There was a newspaper title that was screaming: ‘Donors paint gloomy picture.’ Such a title, I must admit, is gloomy in itself. Donors? Instead of painting a picture that was bright and fair, were painting gloomy pictures? What made them spend time painting such a picture? Did they not have the interest to paint different sorts of pictures other than sad and dull pictures? These were my questions.
I was in a friend’s office when he wanted to know whether I was interested in politics. I said I was. Why not? What is your definition of politics? Wikipedia defines politics as “the practice and theory of influencing other people on a civic or individual level.” Do I want to influence people? Of course, I do. And is this influencing I want to do at the civic or individual level or both? Yes, it is. So, I am interested in politics. Yes, I am. So we agreed that I was interested. Then the questions continued. Are you (in this case you equals me) interested in politics as “your friends Dr Jessie Kabwila-Kapasula and Professor Chisi are interested?
I asked what was the reason I was being referred to as a “friend” to the two academics. Are these two people my friends and not your friends? I was told that I was being referred to as a friend to the two because we were all employees of the University of Malawi. I retorted by stating that John Chisi was indeed a close friend and a mentor to me. So, I cleared the discussion by saying that I was not contesting whether the two were my friends but I wanted to be clear what was the motive of the question.
We moved on with the discussion. Are you interested to join party politics? Why, I asked. Because it seems that you may be interested. Well, what do you mean I may be interested? What is your definition of being interested? There are several definitions of the term “interest” including interest as it is defined by the banks. But the interest that seemed close to the issue at hand is “a state of curiosity or concern about or attention to something.” Was I curious about party politics? The answer was yes. Was I concerned with party politics? Yes, yes and yes. Was I prepared to join party politics? Hell, no. But even if I was interested, if I were a real politician (read, Goodall Gondwe), nobody would believe me. Politicians such as Gwanda Chakuamba say one thing today and another tomorrow and who knows what they will say the next day. So, I don’t why my friend wanted me to be truthful if he believed I was a politician. Was he asking to be lied to?
We have been asking one another who is the best presidential candidate for Malawi? I have wondered whether it is possible for the best candidate to be in the wrong political party? What is the best political party? What if the best political party has the worst presidential candidate? What if the best candidate ends up choosing the wrong running mate?