By the time you will read another entry on this column, we will have a new administration lording over Capital Hill, shaping policy, administering our taxes, handing out government jobs, contracts, and God knows, what else.
The trouble with elections is, while they can guarantee the universal suffrage; guarantee the wishes of the people in as far as electing into office those desired by the majority, they are not an end into themselves.
And elections, decided by majority, means there will be others whose wishes will not be carried out. Nor elections guarantee that those elected will make right choices and decisions for the country once in office.
But at least they give us an opportunity to take a chance on people making promises to give us a better life, whether they’ll deliver or not. That’s the beauty and tragedy of democracy.
Unfortunately, the right to vote, as once noted by one of Africa’s greatest sons, Patrice Lumumba, is also a right to self-destruct.
“The Tragedy with Africa,” Lumumba once prophetically observed, ‘is that those with ideas are not in power while those in power have no ideas. When the people are given a chance, they still vote for those with no ideas.”
I hope we’ll get it right on Tuesday. I’ll definitely vote for the guy I believe is the best hope for the country. But I’m resigned to fate, the dude is not angel, for no man is perfect and ardent readers of this column will recall how I agonized last week with the candidatures of the main hopefuls.
Obviously, there are candidates I would not want to win. But if I dared say, here, whom I want to win or lose the vote, my landlord here will snatch this column from me and personally I consider that to be irresponsible.
Look, folks, these elections are serious business. But if you’ve trusted the fairness and credibility of this writer’s journalism, you can denote from years of writing of what values I hope the incoming president will promote. By that, you can also easily deduce what kind of leadership we must not allow to waste our time and taxes by voting it into power.
But no matter how passionate you feel about our country’s future. And no matter strongly you feel about the credentials of those vying to power, just accept the results of the polls as fate or destiny.
Let’s accept whoever the people will elect. Such a call is so essential in a fledgling democracy. Even more particularly so today, when we are fully aware that tempers are high and voices of reason are at premium. Tuesday’s is going to be a very tight vote.
Already many a political player has accused the rival of attempting to rig the elections. Its only statesman-like behaviour to now rise above the fray and urge the citizenry that once Jane Ansah has conducted the enormous task of telling us who is the lucky guy to occupy Kamuzu Palace in the next five years, we should all pull together as one nation.
Violence will be a needless undertaking of fools; our youths should be educated now that there are no fruits in anarchy, no matter how tempting the motivation to do so.
And all eyes should be on the leaders on the ballots themselves because in such heated political theatre, it takes just one careless leader’s utterance for hell to release bonfires. We hope and pray, such will not be this country’s fate. We are a proud democracy, after messing our name with senseless killings of people with albinism, or those stupid claims about blood suckers, lets show the world once again how mature as a democracy we are. That we can transfer power smoothly in observant to our constitutional norms and the will of the people.
So yes I will rise and vote. Let’s all do so. And let our votes be inspired by one goal: the building of a better homeland. And if our candidate lose, let’s remember that those whom we have little faith in as candidates might even prove us wrong once in office. In 2004 I didn’t want Bingu wa Mutharika to win as a UDF candidate. In 2009, I rejoiced when he won a landslide. Such is life. Good lucky, countrymen and women!