I hear there are close to 40 political parties. I also hear that the number of political parties incenses some citizens who believe this large number of political parties marks insanity on part.
But I choose to differ. I tend to think that we have a vibrant political system where each one of us has the opportunity to set up a political enterprise outside of the existing political parties regardless of whether there is a difference in ideology or not. In fact, because how we make decisions is so complex that we are able to differentiate the same ideology but driven by individual A as different when driven by person B, we need these many political parties.
Our political landscape is so dynamic that we need the differences. Take the situation in 1964. The Prime Minister Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda wanted to have our people pay for a hospital visit, the Cabinet Crisis came to being (among many other disagreements with his cabinet then). Currently, there are some who believe that people ought to be asked for “a little something” to attend healthcare while others are thinking the same 1964 way and refuse any form of payment. In this article, I am not saying that one of the groups I am referring to is right or wrong, but I am saying that we have diversity.
This diversity is so vast that we can have so many political parties as the population numbers themselves. Why not? We are not forced to agree on anything. The churches have started it. There are hundreds and hundreds of religious denominations in this country. We have Mount Moriah Ministries, we have Mount Horeb Ministries, we have Mount Moriah Evangelical Ministries, we have Mount Moriah Evangelical Lutheran Church, we have Mount Moriah Free Evangelical Baptist Church and so on and so forth.
Someone asked me about my thoughts on Escom having bought high-class vehicles for its managers. He wanted me to comment as to whether it was moral that the company was buying these vehicles when there are blackouts on a daily basis. My response was that I would have loved my employer behaved like Escom! How I wish I worked for Escom. Having failed to get what he had wanted to get from me, the person asking me also wanted to know whether it made sense for Escom to contribute about K30 million to the President’s initiative on maternal health “despite all the high tariffs and black-outs Escom is experiencing?”
The person wanted to know the morality of such action. I asked whether it was moral to allow women to die needlessly because they were pregnant or delivering. What I had thought my friend should be asking is: whether we should go flat out in the community ensuring that unwanted pregnancies are prevented. I am talking about having the marriage age raised, contraceptives made available to all and building school blocks and paying teachers to ensure that maternal mortality goes down. For me, to think that Escom should not incentivise its managers was not just attractive. I would like to work for Escom in fact!