Nations that do not heal find themselves in self inflicted cycles of pity, poverty, distrust, deep rooted divisions, acrimony, hatefulness and other such negative energies. Such things no matter the economical cycle pull those unhealed nations backwards, where they seem to make one positive step forward and immediately three destructive negative steps backwards.
Healing for nations take many forms. A good example of national healing was the process that took place in South Africa through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Though some argue that the commission did a little and at times was accused of witch hunting and protection of both factual information that needed exposing and some personalities, the body did well for the transition from Apartheid to majority African rule. In other nations celebrations of notable events also has the effect of bringing people together and as such heal those divisions that could be. A known form is national day of prayers for instance. The key is acceptance and acknowledgement of factual historical events bad and good, that happened in the nation no matter ones political affiliation.
Acceptance of historical facts for healing purposes does not mean those who in the past who did bad things should carry that label on to future generations. The world is dynamic and as people intermingle you get purification which additionally come about as learning takes place. However, the healing must be markedly visible for forgiveness, acceptance and total nationhood to manifest. Only then can people separate issues appropriately knowing which are common goals for sustenance of their own livelihood and national pride.
This week we continue looking at the quotes from the book we had last week. It comes from a historical biography of a key period of national building and some may view it as destruction. I am sure that such quotations will let you learn one or two things about life. Read and enjoy:
THE LIFE OF GEORGE NDOMONDO: Shepherd Boy, Clerk, Politician, Guerrilla General, Detainee and Priest by George Ndomondo and Colin Baker
“George Ndomondo’s life, especially his years as a politician and as a clergyman, is remarkable, though, additionally, there are fascinating snippets and insights in his account of his shepherd boy’s activities and other aspects of his early upbringing. There are ironies, too, for example in his being appointed as a priest in charge of the Parish of Liwonde at the very point on the Shire River where he, with his fellow guerrillas led by Henry Chipembere, himself the son of an Anglican Archdeacon, found the ferry on the wrong side of the river, preventing them from continuing their journey to Zomba to overthrow government, which without doubt would have led to serious bloodshed. Many of those, like George, who see the hand of God in all things, now feel that the ferry was not on the wrong side of the Shire on that fatal night of 12 February 1965.”
“Although on the surface everything seemed peaceful and Malawi appeared to be a unified nation with no internal dissent, this was not a true picture. Relations between the Prime Minister, Dr Kamuzu Banda, and his ministers soon seriously deteriorated, though for a while this was hidden from the public. For example when the Doctor and one of his leading ministers, Kanyama Chiume, were at OAU conference in Cairo soon after independence and Chiume tried to persuade Banda to be more positive in condemning the Portuguese in Mozambique, the Doctor became very angry and refused to speak with him for the remainder of the summit meeting. Indeed, he was still angry when he arrived back in Malawi on 26 July. In a speech to the crowd that welcomed him at Chileka airport on his return, he told those assembled to ‘Watch everyone! Even Ministers’, and if they did things which the people thought were not good for the MCP they were to report them to him. —————- Henry Chipembere, another leading cabinet minister and Member of Parliament for Fort Johnston East, believed this speech was ‘intended to sow distrust, contempt and dislike for the ministers among the people’. He and the other ministers were gravely upset, and the extent of their displeasure, coupled with deep concerns, was soon to be made known to the Prime Minister.”
“The day Chirwa delivered the Kuchawe manifesto to Banda – Friday 28 August – the Doctor began to receive anonymous letters saying his ministers were stirring up trouble against him and that it was not true that there was the widepread unrest, resentment and bitterness in the country that they claimed. Then on Saturday, a number of people – mainly older officials in the MCP – called personally to see him, concerned that he he had not appeared in public for the past few days. They told him that there were rumours circulating to the effect that he was about to resign, and they implored him – as had the anonymous letters – not to capitulate.”
“Banda’s refusal to see the ministers before the debate resumed made Chipembere decide to side with his colleagues, because he immediately wrote to the Governor-General to tender his resignation as Minister of Education, effective immediately. Jones received the resignation at 9:20 a.m. Chipembere then drove to Parliament in his ministerial car and as he walked into the chamber he hesitated at the front bench. Then, with a flamboyant wave of his arm, he joined his colleagues on the back bench. It was a calculated and dramatic gesture which, coupled with his arrival in the ministerial car, gave the incorrect impression that only when reaching the front bench did he decide to resign. ————- When Chipembere rose to address the House, members fell silent, and throughout his long speech – over 8000 words – they listened to him attentively and with barely an interruption, in contrast to much of the earlier proceedings. It was a remarkable speech, couched in moderate terms. He spoke from a position of high principle and justice and tailored his words to suit not only those present but all Malawians throughout the country. He was respectful of the Doctor, but did not conceal or minimize his disagreement with a number of his fundamental policies, especially foreign relations and Africanization, and with the manner in which he conducted his public affairs, particularly the absence of consultation with the ministers. He defended and praised each of of his colleagues. Even so, at the end of the debate there was unanimous support for the motion of confidence. Given its wording, it was difficult even for those who opposed the Prime Minister to vote against it.”