Last word…

We do not know what tomorrow brings, only the almighty does. So, let’s bid farewell to the year mindful that we are just mere mortals.

As the death of my sister this past October reminded us, our lives can ebb away anytime. So, let’s be grateful to God for life and other numerous gifts granted to us—including the opportunity to write one last missive for the year.

And thank you, for reading and thank you to my workmates— the great Ralph Mawera whose illustrations I am privileged to commission every week and the editors who tirelessly ensure the column, as one of them would have it, lands.

And a word of gratitude to the politicians whose work provides fodder for this column. Indeed, for many of our politicians, as flawed as their politics can be, are good humans—of course, save for those plundering the country.

So, this year Joyce Banda finally realised that home is best –and Virginia, no matter how accommodating will never be Domasi. She ended her nearly four-year self-imposed exile and now hopes to do something she couldn’t do as president: win an election.

It’s always good to see Amayi’s genuine passion for the poor, but she blew her chance of winning the 2019 elections the moment she fled the country—something still oblivious to her.

Yes, others saw ageism, but when shouts of discord disturbed tranquility in the house of DPP, as former loyalists and even a family member, asked President Peter Mutharika, to pave the way as party leader for his deputy Saulos Chilima on basis of old age, we saw something else.

Those calls, from clearly disgruntled officials, were an indictment on Mutharika’s rule. After four years in office, APM’s leadership was so rudderless and uninspiring to the point his own party was imploding at contemplation of his second term.

Of course, absence of a clear vision to steer the country forward plus zero-war on corruption is perplexing—as Mutharika has been good fit in other regards; for example, appointing a leaner Cabinet, less travel and honestly—minus that K145 million possible proceeds from a fraudulent deal blip, not acquiring wealth at alarming rate. And he is a gentleman.

But we celebrated the demise of UDF—a party run by a cabal that long turned it into a personal estate. From trying, in vain, to rape our constitution to allow its then leader to stay in power as long as he wanted, to imposing that leader’s offspring as its successor, to protecting that leader’s interests by flirting and bedding successive governments, its politics have been politics of greed, period.

Which is a shame, anyway, considering many view its current leader is a gentleman who also ticks many leadership boxes.

But as my favorite writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates put it in We Were Eight Years In Power, “Art was not motivational speaking. Art was not sentimental. It had no responsibility to be hopeful or optimistic or make anyone feel better about the world. It must reflect the world in its brutality and beauty.”

Try as we may to project a hopeful picture, our politics failed us way beyond these parties and we can’t help it by spinning the story, even by indulging those that feel other parties such MCP or UTM are perfect, as I belabored the point throughout the year they are not.

But all the parties—DPP, UDF, MCP, UTM, PP—offers something good as well and next year, as we vote for our next government let’s not forget that such an opportunity ought to be taken seriously.

This writer for one, will vote and pick the lesser evil. Change comes slowly, anyway and nobody is perfect.

But my last word is not about politics. It’s about someone who taught me much of what I know and shaped much of who I am. She was just two when I was born. She was my first friend, guide, nurse and grew into all those roles as our lives here on earth got more intertwined and older.

Of course, I am talking about my sister, Lilian. For if I am happy to see this year’s back, for me and those who were blessed to call Lilian sister, daughter, mother, auntie, friend etc, it’s because we feel 2018 cheated us. Robbed us. Rest, Lilian, till we meet again.

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