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Art of losing

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When Bingu wa Mutharika was busy messing up this country, most people agitated for a new face at state house. I remember that The Sunday Times once carried a trial poll on who Malawians thought would lead the country, and Jessie Kabwila came out tops after people generously voted for her. That was the time when she was almost canonised as a national goddess that bravely stood against impunity that characterised Bingu’s last and fatal term in office.

I venerated Jessie for her valour. Until recently, Jessie Kabwila was to me a bastion of ideological rectitude. Everything changed when the other day she tagged along President Peter Mutharika’s junket. When she was asked why she decided to travel with Mutharika, she mumbled something incomprehensible and all of us could tell that something was cooking. Well, elsewhere it would not even have been material for a daily to see the chairperson of women caucus in Parliament on the same trip with the head of state. But here at home—where the president sneers and scoffs at the opposition—it was surprising that Peter added to his coterie a hitherto avowed critic. And the pictures of them wearing sheepish smiles as they alighted the plane said it all.

There is something big happening I swear. The other day, Felix Jumbe was given some airtime on MBC Television. You and I know that MBC does not beam anyone who has something bad to speak about governing. Now Jumbe was allowed to speak on the telly and we know why. Recently, on the same MBC TV there was a broadcast of some purported MCP members who took turns to rap against their party. From their faces, one could easily read ultimate buffoonery and stinking, rustic ineptitude. Of course it would be tomfoolery here to dismiss those MCP members because some of the things they said were true. But what is very people some airtime.

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Without coating words in lumps of sugar, the MBC is not a national broadcaster. It is the government-of-the-day propaganda station. And I must say, I find watching MBC TV stomach churning and damn repulsive. There, people are not even ashamed an iota to parade their blatant jingoism. In recorded time, only Joyce Banda somehow opened up the station and sadly she paid dearly for her generosity and attempts to bring change. I will always revere her for that. Now, all I am saying people like me know that MBC is enjoying the mad house that has become of MCP.

The MCP as a party is very clever and always finds it easy to stab itself. Since 1994, the MCP has been losing elections with extreme expertise. On a count, the party has lost five elections on the trot which is a record in this country. Two years ago, many people believed the MCP had the most realistic aim at the polls. With Joyce Banda’s fallen halo and Peter Mutharika’s unconvincing stature and sagging acumen, the entry of Lazarus Chakwera brought an aura of fresh air. But this is a party that believes Malawi is the Central Region only and that anywhere beyond is no go zone. So what was the MCP’s chance was blown away and chances that it will again give another push are doubtful.

As it stands now, the MCP is one damned house. Things are fast falling apart and chances are, the party will be tattered by the time it goes to the polls.

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The DPP is one shrewd party. Within its ranks, it has brutal savages, smart negotiators and clever tacticians. Look at what has happened to the UDF. These days, the UDF only exists on footnotes of political pages. Its leader—that is if he still leads— is busy running around to defend the Land Bill while his party is staggering to annihilation. The PP is almost gone, too. Apart from some episodic noise from Kamlepo Kalua, the party is almost nonexistent. Now the MCP is going that direction. The DPP is clever, that is why it still manages to rake in a vote or two in every region. But reading at the DPP’s resume all we can read is stinking brutality, outright impunity and deep-rooted corruption yet it managed to come back to power only two years after it turned the country into an epitome of bad governance. It is 22 years now since the MCP fell and it has decided to go on a self-destruction mode. Come 2019, it will be the same old tale. Well, I don’t give a hoot about who wins the next polls because, to me, voting is only about ushering in new thieves but what bothers me is that we do not have strong willed people to give the necessary checks and balances to a regime.

If you can reread this from the first word, you can now start making conclusion. It is apparent that most political parties in this country are not serious. They are busy romancing their ego and lining their pockets while the bigger thief is taking huge leaps ahead. Put my head on the guillotine but I am sure the DPP is enjoying this circus in the MCP, PP and UDF: in fact it must as well be sponsoring these parties’ training in the art of losing.

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