Walking across the country, hearing the people talk in minibuses, at funerals, churches, bars, homes, you get a feeling there is something seismic happening here.
On Tuesday, against the wishes of their President and the maneuvering of the government, Malawians will vote for a new President.
If you trust respectable pollster, Ipor, that vote will end with a transfer of power from Peter Mutharika, 80, to Lazarus Chakwera, 65.
That Malawians are agitating for change, so loudly, should not come as a surprise.
When Mutharika was announced winner of the nullified 2019 presidential elections, Malawians from all walks of life poured into the streets in protest and stayed there until the courts agreed with them that the elections was not managed in a credible way.
Malawians, in their crude talk, say those elections were rigged.
The court ruling, though, prompted the President to declare war on the Judiciary, leading to the ill-fated attempt to remove Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, one of the judges who presided over the election case and also thwarted an alleged attempt to bribe the judges who eventually ruled against Mutharika.
The DPP has kept a grudge.
Yet attempts to force Nyirenda into retirement have only galvanised an unprecedented swell of goodwill towards the judges and scorn towards the President.
The continent, once proliferated by all manner of dictators, is running short of them, but Mutharika seems eager to step forward and descend into the abyss of history as belonging to the club. By proceeding in a manner so brazen, his goal is, clearly, to undermine the courts and rule of law.
Meanwhile, the country—the institutions of democracy in the country and importantly, the citizens—are fighting back in a manner that has been illuminating and uplifting to watch.
The latest attempt to stop the election through delayed funding, after failing to stop it in Parliament, has failed too.
But while running out of tricks, the regime is still trying to play smart Aleck, save for the fact that desperation is increasingly clouding reason.
And the reality is, had Mutharika cared about governance, and not just power all along, had he shown the people of this country that he has the mettle and the commitment to bring the development they crave, he wouldn’t have been in this desperate and precarious position.
Mutharika, as this column has often stated, has been a low-energy President while cronyism and tribalism got entrenched.
On Tuesday, Malawians will have their say whether they will ditch him or hang around with him.
In the meantime, the opposition, which for years proved its own undoing, has learnt the lesson and united to ensure no repeat of a fragmented vote.
Thanks to our judges, too, the magical 50 percent+1 will come into force and no individual will be President by dividing Malawians into tribal pockets where they can pit one tribe against the other, while manipulating their grip to power.
That era of divide-and-rule is now being well and truly consigned to the dustbin of history, for good. A new era looks imminent.
We do not care who wins, but we care how we are governed.
If Chakwera (or indeed if Mutharika) wins and fails to grasp the lesson of this tenure of failure, it will be a tragedy of an unimaginable proportion.
Malawians are tired of being taken for granted and they are agitating, sometimes violently, for genuine change. They don’t want to trade one clueless administration for another or one tribal thieving cabal for another, but a government that can bring meaningful change in the way this country is governed.
Electoral victory will mean nothing if a new party and a new elite do nothing to end the underlining challenges this country is facing from village to village, town to town.
Most importantly, we need a credible vote on Tuesday in which Malawians can truly elect a government they can trust to take us forward.