When the old Malawi Congress Party (MCP) warned us all that matipate n’chisokoneze (plural politics is confusion), many of us did not care to listen. After all, why should we have listened. We believed that the yoke of authoritarianism was so heavy that anything else was better. The warning still came from Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda that matipate ndi nkhondo (multipartyism is war).
Depending where you are standing on the political divide, you can see the country in 2016 as worse than it has ever been. For others, this is the best time the country has experienced since we were made a British protectorate. For me, really, the excitement is refreshing. There is no dull moment on the political landscape of Malawi. We have what I would call a thriving democracy. Dissent, divergence of views, arm-twisting, youth parties and PAC meetings, pastoral letters, men of God, FAM elections, injunctions and strikes once in a while as well as a rowdy National Assembly. This is marvellous. Yes, the hunger and rising prices are biting, but I would not think these things make for a dull country. By the way, ladies and gentlemen, if there was a choice, on one hand people to queue endlessly at Admarc to get maize or on the other hand for people to queue at petrol filling stations as we used to do the other time, which queue would you choose? Be honest with yourself. Would you rather see motorists lining up on endless lines or you would want the poor and vulnerable in our society to continue lining up for 20 kilogrammes of maize?
You may have read the newspaper item in which Ambassador Archbald Kapote Mwakasungula was featured after the launch of yet another of his books Malawi’s Lost Years. Reading the story of how the book came about was interesting to me. But more interesting was when I read that Archbald Kapote Mwakasungula is a village chief and his young brother Clement Kapote Mwakasungula is the Paramount Chief Kyungu. I was left wondering how the Ngonde’s choose their chiefs? It must be interesting, isn’t it? I am still wondering what is the current relationship between Kyungu and Chief Karonga. Remember that when this 24th Kyungu was being installed, Karonga (not Kalonga) had written the district commissioner protesting the installation of Clement Mwakasungula as the then new Kyungu.
I am interested in the petitions the citizenry once in a while deliver to the DCs. If these documents ever reach State House, then there must be a full file labelled “Petitions”. Who knows all those petitions are in the President’s “Pending” tray. If they have not been to the shredders already. Why would I think in such a way? Read what Gerald Viola said about the 2016 Catholic Bishop’s Pastoral Letter. Two days after the letter was read out to the Catholic faithful, Viola said the President had not seen it yet. Was it not your job Mr Viola to put the Pastoral Letter on the President’s desk as soon as it was out of the printing press? n