We, Alhajj Mufti Jean-Philippe LePoisson, SC (RTD), Nganga Maigwaigwa, PSC (RTD), Abiti Joyce Befu, MGG 66, and I, Malawi’s first and last Mohashoi, are back home from France where we went to observe, nay, witness the Presidential elections that saw Monsieur Emmanuel Macron march to the Elysee, the Sanjika or Kamuzu Palace of France.
We are home; our home; our country. And how lovely the feeling. Whoever said there is nothing better than home must have been a Malawian and must have been talking about the Federal Republic of Malawi. In France, you rarely, nay never, get greeted by people who don’t know you. But here in Cashgateland, everybody, in a bus, in a coach, in a pub, in a church, in a mosque, in a Nyabhingi, in a hospital ward and even at a funeral, is a friend and ready to be greeted. Actually, failing to greet people, even strangers, in Malawi is a social crime.
To be honest, there are many things that left us unimpressed about the French presidential elections. We were not impressed with the choice the French people made. We didn’t like Marine LePen. Neither did we like Emmanuel Macron. We wondered loudly at times, why electeurs, as voters are called there, decided to elect an ung’onoung’ono, a baby boy to be precise; someone who is not even 40-years-old. Surely the French need to be educated about the saying that life begins at 40 years. What that means is that anyone below that age is not living yet. That’s why here in the Federal Republic of Malawi, the pearl of Africa, the mother of democracy, we rejected Austin Atupele and chose, at midnight, someone older.
We thus expected the French to behave a bit Malawianly and elect someone old enough to be the grandfather of three quarters of the French population. They should have elected someone aged above 75 years. On this score, we deem the French a total disappointment.
We were also disappointed that President Macron, through his Prime Minister, George Ujeni, put together a 15-member crime-free gender-balanced cabinet picked from all walks of French political life, except of course the extreme driote of Marine LePen. Macron and his prime minister should come to Africa and learn about cabinet appointments.
The biggest shock for us was that soon after the elections, the French people went back to their work and stopped talking about the elections.
Forget about the French and their France. We are home. We are in Malawi. We are among fellow Malawians. We are back to reality. We are back to where campaigning does not stop.
Only yesterday, soon after landing and going through the airport MRA rigmarole, we picked the Daily Nationality, and read that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General, Jeffrey wa Jeffrey, told the world that a Malawian from the Northern Region of Malawi can never become President of Malawi. And the bashing she received was as expected.
“This is pure tribalism! I can’t stomach this crap!” Nganga exclaimed as we took a round of Chivas Mikhito and fantakoko at the Kamuzu International Airport Waving Bay Lounge.
“Cool down. And drink in peace. When did north become a tribe?” I asked.
“What do you mean? Any discriminatory reference to one’s origins is unconstitutional in Malawi!”Nganga went on.
“I have only one problem, though,” I said before Abiti jumped in.
“Don’t defend the indefensible!”she said.
“What I am saying is that the DPP Secretary General was just airing out her party’s political quota policy and truth. You will remember that President Bakili Muluzi said the same to justify why he had bypassed all his senior colleagues in the UDF and settled for Bingu wa Mutharika as presidential candidate. According to UDF-DPP unwritten policy only the Southern Region can and should produce a Malawi president.
“Northerners should actually blame themselves for undermining themselves politically and being overzealous. It was Ziliro Chibambo, a senior northern politician, who first declared that the North would never produce a president until Jesus, the Christ came back. Northerners did not cry foul then. Then, it was King M’mbelwa who declared Mutharika (ka)Ngwazi but the Northerners never condemned him. Some people say that it was also northerners that declared Kamuzu Banda life president of the Malawi Congress Party. ”
“So, the DPP secretary general is just repeating her party’s policy,” Abiti concluded.
“That’s why her party has not condemned her… yet!” Jean-Philippe concluded.