IT was in February during the season of the green grass. The nation was still staggering under the weight of a root that failed which government christened the Zero Deficit Budget.
It was time for government's salesman of the dreaded budget to clear the cloud of dust that hid the truth about how the ogre masquerading as budget was performing.
Out of the blue, and to the disdain of the blue side of parliament, came a startling revelation that the whole tales about the success of the budget were mere charade as Capital Hill had been going into banks in masks, borrowing with reckless abandon to create a mirage of triumph yet the budget was a flop just as that government and its entire leadership.
It was a matter of conscience for one Ken Lipenga, the Minister of Finance, or anyone on the government benches to walk the path of righteousness and tell the nation, knowing full well that it was going through the roughest economic period, that the budget was a blood sucking monster that needed to be exterminated before claiming more victims.
With neither a drop of shame nor remorse, honourable masters of blue lies, made George Mnesa, the whistle blower, a victim of ridicule as they united in booing him for his unfounded allegation.
And when the tide changed, and Bingu wa Mutharika, the fervent defender of the budget, went to rest at the graveyard leaving behind his cabal to sort out the mess he had created Ken Lipenga shocked the entire nation with his revelation that government had indeed been borrowing to sugar coat the bitter budget.
We all thought after his lies in parliament, the disclosure was a gentle fall from his political position and soon he would be cruising on the road to Migowi where he will be passing the calabash with his mates while telling them tales about how the mighty have fallen.
But here we are now; all the actors in the borrowing play of shame are still gracing the stage perhaps waiting for another chance to feed us more of their lies.
Truth must always be told even though chances of ruffling some executive feathers are high. Without mincing words we must look at each other in the eye and confess that our morals and innocence as a country have drowned, and we are a nation of liars and rubberstamps.
Whether Lipenga's declaration of guilt was from a remorseful heart or a mere slip of the tongue caused by the excitement of change of times, his lie, how grave we may perceive it, was just a footnote of a long script of lies that government makes us read every day of our damned lives.
Questions may fly all over as minds boggle why such a man of unparalleled legacy in weaving words into sense would stoop so low to lie to the nation, or at least, to give him the benefit of doubt, be ignorant of such a colossal decision happening in his own ministry.
Answer is simple; we have cultivated a culture of excessive fear of our leaders that even reduces us to mere parrots mimicking whatever they say and rubberstamping every decision they make.
Look at this. While Madam Joyce Banda was in the political enigma and somehow still perceiving the world with the eyes of the common man from the gutters of Ndirande, Mbayani, Mchesi, Ntandile, Bangwe, Zolozolo, Chiputula and Ching'ambo she was the high priestess preaching against the transgression of hosting the AU Summit.
But when time, the leveller, abruptly dressed her in the coveted robes of power, and when she said she would consult with cabinet whether or not to proceed with hosting the AU indaba you and I knew the parroting cabinet will rubberstamp her decision no matter what.
This specious let through on the nod is unfortunately deeply embedded in our system such that we let whoever is tenant at the statehouse drive the nation single handed, and even though we may know they have made a bad decision we keep silent in the name of keeping our jobs.
Scars that have greatly defaced the nation's reputation as a result of a few people's fear of telling the truth to their masters will never be obliterated, so to avoid such further blemishes we must continuously keep them in the light for all to see where it all went wrong.
When the MRA scam was busy being cooked those at the centre of it knew they were taking the nation to economic damnation but because they could not gather courage to tell the master mind straight in the face, and because they wanted to protect their purse they let all of us pay silent but piercing taxes.
The Malawi Housing scandal is another case of rubberstamping. When the shady and shoddy selling of the houses was taking place obviously the CEO knew it was graft. But because of this timid culture of rubberstamping he joined the pack of greedy wolves in the underhand; in the end he was the sacrificial lamb as those with names went licking their lips in glee, briefly though.
Our lying art as Malawians is really legendary. Up to now the exact date of death of our own late President is still as secretive as the day of the apocalypse. It is an embarrassingly sad joke to have, three dates displayed on the cross of a dead person, and worse still being a President. It is sad to know that because of an insatiable thirst for concealing the truth, people had to ferry a dead body to South Africa when there are enough morgues in the country.
The rear view mirrors of our political times take us back to the era of former President Bakili Muluzi's UDF regime when we were made to chase in vain one lorry of maize from Chitipa to Nsanje, Nkhotakota to Mchinji. Muluzi being another master in the art of lying made us a bunch of zombies. By the way how come Muluzi is suddenly up and kicking now that Mutharika is gone? What happened to the constant medical trips abroad? So Bingu's death was a magic wand on the problematic back of Muluzi?
Then came the DPP, the old sad song of lies and rubberstamping came blurring again.
Who will forget the hasty changing of flags and the bogus "wide consultations" that preceded the change? The whole thing was mired in lies even the development-beyond-recognition that was symbolised by the fully brown ominous sun was a farce that mocked the miserable state which the nation was in.
They lied about passports, they lied about vehicle number plates, they lied about drivers' licences all in the vain attempt to conceal an executive fundraising drive of an arrogant leadership.
But since we continue recycling the old cabal of liars and rubberstamps we must never think those who keep lying will ever be punished just as those who rubberstamp; for it is a blue print that was put all along like marks on marble.