Our leader of the delegation, Professor Abiti Dr Joyce Befu, also popularly known as MG 66 and MEGA-1, has convinced us that we should defect from the United Transformation Movement (UTM). As you already know by now, we, Professor Abiti’s subjects are no push-overs. So, it took the professor a lot of cajoling, pampering and alliance building to convince us to defect. And defect, we have.
I, alone, was against defecting from a movement which we had joined, uninvited, less than three weeks ago. We attended the Lilongwe Masinthasintha Ground launch and we travelled to Blantyre for the Njamba Freedom Park launch. We intended to travel to Mzuzu to witness the third launch but we prioritised joining our Mangonian brothers and sisters in seeking solutions to the Ntcheu-Balaka water crisis. Water is life. So is politics.
Mangoni is dry. There is no water from Mpira Dam. Even the boreholes are drying. Bientot, as the French say, there will be a crisis: disease and death. When that day arrives don’t say, we, the owners of this federal republic did not warn the water authorities and politicians.
As Amartya Sen has severally argued, some of the world’s social crises such as food insecurity and water shortage are man-and woman-made. Shortage of rainfall or drought, deserts, floods, do not cause food insecurity, says Amatyr Sen, paraphrased. Reggae maestro Winston Rodney, marketed as the Burning Spear, sings in This Man that if the system, the governance structures, the policies, and the laws are not fixed, any man, any woman, anyone and any leader could be Babylon. Babylon in reggaelese is anything bad and antidevelopment and antiprogrammes.
And that’s partly why we are leaving the UTM.
“You see,” argued Abiti, “I expected to hear a lot of new governance ideas from our freshest political minds but all our UTM launches are full of Muluzian insults.”
“Those ‘insults’ are meant to warm up the crowds to ensure that all the major issues are left to be addressed by the president,” said Nganga Maigwaigwa, “It’s typical political entertainment. No one should take those jokes seriously.”
“Then UTM limited is not different from ordinary old school politicians,” Abiti said.
“Kkkkk,” Nganga laughed.
“But my point is,” Abiti said standing up like a preacher emphasising a point, “this delegation should not belong to any political party whose main mission seems to be castigating opponents. Our prospective national government leaders should be giving us ideas about how they plan to change the misfortunes of this country. How will they address Mangonian water challenges? How will they fix food insecurity”?
“Biased people, learn to listen and appreciate the movement’s objectives. It is here to drain the swamp. Also, the UTM says it will create one million jobs in the first year alone and arrest all those who steal today, encourage investors back and voilà, Malawi will be developed in the first year of the UTM government!” said Jean-Philippe LePoisson.
“I agree that UTM can create one million jobs in one year,” said Native Authority Mandela, “And who says there are no jobs in Malawi?”
“What are you saying?” Nganga fumed.
“We hear that there are over 45 percent of civil service vacancies but Babylon does not want to employ people because he enjoys seeing people poor,” Mandela said. “There are also a lot of jobs along the agriculture value chain. If UTM can just bring back the MYP as a farming force, the one million jobs can be created in one day and food insecurity can be defeated in one season!”
“With MYP-like horsepower agriculture can boom. But, how do you encourage investors to come to Malawi with the current structures intact? Arresting one person or two does not stop systemic corruption. Does it? Address the structures as politicians, that’s my point. UTM is not doing that and we are defecting, boys,” Abiti said.
“By the way, when is the elective convention?” Nganga asked.
“Sorry. There are no more vacancies in UTM. The president, first vice-president, second vice-president and first lady, ministers and top civil servants have already been appointed. Even the next Inspector General of Police, Army General and Chief of Staff, gardeners, drivers, body guards have already been appointed,” Abiti said.
“No comment,” I said.