The great prophet Mlauli in his prophetic realm also had time to see how public funds will be embezzled by those in authority. Mlauli saw what is termed “cashagate” in Malawi. According to the poem,
“Ministers, MPs, and even entire cabinets
will in broad daylight siphon off funds
meant for the common good or the masses
into their own private accounts or companies”
What was predicted by Mlauli years back is the reality now in Malawi. Since independence corruption has been the order of the day in Malawi. People are stealing tax payer’s money into their own pockets at the expense of the poor masses. People have millions of stolen money in their accounts, yet the tax payer is suffering. The term Cashgate is a process where people snip money from the government anyhow. It is now normal for people to steal and embezzle money that was meant for the public. While in biology it is argued that life is survival of the fittest, in Malawi, I like to call it the survival of the thieviest. Corruption has been normalised and those not doing it are nonstandard. Over 30% of Malawi’s budget is not accounted for and this speaks volumes of corruption.
While many blame the state for failing to deal with mainstream corruption, little do many know that they are the primary triggers of corruption. Corruption and bribery starts when you are born in Malawi. Malawians always think of favours, even in places where they are supposed to enjoy their rights. What many do not know is that lawlessness is a process. For example, instead of just registering their children at a government school which is a right, you find some parents bribing the head teacher as if it is a competition. In churches parents pay money for their children to be baptised when they have not followed protocols of the church instead of just following them. At school children share their food with teachers just to be loved and liked hence the good grads.
These are just a few examples of how Malawians have fallen in love with corruption in local structures and they become surprised when one is stealing at Capitol Hill. We are nurturing corruption in our societies and we should not be surprised when our trees are bearing fruits. Furthermore, hospitals are running without basic drugs simply because someone somewhere mismanaged funds for the medicine. The paramount victims are the poor masses because they cannot afford medicine from the pharmacy. Mlauli foreshadowed this and it’s happening, hence Chimombo is in line with Ngugi’s definition of a writer.
In terms of health, Mlauli saw the spread of sexually transmitted diseases with an emphasis on Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). By the time this poem was being written, HIV was a new disease in Malawi and few people had the virus in their blood. However, Mlauli in his prophetic capacity saw the spread of AIDS, which has affected Malawi greatly. Malawi’s HIV prevalence is one of the highest in the world, with 9.2% of the adult population, aged 15-49, living with HIV (UNAIDS, 2019). An estimated one million Malawians were living with HIV in 2018 and 13,000 Malawians died from AIDS-related illnesses in the same year (UNAIDS, 2019).
Tell us: How do you think Mlauli could predict what would happen?