I was with my children when one asked the question? “Why is Six afraid of Seven?” These are riddles that these little ones sometimes throw at you to gauge how smart or sharp upstairs you are.
I am forty years this year and so just starting to enjoy life, as it were. I said I didn’t know why Six was afraid of Seven. The little boy chuckled as if to show satisfaction that I was indeed a fool he has always thought: “Because Seven ate (eight) nine!” I was done.
The little boy was smarter than I was and so he seemed to enjoy it. Jokes like these are the prerogative of my children. Nothing illegal as such and from time to time, they can unleash these on their poor dad, your truly.
Now, I felt the same way when President Joyce Banda used her prerogative to appoint Vice-President Khumbo Kachali to be the person overseeing the Electoral Commission. I am told this body is called the Electoral Commission in the law books although most of us, from time to time, call it the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), an entity that does not exist.
Appointing the Vice-President to be in charge of MEC was nonsensical to me. It didn’t worry me when people talked about the Vice-President to ‘supervise’ the Malawi Electoral Commission.
For me, I remembered the Constitution of our Republic that states: “There shall be an Electoral Commission which shall consist of a Chairman who shall be a Judge nominated in that behalf by the Judicial Service Commission and such other members, not being less than six, as may be appointed in accordance with an Act of Parliament.” As a purist, I found that there is a difference, a big one, between the Malawi Electoral Commission and the Electoral Commission. What Kachali was given was most likely an entity that existed in another country and not Malawi. In any case, it was all a joke and the President agreed with his removal from the same.
There is always temptation to read too much into things. The President thought that Kachali was not suitable for the Ministry of Health; so he was removed. He was not given any substantive ministerial position which is alright as he should deputise the President in all respects. But was the rationale for giving the Vice-President an entity that never existed? This is where I surmise that it was all a joke; why is Six afraid of Seven?
In my previous writings, I had accused the State House officials for not paying attention to the leaking tap at the first gate of Sanjika Palace. Ladies and gentlemen, this tap is now dry. They have removed the tap and closed the pipes. A painter has also been at the buildings working to make it look presentable to all of us. I am somewhat satisfied but I will be looking closely to see how the works progress. Cleanliness is godliness.