetent one out played along to the point they “supposedly” made him a suit that he wore parading around tow. Sad thing is there was NOTHING there but his underwear.
The case of politics gone wrong
If you know African politics then you probably know where I’m taking this so here goes. Most of our leaders in Africa are being lied to by the people who report to them like the chiefs, members of parliament, ministers and advisors alike. A vision of a bright and prosperous future has slowly dwindled away with the light at the end of the tunnel being more of a dream than a reality. Using Malawi as an example, there’s no disputing the fact that things are not good period.
What once was a thriving economy is no more. Though we still have businesses and hard working people it is hard to grow an economy in a country that has a high number of electricity outages. To make things worse, the fuel availability is nonexistent in most parts of the country to the point that people are now buying black market fuel to make do. The problem with black market fuel is that it is more expensive and could damage people’s cars, generators that people spending more in repairing costs. Unfortunately people have to take that risk or end up with no transportation. In a country like Malawi transportation by road is cheap but how does one move goods whether finished ones or raw materials to and from the manufacturing industries when there is no fuel? With no electricity how does one process the raw materials to usable goods?
A country is not just run with money. It needs industries and companies that manage and healthy happy people to run things but right now we are waiting for a bomb to explode. While people are waiting to use their vote to oust the current regime others are say it’s a matter of time before things change course as in people revolting against the government. In any government even in the home there are certain structures and ideals that are followed depending on who governs and how. We have those structures already in place but it is evident that they have failed the people. There have been no local elections and the president won’t call for any now until 2014 for his own security reasons. Vital as they are to the participation of the people, they are not being respected or used which then brings us to the topic of passive citizenry. If people can’t be heard at the local level how will things change for the better? I thought those in parliament are there to represent the people? The problem with African politics is that we tend to worship our leaders instead of holding them accountable for the work they are supposed to do on our behalf ie a government by the people for the people.
In the tale we are told that a child with its innocence is the one who called out and yelled that the emporer was naked. Controversial and sad as the story of Robert Chasowa is, one cannot help but draw parallels between his story and the emporer’s. He was the child who yelled out that the emporer was naked. Whether that child was punished or not we don’t know but our “ child” the voice of the innocent in Malawi, was allegedly murdered by the government’s forces of evil to silence him because he dared speak out on the wrongs/illegal transactions the current regime was engaging in.
As for the elected officials, well, just like the minister’s to the emperor are not doing their jobs effectively. In a democracy or any government the job of the members of parliament, ministers and advisors is to brief and advise the president after consulting with the masses. These elected officials have lost focus of their job to serve the people and are now worshipping the president instead of giving him sound advice. They are so selfish and maybe scared to approach the president but the mp’s pay rise proposal is insane and the timing is just way off. The way things are in Malawi today someone, those close to the president must have the courage to tell him that there is no gold thread on the loom being weaved into the cloth he so badly desires. But then what do you expect of people whose boss is acting the same way. There’s nothing wrong with going on vacation but why should one person whether you are the leader or not drain the whole country of the little forex that the reserve bank has. Better yet, who thinks that way especially when you are an economist?
Malawi is in dire straits and the time for lies is past gone but they still choose to lie to him just like the advisors did to the emperor thus creating a whole mess in the process. We now have a failed economy, a threat that we will be brain dead if things don’t change for the better because many will be seeking greener pastures and that will of course involve some migration of the learned people in the country who are badly needed to fix the disaster this regime has unleashed on the people. But then why stick around when you are just idle with nothing to do, nothing to stimulate your mind because you sit at work and are doing nothing? It’s no wonder the Uni versity of Malawi was ranked 99 out of 100 universities in Africa. I guess it is expected when students and lecturers are out of classes for 8 months because they are fighting for academic freedom.
In the fairy tale we are not told how the story ends after the child yells out that the emperor is naked so we have no way of knowing if the ministers ended up losing their jobs. One thing for sure though is that Bingu needs to be told that things are not as rosy as he thinks they are. History has a funny way of repeating itself and I believe we are seeing the same thing that happened before the fall of the one party rule at play here. Either people closest to the president are lying to him or he doesn’t listen to advice at all. I believe both forces are at work. No one wants to be “smoked out” or charged with treason for being bold enough to say that things are wrong but boy I wish someone would tell him that he is now naked. The state of affairs in the country is example enough that he is being lied to. To make things worse, he won’t admit he was wrong or still is wrong in some of the decisions he has along the way. Like the deaf man and blind man he is parading around trying to convince people that all is well when in reality everyone can see that things are not what they used to be. It is time someone came along and clothed the emperor to put him out of shame and the misery of pretending that he is not incompetent when he is. We now all know he is naked and I believe people would be more forgiving if he could just come forward and say he has failed.