Friends, Bawo Club members, countrymen, lend me your ears:
I come to bury Bingu, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Bingu.
President Joyce Banda keeps telling you Bingu ruined the economy: if it were so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously did Bingu answer it.
Here, under leave of Joyce Banda and the rest of the PP– for Joyce Banda is a great “African thinker”; So are they all, all great thinkers– Come I to speak in Bingu’s memory. He was my friend, faithful and just to me: but Joyce Banda says he ruined the economy; and Joyce Banda is a great thinker.
Bingu brought food security to Malawi and restored Malawi’s ailing infrastructure: Was this the ruining of the economy by Bingu? How many damaged roads did Bingu not seek to repair? Did the GDP not go up and inflation go down? A ruined economy should be made of sterner stuff. Yet Joyce Banda says he ruined the economy; And Joyce Banda is a great thinker.
You all did see that on taking over the presidency he duly declared all his assets, while Joyce Banda has thrice refused: was Bingu arrogant in doing this? Yet Joyce Banda says he was arrogant, and that he ruined the economy; and, sure, she is a great thinker. I speak not to disprove what Joyce Banda is doing, or saying, but here I am here to speak what I do know.
You all did love Bingu once, not without cause: what cause withholds you then, to mourn for him? O judgment! Thou art fled to selfish beasts, and men have lost their reason. Bear with me; my heart is at Ndata there with Bingu, and I must pause till it comes back to me.
But not too long the word of Bingu might have stood against the world; now lies he there. And none so poor to do him reverence by preserving what he strived to build while it is being destroyed by Joyce Banda and the rest of her people. O masters, if I were disposed to stir your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Joyce Banda wrong, and Uladi Mussa wrong. Who, you all know, are great thinkers: I will not do them wrong; I rather choose to wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, than to wrong such great thinkers.
But here’s a parchment with the seal of Bingu; I found it in his closet, ’tis his Legacy: Let but the commons hear this testament– which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–
Lest they would go and kiss dead Bingu’s wounds and dip their napkins in his sacred blood, yea, beg a hair of him for memory, and, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy unto their issue. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this writing: I remember the first time ever Bingu read it to you; it was on a summer’s evening, in the State House tent, on that day of the great demonstrations. Look, in this place ran Mwakasungula’s dagger through: See what a rent the envious Kasambara made: Through this the well-beloved deputy, Joyce Banda stabb’d; as she sought to gain the presidency, and steal away Bingu’s Leadership,
Mark now how the blood of Bingu is following us. For Joyce Banda, as you know, was Bungu’s deputy: Judge, O you gods, how dearly Bingu at first loved her! Before she began plotting for his seat! This was the unkindest cut of all; for when the noble Bingu saw her stab him in the back with ingratitude more strong than traitors’ arms, quite vanquished was Bingu and this burst his mighty heart. Thus even though we shall never know why Bingu fell, we know that in his time of great need, his deputy was not with him, but with his enemies, plotting his demise.
But O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I, and you, and all Malawi fell down, whilst bloody hatred flourished over us. O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel the dint of pity: these are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what, weep you when you but remember our Bingu’s casket? Look you here, here is the Malawi you wanted Malawi, marred, as you see, with traitors, Mandasi sellers and ziboliboli peddlers. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up to such a sudden flood of mutiny. They that have done this deed are great thinkers: What private grief they have, alas, I know not, that made them do it: they are wise and they are great thinkers. They will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts: I am no orator, as Joyce Banda is; but, as you all know me, a plain blunt man, that loved my president and what he was trying to do for this country. This they know full well that have given me public leave to speak of him. I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, to stir men’s blood: I only speak right on and I tell you that which you yourselves do know.
I will simply remind you of Bingu’s words, And bid them speak for me: but were I Joyce Banda, and Joyce Banda the Chief Mourner, the Chief Mourner would ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue in every wound of Bingu that should move the stones of this Malawi that I love to rise and mutiny.
“Let us accept that our destiny is in our own hands and that Malawi will develop only if we begin to believe in ourselves. The time has come for us to take full control of our destiny” – Bingu wa Mutharika
– Assisted by William Shakespeare-