They do all they can to win elections. They rig, lie, bribe, coerce or intimidate to form government. Once in office, our politicians are clueless. They loot and cause mayhem to government operations.
Social service delivery plummets, while they make a mess of opportunities for economic growth and investments; frustrating the very same voters for voted for them.
And, to maintain this painful vicious circle, they loot more and abuse the State machinery a little more to prolong stay in power. They use the loot to bribe critics, including those in the civil society, media and official opposition to silence voices of dissent. They bribe villagers ultimately with some cheap freebies such as T-shirts, goats, maize and other hand-outs.
Yet, this time around, there are too many people who, in their complacency, though the easy way out of Malawi’s current woes is to vote out the current ruling party. Even that very wish, though, is not as easy as they think.
News that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is in talks with sworn enemy People’s Party (PP) shocked such people. Yes, the same PP whose leader cannot land a foot in the country fearing for her life and arrest, according to her own account, is being mooted as a potential election partner, according to some newspaper accounts or being coerced to at least play ball in Parliament where DPP seeks to shoot down a legislative agenda not to its liking.
Indeed, no permanent friends and enemies in politics. And look away now DPP haters, DPP even on its own can win the national elections. At least, DPP’s electoral record demands respect.
Good news DPP haters, the current political landscape is also equally volatile and unpredictable enough that even DPP is no longer sure about its electability—as testified by this desperate charm offensive to PP.
Yet, that is beside the point, the gist of the matter is that DPP is desperate to hold to power. On the score on its current performance, one wonders why.
And after years of discrediting PP as a gang of thieves, DPP has demonstrated its hypocrisy by courting the same. But these are birds of the same feathers.
We all know that despite Cashgate happening under Joyce Banda’s watch, DPP is not any clean. We know this because audit reports covering both DPP and PP eras betray the scope of thievery and criminality in both parties.
The only difference is that Joyce Banda, either through naivety or genuine desire to see some people brought to justice, or under pressure from donors or seeking to score a point with her Western adorers, allowed a serious investigation into Cashgate.
DPP, on the other hand, has arguably never allowed any credible investigation into any massive corruption happening under its tenure. It closes ranks, ruthlessly.
So, an unholy alliance is in the making. As a friend put it on Facebook the other day, “a coalition of thieves is on the cards”.
But before we lose hope over the State of affairs, and give up to cynicism, we ought to know that as a citizenry we still hold all the cards. Maybe the same crooked politicians have been in charge for so long, (even Zimbabwe has replaced a despot of 37 years with his ruthless enforcer known as ‘Crocodile’), but we can still effect change.
Malawians should start rejecting recycled politicians at every level of our political pyramid.
MCP has just too many old men and women who think about their ethnicity first and the party latter. DPP was long captured by a nepotistic cabal too.
But as Malawians, vote by vote, one social media protest after another, one street protest after another; refusing to be bribed or cowed, we can reclaim our destiny and say know to people who just want to be in power simply to serve their pockets.
And we should never renegade on telling truth to power. Here is some truth: when we see PP and DPP suddenly becoming bedfellows, it’s not a sign of change.
It’s bad omen, however, for our country because instead of working on its shortfalls as an administration, DPP is obsessed with elections. And like the dog who finally catches the car, we know winning elections by clueless politicians has no use for them.