There are many ways to describe the current state of affairs in the country. My favourite writer, the irreplaceable and ultimately irredeemable Raphael Tenthani would have said, I reckon: “A moment of flux.” And it could have been both apt and right.
For now our country’s is more just crossroads, the happenings make up for full political drama only that underneath the comic happenings, is a nation in suffering.
This is an hour of great pain for our nascent democracy. Had it not be, the drama would have been fun. Had the nation’s future; our democracy’s viability; wellbeing of our already fragile economy, been out of the equation, this would matter less.
So we must not laugh and cry, even when the event on show is as laughable as when Seodi White, a whole director in the office of the president, led the Minister of Gender to shed the most fake tears you would ever see in front of a camera for the even funnier reason that calling for Justice Jane Ansah to resign for whatever could be her role in the current political impasse (if you are opposition sympathiser would say, messing up the electoral process) is akin to undermining women dignity.
This is blue murder sponsored by the blue party. For one, we all know that the protests had nothing to do with Ansah being a woman but how she is perceived to have handled the elections by those that oppose her continued use of public office. To that end, this column has had its say and could’ve had that say whether Ansah was a man or woman.
And it’s comical that Seodi has found a cause that is not a women cause at all but a DPP political strategy and used the taxpayer’s money to promote it. Well, at least we know this because the Cabinet Minister joined her on stage to carry out the dramatic weeping in front of the cameras and the ministers’ time, vehicle and actions, are something all Malawians pay for through her salary.
And as many an observer have pointed out, for all the want of a cause to champion, where was Seodi’s empty tears when many albino people were murdered butchered to death and even in their graveyard, or when they died out of natural causes dug out and mutilated?
And indeed as observed by many observant critical minds, what was the point of the whole government minister (and ministry) taking part in a street protest whose final result is the protesters handing to the same government minister a petition for her action? This, above all else, was laughable but we must cry.
So onward they marched. Just like the DPP marched on Friday celebrating a victory that has set this country on fire. When they marched the ‘tears’ march, they dragged with them poor ignorant women who couldn’t even read their own placards which they held upside down.
If DPP were celebrating a genuine victory on Friday—and not one out of rigging and corruption as alleged by the opposition—the irony of women, old and poor, ignorant and gullible, just following the leaders who plunder government offers to prolong their grip on power shouldn’t be lost on anyone.
And that, folks, is the criminality successive governments, not just the incompetent DPP regime, have dished on helpless Malawians for far too long. That only the streets the people are fighting back is heartening; that over 60 percent of the voters rejected an ultimately out-of-sorts administration but ended up electing it thanks to first past the post, a divided opposition, and goodness me, maybe Tippex, is equally heartening.
Those who love this country, citizens and international friends, must see it not only that there is electoral reforms in this country that will improve confidence in the system but that no government ever, takes Malawians for granted again; particularly by how it play chickens with their taxes and abuse the mandate to govern.
We celebrated our fifth independence this other week. And Tenthani, I suspect, could have described the state of our affairs, as flux. There is little to celebrate about. Poverty has worsened over the years as many countries lifted their citizens out of poverty; our economy has stagnated as many economies prospered. That is a moment that should bring more reckoning than our leaders currently permit.
They are blinded. Inept and pointedly out of touch to continue acting as all are okay. They are not.
When Mutharika took the podium at Kamuzu Stadium to address an anxious nation on Independence Day, he, too, demonstrated how detached he is. He saw a Malawi of carnage—focusing on his battles with the opposition but failed to rise about petty politics of who should lead us. He spoke of coup attempts and dealing with rivals, without detailing how he will deal the chief vices bedeviling our nation: corruption and lack of a clear national development agenda.