Friday, February 12, 2010

Vacational QUOTA

Not the pieces that you scribe after a heavy meal. Contending with the reality of life, one is tempted to think what it really means. I have no habit of confusing anyone, no matter how youthful the minds, lest I have a dose of modern day “hemlock”. Socrates had a fair share of it and its consequences no different from the fatal “mzakaka” in Du Chisiza’s Kabuha tragedy. If ever, science was rocket enough or vice versa, I wonder what would happen, as I lay in my casket, or anything that assumes a similar task would do. No cremation. I am made of aluminium.

Would science invent the theory of death, let alone infinitely promote life? Not the matter of this piece, but I mean to say, we are all Malawians, and our traditions and culture far exceed religion and atheism. That we respect the dead, fear their bodies, feast over funerals and dumped dead bodies at uncomprimising employers, who at their own peril, and sometimes under profiteering mentalities, ignore their unchallengeable non-existent obligations at least from employee contracts . Ironically, their exist some close resemblance to totalitarianism no matter how individual contempt is held for the dead.
Imagine the eulogies, praises and many good things that we say about the dead. But this is where I hold funeral directors and their accomplices in huge democratic contempt. And that is where, we need some rocket science to answer certain questions. I am not looking for a preacher.

It is in the same vein that I believe death is not democratic or to say it better, the rights of the dead are not respected at all. To what extent do constitutions protect the dead? Were the rights, for instance of SS Ng’oma at Mzokoto ever respected? What about Kamuzu Banda? It is not within Hobbes’s or Locke’s social contract of a passionate man that counts, but the Napoleon politics play part as well. It is within my right as a dead person to be given a chance to challenge the hypocrisy of the living world. I don’t want some dude calling me irreplaceable at my office or something similar or akin to some “goody boy” when infact, I had so many warnings, habitual absenteeism, office sex maniac, internet addict plus facebook during working hours, and let alone denied an opportunity for promotion on account of a “wrong district” of origin. That is why I feel the whole funeral process needs the attention of the Anti Corruption Bureau...I can see an abuse of the “funeral office process” or something similar depending on which version of the Corrupt Practices Act. I can share mine but the key is “abuse”, and giving false testimony? Probably close to our traditional version of perjury. You would rather keep the Mkhito sedition far from it. Be careful, sedition is possible even in death depending on how penal code amendments are made these days.

It is probably why, I think,we need science to preserve the rights of all the concerned in the process of death. But more important, the rights of the dead, “the key stakeholder after all.” Would there be a funeral without anyone dying after all? Who would want someone to bear testimony on their behalf? This is tantamount to involuntary breaking of many laws including those that appear under Exodus Chapter 14 in the BIBLE including the famous 20th verse. My comprehension of the Koran is minimal but nonetheless the vices are similar, except the contentious drink. If science cannot solve the obvious rights of the dead, then what should we do? Unfortunately, its only science that can do it. This is a pathological case, which calls for no jokes synonymous with many professions and trades like mine, but rather the precision of a B-52 bomber.

If it is not possible to give the dead their rights, at least I have mine while alive. I may append some of such rights in my will. I care what you will say but you will not gonna take this from me. You risk a lawsuit right from my grave. The consequences are inter-generational. While it may depend on the day I breathe the last, I still stand for some principles that guide my life. I hate tribalism as entrenched in the UNIMA Quota plus its various variants such a EQUITABLE access to HIGHER education, the notion that some people are more equal than others including many forms of systematic social injustice. And of course, I still cherish the fact that no individual is greater than the other, and that ascription is illusionary since God created all us equal. Believer or atheist, we all enjoy the same rights and should be accorded the same rights. This is what the funeral director should say and not how many degrees I have got, or moneys I have left to be plundered.

It was just a dream. Good on you mates. MERIT IS THE WAY..SAY NO TO THE EVIL QUOTA SYSTEM.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quota fluid vacation

The last leg of my hour long flight to Lilongwe seemed the longest segment. I wanted to get out of the Congolese airspace as quickly as I could. It gets worse when you see lots of military related equipment at Lubumbashi Airport. The whole feeling of meeting my family and hoards of friends was quite thrilling. Nothing mind boggling honestly, though some questions lingered my mind like cakes, cocooned and baked in some unknown oven. We landed perfectly, and soon I swung into action. How do you measure excitement? I can bet with a qualitative measure, getting behind the wheel instantly after thirty plus hours of flying. My first ugly experience were the mile plus fuel queues that could make the giant anaconda gapping in confusion. It had good face though, particularly being a meeting place for old folks. I had lost phone contacts of old pals. Fuel stations provided the right environment. Some stories even went like folks cheated on spouses using the fuel shortage as a pretext while on a good note, some marriages have been scheduled later in summer. All courtesy of the fuel shortage. I may have to do a paper on the positive externalities.
Having being branded “Mr Quota” by few online friends, like England based “Kanyoli” ,owing to my persistent disdainful postings in the cyber world about the same, I was keen to talk about my contemporarily likeable issue. But I realised there was another “Mr Quota” in area 49. No qualms about it, though my mate was to the very right extreme just like some folks I met at Safari. I am moderate I think. Of course, I was looking forward to hear different views despite my obvious dislike of the system. But nonetheless, I had to show a scholarly attitude which entails listening and probably smiling at someone whose views I hysterically disagree. Ever heard a pastor preach at a funeral of guy who impregnates his daughter and refuses responsibility? Good to listen.
Whatever, happened there were some lessons learnt about mates view the Quota system. I never missed the usual Malawian humor of crafting a joke out of it. Exhausted quotas over drinks, women, and other notable vices. I need not elaborate. While it has generally been a tool perceived to disfavour the North, I realised that it is not fully accurate as it seems. To be specific, It availed to me that a substantial component of folks condemn quota in its entirety citing various reasons. One of them, being a tool to divert attention from pressing problems that Malawi is currently facing. Need I mention? Someone, after a few beers said the country was not in a crisis though he couldn’t fuel his battered sedan.
The interesting side was to see blind arguments in support of this policy on pure spatial grounds without any recourse to a holistic positivism for Malawi. And of course, finding myself amongst mates who oppose it for similar reasons. To coin it all, I learnt that this policy, has made it difficult for those of us who rose above tribal affiliations soon after the stone age. It nonetheless, has succeeded to divide Malawians, particularly those that have always used short cuts to get things done. Nonetheless, I marvel that the fabric of our society remains progressive since 1994 and come a few years, the average person will continue to pump sense in egocentric individuals that lead often lead us. A generational change is moving in slowly but as they say ‘big men never let things get out easily”
I may probably have to de-clutter this piece, but fall short to admit the fact, it was intented to be. Otherwise quota will not solve the problems as evidenced by the recent blame game. Malawi is beautiful and bigger than any individual.
Adieu my friends. Some I met some I didn’t but they are my friends. I love you all!