I read with shock on the 7th of November that the Minister of Information had announced the end of payments to migodi owners and callboys by minibusses. Hearing this was puzzling to me because my first thought was ”How?” There was no detailing on how the government was planning to remove these syndicates that have been operating since we opted for democracy.
Now, if you follow the blog, you must know that I had broken the story about how migodi are operated. I also detailed how these syndicates are more dangerous and have actually penetrated their way into state agencies while being funded by politicians.
Thus, one can easily be amused to hear a top government official confidently declare the end of the operation of something that is so big. Understand me, I am not saying that it is impossible, but it would require a lot of guts to actually get it done.
Why I think Migodi can’t be dismantled yet?
Dismantling a system that has been there for about 20+ years requires a bit more than a minister standing in front of journalists declaring the end of it. Imagine if the Mexican government stood on a podium and said ”Gangs are now banned,” I am sure the whole world would burst out laughing.
That is because we all know it is not as easy as it sounds.
Likewise, dismantling these money-making syndicates would require so much from the Malawi government, and I am sure they are aware of this. Perhaps to put it in black and white, the first thing would be to tackle corrupt policemen and women who directly benefit from them.
Yes, even in the last post, I did declare that we too have dirty cops who receive bribes and are on the payroll of Migodi owners. The money they receive gives these gangs immunity from arrests and more.
But, it isn’t just the police that would have to be dealt with, politicians too. Those that directly fund these groups or actually own some spaces within townships too. These are politicians that are either in the ruling party or the opposition.
Remember, the fights last year only erupted after Tonse Alliance won the presidential elections. When MCP callboys decided it was time for them to claim migodi that were owned by DPP cadets.
So yes, these gangs are very highly politically involved. Moreover, they are used by politicians to incite violence and unrest when needed. So just how does the government plan on changing that?
Another thought would be, while the actual migodi owners would resist this, some citizens would resist it too. Your thought is, why the hell would civilians resist such beautiful change to take place?
Here’s why. Vendors pay these gangs for the protection of their businesses, especially those operating in the markets. Such protection was meant to be provided for by the police services considering they are funded by our taxes. However, their incompetence makes businesspeople pay migodi people.
Now, telling them that you are dismantling these cartels would mean putting them at risk of losing money constantly to thieves. Because guess what, these migodi guys actually harbor the thieves. See, it is a failing battle.
Again I shall say, it was a bit irresponsible for the minister to stand in front of people and state that they have advised the Minibus Association of Malawi to stop paying callboys and migodi owners. Accepted, they are illegal institutions, but one does not stop something without an actual plan.
And maybe, if I was in front of the minister, I would ask them if they are ready for the chaos that is ensured to happen. These callboys stop receiving money means they result in other ways of making money which is through theft.
The Tonse Administration should openly indicate how they plan on putting an end to a syndicate that involves the whole country. Maybe only then would they get the public’s support.
Lastly, while we benefitted so much from democracy, the one thing that the Muluzi administration failed hard on was making sure that people followed the law. Now, we are a country that does things as we please, and each administration that comes to power is more lost on how to reinstall law and order.
So, good luck Tonse Alliance on this task. I hope it is not something that is only said and forgotten about.