As your plane was touching down this afternoon, you might have noticed that the reception that you expected to receive on your return was far from what you expected.
For the simple reason that Malawians might not have dreamt to one day ever welcoming a prodigal former president. Some must have been watching for updates of your arrival from their mobile phones and could not have deigned to heed your summons to be at the airport at 10am when your flight was touching down. In other words, madame former president, your relevance is highly questionable in the current politics of this country.
Going by the wording of the press release announcing your return to Malawi, it seemed clear that you are still as detached from reality as ever. Your spokesperson said you were attending ‘official engagements’. Really? What official engagement are these? And who sent you to these official engagements? For whose benefit apart from your bank accounts?
While you were away, the assets of the People’s Party (PP) in the 26 members of Parliament (MPs) are no longer there. The orange movement and orange anything in PP is near non-existent. PP is a shadow of its former self and those holding on to it hold lofty the ambitions that maybe, just maybe, you will hand over power on arrival. They must be in for a shock.
While you were away, Cashgate came and went, but the seeds sown by your laxity in dealing with individuals who stole and plundered public coffers has grown and continues to rear its ugly head each time the Minister of Finance extends a begging bowl to donors. Several scandals have come and gone and they have adopted new monickers which in the end should really be called by their right names: theft and corruption.
PP is dead and has little chance of resurrection. It will join the likes of RP and Aford in the annals of history, as one of those political parties that once existed, but has been relegated to DPP, huffed and puffed about PP until they realised the enemy was not a political party with 26 MPs but the one with an actual realistic chance of snatching the administration from right under their nose, Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Sadly, many have forgotten that your leadership was surrounded by individuals, many of whom were men, who might have misled you. What people remember is that a woman president was responsible for turning a blind eye as K24 billion was looted in the government. If it is any consolation, four years after PP was ousted out of power, it is becoming clearer as 2019 inches closer that being a woman had nothing to do with your cluelessness as a president. This nation has the habit of electing undeserving people, case in point being the current leadership.
As it turns out, your government did nothing special to ensure those in minority who have access to power have reliable and sufficient energy to light their homes and ensure there is no break in production. What the nation had was abundant rains and water, not forgetting an additional 64 megawatts (MW) conveniently coming in just when the PP took over power from the DPP.
Since the people you found and left at Capital Hill and public entities are the same that were there during the DPP time, while you were away, Malawi experienced the longest periods of blackouts in its democratic history. If you thought your running of the government was a mess, just listen to what the DPP has been up to: Buying generators and offsetting the cost to consumers who up to now are not seeing the difference that the generators have made in power supply.
While you were gallivanting the globe in the name of ‘official engagements’, the good work that your government started with the forensic audit into Cashgate has lost steam and the courts are overturning the convictions at an alarming speed. Five years later, there are still no answers on what happened to the $20 million that your government received for the sale of the presidential jet. The term ‘received’ is used loosely here considering that you admitted that a private company duped you into selling the plane and not a single penny was dropped into the Treasury kitty.
Now that you are back, the nation needs answers and truthful ones this time.
In any case, welcome back home. The country is not as you left it and it is sincerely not advisable for you or your people to imagine that it is and treat the people of this country like ignorant fools. n