Woyenda ndi Lupanga
Ndi lupanga lomwelo litadzakuphe..(Billy Kaunda, Lupanga)
There are times when one knows that they have really been cornered, when they realize that the hangman’s noose around their neck has come to stay, not just to flirt; indeed, there are times, when one finally knows that karma has finally caught up with them. This is the time when they realize that protesting is of no use, they just have to go ‘gently into the night’, so gently and resolved that they manage, at times, to solicit sympathy even from those who had before cried out loud, in mob justice: Mpachikeni! Mpachikeni! Mpachikeni!
The art of seeking impunity through resignation to the very punishment you want to evade is not new in History. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, son of one Carpenter Joseph, uses the same tactic to evade the punishment that is brought upon his head by the society. He replaces a chopped-off ear of one of his executioners, just to deceive them that he is a good man. He does not protest when he is manhandled, he goes on tamely. He knows he can’t run away from his karma through protesting, so he has to use the art of resignation, coupled with kind acts that can make the whole idea of crucifying him seem ironic. But unfortunately, sympathy comes in too late, when he is already dangling on the cross. We all know that timid commander who stupidly confessed Jesus’s innocence.
Enough of Christ and his business. Fast-forward 21st century, Malawi, the warm heart of Africa. Here we have Lutepo, with the same art of chasing impunity. He has an 11 years jail term on his head, a very small sentence compared to the misery that he has caused. He fathoms deep, and finds himself wanting, and so decides to buy sympathy through his dying-man blubbers. He accepts the sentence, yet he does not want to accept it. He presents statements that produce serious ironies in the ears of the listeners. He does this deliberately, because he knows that mankind does not like ironies. To put it in a simpler way, he wants to throw people into confusions, and self-reproach for crucifying such an innocent man that he thinks he is. He knows a dying man’s blubbers are always taken as truths, for why else should a man who has accepted death decide to utter something before his final blow? So he goes on, this lover of Malawians, to claim that he is an ambassador of development, that through his industry many Malawians have found employment, yet he agrees tamely to go to jail, not even protesting. He will fight corruption even from prison, so he says.
Oh such a bonafide citizen should not be in jail! He should be allowed to fight corruption from here in the society! He is such an innocent lamb! He is just a scapegoat! Poor child! He loves Malawians! Poor chap! What a pity! I hope these are the exclamations that Lutepo fore-heard in his head while presenting his last speech.
What the Christs and the Lutepos of this world forget is that wherever there is a society there are rules and regulations to be obeyed. Breaking those rules for your own personal benefit is punishable, and there is no dispute about that. You should not point fingers at people, saying that so and so crucified me, tricked me, blah, blah, blah; there is no need for that. When you were acting you had your conscience, and you knew that you were breaking the laws, nobody carried your brains for you.
As for the sentimental ones among us, the only thing they can manage is to marvel at your last words, and say something like:
‘Indeed, he was innocent”. But they cannot bring you down from the cross.