Dzanjalimodzi:Voice of reason gone for good
By The Daily Times - 15 August 2008 - 10:49:43
Parliament is supposed to be a House of honour and substance. But for
the most part, the Malawi Parliament has not lived up to this public
expectation--certainly not in recent times.
However, there are names of parliamentarians such as the Goodall
Gondwes, the Aleke Bandas and the Malewezis of this world who have
given the nation some hope that there are still some truly honourable
people out there that are in Parliament to serve the country. This list
of men of honour in Parliament would not be complete without the
mention of one Respicious Dzanjalimodzi.
When the news broke Thursday morning that Honourable Dzanjalimodzi had
breathed his last in South Africa after a short illness, it came as a
shock that the country had just lost a beacon of hope. It had lost yet
another true patriot who stood head and shoulder amongst those who
understood that there was no greater honour than serving one’s country.
Some of our parliamentarians have never done anything of substance in
their own lives. So, some of the things that they do in Parliament
should not be entirely surprising. But late Dzanjalimodzi came from a
completely different mould of politicians.
Dzanjalimodzi had a distinguished career in government as a technocrat
and administrator, serving in various capacities including Secretary to
the Treasury. He was, therefore, someone who understood the functioning
of government. When he stood to contribute, the House listened.
As secretary to the Treasury, he had served many organisations where he
was an ex-officio board member representing government interests. He
had many times assisted ministers put together the national budget and
also prepare responses to queries from members of Parliament.
So when the current budget session reconvened last week and there was
the conspicuous absence of Respicious Dzanjalimodzi, his constructive
comments and suggestions were greatly missed. Little did his colleagues
know that he would not be returning to the august House.
Many Malawians have greeted the news of his death with disbelief. Once
again, the country has been robbed of an illustrious son who was
destined for great things in the political arena.
As the country struggles to find its feet on the political and economic
front, it was people like Dzanjalimodzi who were providing some form of
comfort that no matter what our different political persuasions might
be, we are first and foremost Malawians.
As we mourn this great son of the land, we need to reflect on what we
want for our country and what legacy we would like to leave behind for
This soul-searching is not just for parliamentarians but by all who
would like to serve the public whether it be in government, commerce
and indeed in politics itself.
If there is one lesson that Dzanjalimodzi has left behind, it is that
being in opposition does not mean opposing everything and anything and
that it is possible to be down to earth and make meaningful
contributions and not just engage in the tongue lashing, which has
characterised the debates in the House.
We hereby join the family and the nation in mourning this great son of
Malawi. A true patriot is gone when the country needed him most. His
contribution to the nation will always be remembered by his colleagues
and even those who were on the opposite sides.