There is something curious about change. Change really changes, yet it is ironic.
There is an adage that the only thing that is permanent in life is change.
Most adults will recall how people agitated for change to bring in democracy after three decades of autocracy. Men died. Women died and suffered.
There was hope. New freedoms were in the offing. A better Malawi glowed in the lights and mirrors of 1992. Malawians “lived their faith” for a prosperous nation.
But what became of us after all the historic referendum of 1993? A new scene with the same actors dressed in robes of multiparty politics.
After the despotic rule of the Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s Malawi Congress Party (MCP) came the United Democratic Front under the charming orator Bakili Muluzi.
Now things changed. It was free for all and standards fled. Education, health, economic, human rights sank to the Davy Jones Locker. But we normalised it and still remained awestruck by oratory. The country became a mess.
Today, almost three decades of our hopes of good governance and progress, nothing has changed really.
Just as we were promised paradise when the winds of change blew in the early 1990s, most Malawians will agree that we have been duped.
The Tonse Alliance mantra of taking us to Canaan reverberates insistently as a lie with the highest calculation of decibels.
We were lied to as a nation.
During their campaign after we were told to vote again, the alliance, led by MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera, came to us as that well-dressed smashing and caring suitor who would turn our misery to golden sunrises and sunsets. We hoped to have a rose-scented life.
But what do we have?
There is a picture of Ngoni-looking man lying on the middle of the road with a club in arms protesting and giving his all to kick the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) out of power.
There are pictures of Malawians who fought for change. They wanted a good life, but do they have it now?
The good ole feeling of “we are happy that DPP is out of power” is ebbing away.
Let us put it in raw terms: Since the Tonse Alliance convenient political marriage came into being, there is nothing worth noting when you tick the boxes of their campaign promises. Just as we had that horrendous era of the DPP, we are just rowing in the same boat.
Who cursed us?
In their defense, they will tell you that two years are not enough to transform a country. Yet they do not say how those two years are long enough to accumulate too much wealth.
Come 2023 or 2024, they will come back to us lying that they will reduce presidential powers, create a million jobs in a year, lead us to the Promised Land and all those lies that serenade a voter to wake up early to vote for them. The irony is striking.
Apart from changing regimes, we need, as nation, to stand up for what is right and what is ours.
We should never be just wowed by speeches, immaculate shows of splendour and promises.
To well-meaning Malawian and patriots, it really hurts seeing pupils learning under tree or some tobacco barns. It is painful that a Malawian cannot afford a meal, yet multitudes once woke up to vote for someone who promised him three meals a day.
It is heartbreaking that we take it lightly to be lied to.
Where is Canaan? Perhaps, we only have Moses leading us and there is Aaron to take us there? I doubt.
On our way to Canaan, we need not to lie about jobs and three meals a day. Otherwise, history will record us as people who let the devil out and let another devil in. I see no changes.