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MUCKRAKING XTRA: Malawian politicians must learn from Andrew Mitchell

Andrew-MitchellAccording to the BBC, in his resignation letter to his boss, UK's Conservative Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell said "it has become clear to me that whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter I will not be able to fulfil my duties as we both would wish. Nor is it fair to continue to put my family and colleagues through this upsetting and damaging publicity".

 

Mr. Mitchell resigned from his plum job after weeks of damaging publicity after he allegedly called police officers "plebs". Apparently he made those demeaning remarks after an argument with police officers in Downing Street. The former International Development minister, however, denies these allegations, saying what he said was: "I thought you guys were supposed to be f***ing help us".

We may not know whether he voluntarily jumped or was pushed but publicly his boss, Prime Minister David Cameron, stood by him.

The symbolism of Mitchell's resignation cannot be lost on Malawi where 'resignation' does not appear anywhere in the lexicon of its politicians. Here government officials can insult Malawians for all they care without consequences. The media and the opposition can whine as much as they can but it will be business as usual. At best they can issue half-baked knee-jerk apologies but that will be the end of the story.

If you do not believe me, check with that guy who - after an acute attack of 'foot-in-mouth' disease - told us to toss ourselves into Lake Malawi for he does not visit our mothers' homes after we asked him and his boss to stay home more to reduce their travel bill.

The problem in Malawi is that here political leaders are regarded as bosses while in other countries they are true servants of the people, therefore they are always accountable to the citizenry.

Andrew Mitchell could have chosen to tough it out and cling to his plum job. But he chose principle over greed. There are quite a few people in our government who should have resigned - even fired - over worse 'crimes' than Mitchell's. But they are still there because to us principles do not matter.
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MUCKRAKING XTRA: Malawian politicians must learn from Andrew Mitchell
MUCKRAKING XTRA: Malawian politicians must learn from Andrew Mitchell

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