It is that time of the year, again, when we must abide by our solemn oath to brief you annually about the state of our estate, your estate. We fulfill this undertaking in fear of the threat you issued that if we do not brief you annually you will come back and hold us by our small necks until we sweat, vomit, and piss blood. That was before expressions like ‘ton of bricks’ and ‘mfitiyaikazi murderers’ were introduced into our political parlance.
Moya, wherever you may be, with whomsoever you cavort, and with whatever your spiritual self is, receive our lukewarm greetings from our wretched and hopeless earthly space pipo still call Malaŵi. We are all fine and happily siring new entrants to our 18 million strong population.
Moya, it is very difficult to summarise the events of the past action-packed year in 500 words. But we will attempt.
First. We report that since our last report we have seen positive changes in Malaŵi. A dual carriageway between Area 49 and City Centre in Lilongwe and another one in Blantyre from Kameza via Magalasi to Wenela are almost finished. And as usual, Moya, Malaŵian drivers, most of whom had never seen a good road before, are smashing their cars against concrete barriers and street lamps. This is happening every day and, particularly, every night.
Also, Moya, we must report that the T385 road has also been tarred. Thanks for your reminder Moya. Indeed, those who do not know this road should ask the people of Mtukumula, Chibalala and Mlabwadzi. Although most of the roads, especially the M5, are worse than when Bakili Muluzi left them, we are making progress, Moya, aren’t we?
Second. We are glad to report that new irrigation infrastructure is also being erected around the country. Early this week, Oliheya Ngwazi Professor Dr Arthur Peter Mutharika was in the Shire Valley where he commissioned the K175 billion Shire Valley Transformation Project which is expected to provide ‘Irrigation and Cash Crops for a Better Malaŵi’. Great news, Moya. Tell Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika that the party he bequeathed to his brother is making progress and translating the African dream into reality.
However, promising as this project may be on paper, Moya, this is Malaŵi where the pipo, the voters, the food producers, and the defenders of Malaŵi’s democracy will come out bruised while the Oliheyas will drive out with mansions and the latest LandcruiserCygnuses. World Bank or USAid reports indicate that since 1994 over $1.1 trillion (about K800 trillion) have been poured into Malaŵian agriculture but food assessments indicate that Malaŵi is still the hungriest country in Africa, even hungrier, our enemies say, than war-torn Yemen, Somalia and Syria. But we are officially making progress, aren’t we, Moya?
Third. We are pleased to further report that Tractorgate, the theft and abuse of 177 farm tractors and 144 shellers bought with an Indian loan, is nearing conclusion because the wrongdoers, all of them belonging to the Oliheya status group, the biggies, were identified by the Ombudswoman and her team, shamed and forced to apologise. But two arrogant principal secretaries, buoyed by the support they got from their Attorney General, defied the High Court’s agreement with the Ombudswoman’s recommendation for them to simply apologise, kupepesa. Their Attorney General took the case to the Supreme Court. The highest referral court agreed with the High Court that the two arrogant principal secretaries should apologise, apepese. But still, the two arrogant principal secretaries defied that order.
The good news, Moya, is that the two arrogant principal secretaries were eventually found in contempt of court. They are now serving a nine month term each suspended for 24 months. Had they ‘pepesaed’, they would not be criminals today. Arrogance is costly, you used to say Moya.
Fourth. Moya, in 2019, Malaŵians went to vote. For the first time, thanks to social media, Malaŵians saw how vote tally sheets are twisted and manipulated in favour of Oliheya the incumbent. Moya, do you remember Tippex, the correction fluid Hilda used to correct mistakes on stencils when we were establishing MIJ three earthly decades ago? The same fluid was used to cover changes and manipulations of figures. For the first time, the court agreed with the petitioners that, in a laywoman’s language, the election was deliberately and, in some cases, incompetently mismanaged. A new presidential election might be conducted. Parliament has changed relevant laws to allow for a new election using a new winning formula called 50%+1, and not the notorious FPTP.
Although his brother’s party is already campaigning in alliance with the Muluzian Party, Oliheya is convinced that the Supreme Court will overturn the Constitutional Court’s judgement so that he continues to enjoy the benefits of being Malaŵi’s chief Oliheya, which include arresting human rights activists for threatening to shut down State House. Has State House ever been open? Kamlepo Kaluŵa, dressed in military fatigues, failed numberless times even to reach the gate of Sanjika Palace.
Don’t laugh, Moya, for such is the state of our estate five years, later.