Last epistle

What a year! In a few days, it will all come to an end. Let it that sink in, like all good things, all things, period! This year must come to an end. And maybe it must.

What a year it has been for Justice Jane Ansah! She was right there, throughout the year. And, for her, the case was simple, either you love her or hate her. Thousands, regularly wished she ceased to exit. They have been protesting on the streets regularly since that fateful day in May, when we elected our next President.

To date, we are still arguing about how that process went. Ansah and her backers—they are many too, and they include, no less, the DPP, its current patriarch Peter Mutharika, the majority of election observer missions, some foreign governments and puppet body—sorry, I meant Sadc—have also stated that the elections were managed in a free and fair manner.

But Timothy Mtambo, Lazarus Chakwera, Saulos Chilima disagree. And they are believed by so many Malawians that their disproval of how the elections business were transacted have led to the economy going north while a panel of five judges had to be quickly assembled by the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to ensure that the re-election of President Peter Mutharika either gets the belated legitimacy our good professor says it deserves or is curtailed immediately as a proceed of fraud.

For the first time, we will hear judges, soon, very soon, pronounce a decision in that matter. But like the second arrival of Jesus Christ, as Christians who were celebrating Christmas just a few days ago would tell you, it’s not known when that judgment will come.

And talking about Mutharika, what a victory it will be if the courts will rule in his favour. Knowing Mutharika, if he wins, he will dance on the graves, rhetorically, of Chakwera and Chilima. For our occasionally excitable President, it will be the ultimate kuwanyenyanyenya. Knowing Mutharika, it would not occur to his government to understand why so many Malawians joined Chakwera and Chilima to protest against his re-election, the Tippex and other irregularities withstanding..

Knowing the DPP, when the ruling comes, that will be validation of its methods—which I must admit are not always endearing.  The DPP-led administration will receive the news as a greenlight to continue course, and ignore the myriad of challenges facing the country and, as a consequence, will continue the plunder of State resources and total lack of direction in management of the country.

But we all know that if there is judgment in DPP/Mutharika’s favour. This will be a moment of reckoning. Many who are already angry against the administration will need to be properly handled, to say the least. The situation will require delicate political actions. One must hope Mutharika will rise to the occasion.

But if there is nullification, to say the obvious, we will plunge into unchartered territory if the elections we held in May are declared null and void. It will be interesting, from a legal point of view, whether Chilima will then be reinstated as Vice President and return to Area 12. From legal perspective, it will be interesting to see whether the judges will order fresh elections or a rerun.

Politically, it will be interesting to see what that will mean to political alliances and individuals positions in the parties.

The opposition will feel rejuvenated ahead of any polls. But knowing our opposition, just like their counterparts in power, instead of uniting to oust Mutharika, they will likely make the same old mistake of putting selfish interests ahead of national good. So, UTM, without much of a chance of winning any elections, at least at the moment, will still be big-headed and demand to lead any coalition with MCP. In MCP, the surrogates of Sidik Mia will still orchestrate a campaign against Chakwera roping in Saulos Chilima as his deputy. How do I know this? Of course, I am no prophet. But I know these people, they just never learn from their mistakes!

But, of course, I would love them to prove me wrong. That is all to come soon enough.

But let me finish this year by joining many Malawians naming their personality of the year. Like many Malawians, this column continues to be impressed by the work of the country’s ombudsman, Martha Chizuma. As many Malawians have lamented, if only half the big shots in governance agencies in the country were as determined, courageous, honest, diligent, and patriotic as this public protector, the country would have been on its way to cleaning the mess it has found itself in the 25 years of plunder that came with democracy.

Unfortunately, many are bootlicking party zealots masquerading as public servants. For her fight in promoting good governance, accountability, human rights and rule of law, Chizuma has no equal, and perhaps, no partner in our rotten government. For that, she deserves to be named our Personality of the Year. Happy New Year folks.

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