We, the Bottom Up delegation led by our indefatigable Professor Dr Abiti Joyce Befu, MEGA-1, are in Karonga Benghazi, as the Karonga Central Constituency is sadistically synonymised. We only arrived here on Thursday from Arizona, US, another Benghazi where armed supporters of Ngwazi Professor Dr Donald Trump threatened to kill anybody that continued to count votes unless the current US Fuhrer is declared president again for the next four years.
We were in the US at the invitation of the Jean-Guy LePoisson (not Jean-Philippe) Foundation to observe democracy in action. We left that boastful country unimpressed. From the day we left till Jah comes to Zion, we will never take US lessons in democracy seriously. The real leaders in terms of democracy are India and, of course, Malawi.
Soon after landing at Kamuzu International Airport, we took a bus to Karonga. When Malawi was under the leadership of the original Ngwazi, Air Malawi (may its soul in eternal peace) had flights from Lilongwe to Karonga via Mzuzu. And for those that could afford it, connecting Lilongwe and Karonga was a matter of two hours. But by bus and on the current dilapidated and over-ridged roads, Lilongwe – Karonga takes a minimum of 12 hours.
Since Air Malawi was killed, sorry, liquidated, there are people from Kasungu to Chitipa who have not seen a plane or heard its roar.
We arrived in Karonga late in the night and went to lodge at Club Marina, a place that used to boast to be the warm heart of Karonga. The owner, Sopera wa Sopera, was a real business mogul with no thieving record. There we met Atupele Chisiza, an old acquaintance from Lulomo Peninsula, Chilumba, Karonga.
His face had all the markings of a life in its afternoon. White beard. Sunken throat muscles, and drooping cheeks. Poor vision. However, he was as cheerful and cantankerous as he had been 30 years before.
After dinner, Abiti Joyce, Jean-Philippe LePoisson, Nganga and I, the Mohashoi, asked Atupele to join us over some Halaal drink.
“Now,” Jean-Phlippe started, asking Atupele: “Who do you think will win the November 10 parliamentary election here in Benghazi as this municipality is otherwise called?”
“If I were you,” Atupele said, “I would rephrase the question to something like ‘who will lose the election?’”
“Wonderful,” Jean-Philippe said, “Can you answer your question?”
“The loser will be the Tonse Alliance although one of the partners is likely to send an MP to Parliament.”
“I don’t understand your thinking. How can the Tonse Alliance lose and still send an MP to the august house?”
“What members and supporters of the Tonse Alliance don’t perceive it that a third force is playing a subtle game to break the alliance up. It is this third force that is fanning the flames of violence. Brother is hacking brother. Sister is swearing at sister. And the third force is happy. The real members and supporters of the Tonse Alliance, the people who together fought for the Tonse Alliance cannot fight and are not fighting against each other.”
“Third force? Who or what could be this force?” I asked.
“The one who knows cannot win the parliamentary election. In our culture, there a Tifwe tose mentality, all of us must suffer,” Atupele said.
“So, why does the Tonse Alliance not stop this third force?” Nganga asked.
“The Tonse Alliance partners are too busy enjoying the presidency. And why shouldn’t they? In this country it is the presidency that matters. But what they forget is that the third force is a heavily networked system. By the time the Tonse Alliance wakes up, it will be election time and too late for the MCP, UTM and other parties to come together again as people with one political goal. And the third force will rise again to play its game like never before.”
“Interesting,” Abiti remarked, “while members of the Tonse Alliance are busy fighting, hacking, knifing, and disemboweling each other, the third force is rebuilding and endearing itself to the people. Its image as a peace lover is slowly sticking into people’s minds.”
“Well summarised madam,” Atupele said, sipping on his Kasitelu beverage.
“Not madam, but Professor Dr Abiti J Befu”
“Oh, apologies, Professor Dr Abiti Joyce Befu, MEGA-1.”