Our leader of delegation, Abiti Joyce, MG 66 and the Most Excellent Grand Commander and Achiever (MEGA 1); Alhajj Mufti Jean-Philippe LePoisson, SC (RTD); the Most Paramount Native Authority Mandela; Nganga Maigwaigwa, PSC (RTD) and I, Malawi’s only Mohashoi, are here in Liwonde to inspect the Kamuzu Barrage rehabilitation works and, of course, to have fun. Real fun.Unfettered fun.
We are pleased to report that, according to the engineers here, the rehabilitation is on course and it should be completed soon. How soon is a question we shall answer soon and very soon.
The rehabilitation of the Liwonde Mangochi road is also on schedule. These two projects were the subject of a hot debate last night at J13-13 pub located somewhere behind the Liwonde main market.
“You see this is why we in government think the research the people at Chancellor College do is sponsored by the opposition or they interview flies, and not people,” said a man wearing a dark suit, white shirt with a black tie tightly noosing his throat and dark glasses.
“May be people think road rehabilitation is not development enough,” MEGA 1 responded.
“With all these developments, how can real Malawians and so-called DPP supporters say Malawi is going in the wrong direction?” the man in dark glasses inquired again.
“Mr Government,” I said.
“Who is Mr Government?” the man in dark glasses asked, sweat beads sprouting from his broad, pumpkin forehead.
“My genuine apologies. I don’t know your name but you….”
“I don’t know your name either and I don’t care who you are!”
“Calm down guys. Let’s have fun and avoid controversial subjects,” Jean-Philippe said, attempting to broker peace and pre-empt war.
“Thanks Alhajj. I just wanted to brief the Honourable here…”
“Now that’s better…”
“Fine. For the sake of peace we shall address you as Honourable. Is that fine by you?”MEGA 1 proposed.
“Need I repeat?”
“No…. Let’s move on,” Native Authority Mandela suggested.
“Before we move on, let me explain that the Afrobarometer is an unimpeachable, credible, locatable and transparent research institution that is working with the University of Malawi to survey people’s views, opinions, ratings and perceptions of how our country and institutions are governed,” I said.
“Are you one of the so-called researchers?” Honourable asked sarcastically.
“How can a credible institution only choose respondents that don’t see government efforts in developing this country after Cashgate?”
“The respondents are chosen blindly, if you will, and represent the nation,” Jean-Philippe added.
“How many people were asked?” Honourable questioned slowly sipping on his glass Altar Wine.
“Around 1 400 to 2 400?” I guessed, failing to recall the exact sample size.
“And you say these represented the views of all Malawians?” Honourable asked, bursting into uncontrollable laughter.
“Honourable,” Jean-Philippe started, “the same Afrobarometer, using the same methods and a similar number of correctly predicted that your president would win the 2014 elections and you were very happy then!”
“That must have been a different and unbiased Afrobarometer and I maintain that the current one is sponsored by the Opposition to dent the image of the government and his excellency,” Honourable said with finality.
“In 2014 you were in opposition and by implication you sponsored Afrobarometer to favour you!”Jean-Philippe said, slyly.
“You see, Honourable, Afrobarometer surveys perceptions and opinions of the people, sort of vox populi,” MEGA 1 said, adding, “popular opinions, perceptions and views may not necessarily reflect reality and facts on the ground.
“I am no longer listening,” Honourable said.
“The latest results show that people don’t trust the police, the Malawi Electoral Commission, and even the president….” MEGA 1 said.
“Yet they trust chiefs, yes the same chiefs that people accuse of helping entrenching autocracy; the army, yes the same army that was accused of human rights abuses in Dzalanyama; religious leaders, yes the same religious leaders amongst whom are thieves of our monthly tithes; the courts, the same courts that allow judge shopping.”
“Okey, point taken,” Honourable concluded. “Perceptions are not facts. This country is developing like never before.”