Economic foolishness of paying a whole year rent


The other day, I was coming back to Lilongwe from an official trip in Zomba. Our official vehicle had delayed and so I decided to jump into a colleague’s who works as an accountant.

We went about jumping from one subject to the other as the vehicle made its way through the Machinga hills and yonder.

It was a hot afternoon and we had the usual stop over at one of the filling stations at Ntcheu to cool ourselves with a cold one. A cold coke.

However, out of all the stories that moved our mouths, one subject has stuck to my mind. I still can’t get rid of it. The accountant friend had hit on a very pertinent subject.

He talked about something that was in line with Kenneth Kaunda’s Letter to my Children in which the former Zambian President refers to adolescent minds in mature bodies. These are people who keep on learning and find no time to apply what they have learned.

The friend talked of his bosses who get company money to pay house rent for the whole year. These bosses are under no obligation to pay all the money at the beginning of the year to the landlord but are required to prove that they paid their rentals at the end of each year.

They also get money to pay for children’s school fees for the whole year and religiously give a year’s rental money to the landlords at the beginning of each year.

Now, some of us may not see the problem because we also belong to the category of ‘ ndiperekeretu kuti  ndizingokhalano m’nyumba mtima uli m’malo (paying off my rentals for the whole year will give me peace of mind).

On the contrary, all you have achieved to do is to continue living in want and making your landlord live with all the peace of mind.

This friend’s bosses remind me of soccer addict friends who pay their DStv subscriptions for the whole year. But I will tell you what. Not only is this behaviour risky in that it keeps you tied to the same.

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