The results of the Afrobarometer survey are out and personally, the take home message that Malawians are an unhappy lot.
This has been the truth all along but it needed the Afrobarometer mid-term reviews survey of the performance of President Peter Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration released this week to validate this.
The majority of followers of political parties, from the DPP to the nearly extinct United Democratic Front (UDF) believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
But typical of political institutions in this country, each will look at the results of this survey selectively.
For Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the news is that if elections were to be held today, the party would win with 32 percent of the votes followed by DPP with 27 percent.
To MCP, there are high levels of excitement and optimism of change of government.
The DPP on the other hand will engage a defensive and propaganda mode.
Where are Afrobarometer offices? The clueless National Intelligence Burea (NIB) and Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) will want to visit them.
Newspaper sales executives should flood the offices of the Ministry of Information for full page adverts to dispute the results of the survey.
Producers at Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) must be spending sleepless nights sifting through their not so creative source books to find just the right traditional leader willing to have a ‘bin laden’ stuffed in his mouth and the right ‘civil society’ member whose house construction has stalled and whose vehicle the garage has been holding on to for months.
The Information Minister Nicholas Dausi’s not so well oiled propaganda machinery must be going into overdrive. As such prepare for long meandering press releases aired or God forbid, read out verbatim on television.
If the DPP is so confident that 2019 is theirs to grab, they should sit back and watch the opposition MCP make fools of themselves.
But knowing DPP and its overzealous use of State machinery for propaganda, they will not take this lying down.
This will be an opportunity for the infamous Secretary General Greselder Jeffrey to run her mouth again and an even bigger opportunity to insult and belittle survey results that they don’t agree with.
So what else is new in this survey? Nothing. Once upon a time Joyce Banda received similar good news from surveys and the woman and her not so smart political strategists took it to heart.
As she was building orange painted houses for people who would not even go to vote and touting one cow per family—never mind that some communities knew nought about animal husbandry—Capital Hill was being looted, the presidential jet was being sold right under her nose and the DPP was strategising on how to confuse teachers on mathematics.
A word to the wise, lets call them MCP since they are so elated by this news: Ignore these results, let them pass like oil off a duck’s back. Go to the drawing board if at all you have one and make a plan that does not involving gloating.
These results are a wake up call because if the MCP has any pride at all, celebrating that they might win with 32 percent is really sad.