It has been a traumatic time for Malawi. The nation is at a heavy loss. Cyclone Freddy will definitely be a time mark in our country.
In pre-Freddy times, we will say, tomatoes were affordable. In post-Freddy times, we will add, tomato prices were so high, like aeroplane parts.
It’s no joking matter. The recovery will be hard since roads, schools, bridges, houses and crops have been razed to the ground. Where there were no rivers, we see flowing waters.
It is painful that many school-going children have died in these floods. Those that have survived and were not affected have classes disrupted. So many more are in the camps. Some of these have lost both parents in the tragedy.
You would think all normal human beings would put aside petty political differences to show a united nation. One would think any sensible leader would not take this tragedy as a time to show some political clout.
Are you surprised that former president and Democratic Propgressive Party (DPP) leader Peter Mutharika shunned a meeting President Lazarus Chakwera summoned at Sanjika Palace for former Malawi leaders? Don’t be. It is in his blood.
In August 2012, the lake dispute between Malawi and Tanzania had reached another level that the then President Joyce Banda wanted Maputo to mediate between Lilongwe and Dar es Salaam. To be sure that all leaders were on the same page with her on a meeting she was proposing with her Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete, she summoned opposition leaders.
MCP leader John Tembo, George Mtafu and Friday Jumbe from the UDF, MDP’s Kamlepo Kalua, NRP’s Gwanda Chakuamba, Mark Katsonga Phiri of PPM, Petra president Kamuzu Chibambo, George Nnesa of Mafunde and Paul Maulidi all made it for the meeting at the New State House in Lilongwe. Mutharika was not part of the talks.
Your guess is as good as mine that Mutharika was still grumpy since Banda had just taken over power after the death of his brother Bingu. It was his show of protest that he did not recognise JB as the leader of this country.
The reasons APM is giving for not attending the indaba are very flimsy. He said he wanted a neutral place other than Sanjika Palace. Laughable as it were.
In one of the clips circulating when he visited Ndirande to assess the situation, APM says with a tongue in cheek: “Ndabwera kuno ku Ndirande kudzakuonani. Koma munandigenda. Ndidzabweranso.”
He was referring to a time he was stoned in ndirande and had to use short cuts. He had just presented his nomination papers and wanted to show the people in Ndirande he was a better candidate. But the people of Ndirande stoned his convoy.
Really? Why use the tragedy to score political marks?
But then, it is apparent that it is not only APM who has been trying hard to politicize the tragedy. What is this we hear that Vice- President Saulos Chilima was barred from visiting victims when Chakwera was gallivanting in South Africa? Too bad