Back to square one


Malawi is in a precarious condition. Again.

And, again, at the centre of it all are leaders who, as those before them, have become steeped in their own sense of self-importance.

Instead of sparing a second, minute or even hour to reflect on issues making Malawians uncomfortable in their own country, leaders of this country are busy embarking on activities that can best be described as self-enrichment schemes.


Come to think of it; globe-trotting has become the new norm perpetuated by our leaders, the aim being to line their pockets with cash, even though they hoodwink us into believing that they advance our interests.

Unbelievably, party colours are now dominating at public events.

At the official opening of the 2022 tobacco marketing season in Lilongwe yesterday, it was clear that the new dawn they promised was, in fact, another name for default settings.


That is why People’s Party (PP) women—who were clad in party colours— sang on top of their voices that the President should regard prospects of him contesting in the 2025 presidential election as a foregone conclusion.

The women sang that those who find anything wrong with that— ‘that’, in this case, means jumping the gun and nothing else— can as well go hang.

They delivered the message with ill-gotten humour, as if to mock the sanity of those that do not believe in jumping the gun.

Then came Malawi Congress Party women, who sang the song sang by their PP alliance partners: The President will have another go at the presidency at the polls in 2025.

Not that it is wrong to announce what has been agreed behind the scenes; after all, the Republican Constitution gives all those that are eligible the leeway to contest for public office, including the highest position on the land, namely that of Head of State and Government.

What is wrong is that such pronouncements were made at a public, and not party, event.

It is as if the political parties that sang the songs of life beyond 2025 are too broke to bankroll their own activities. One such activity would entail telling people what the parties have agreed behind the scenes, as regards President Lazarus Chakwera’s position on 2025 elections.

But, instead of organising such activities at their own expense, some political parties in the Tonse Alliance decided to discuss the President’s candidacy in the elections set for 2025 at a government-sponsored event.

It is as if the tax-payer owes political parties in the alliance a living.

No wonder, even as we near two years of the Tonse Alliance administration, it is evident that there is too much talk, too much paperwork, but little progress made on the ground.

It is not known when the cost of a passport will be reduced.

It is not known when police officers will stop lining up on the streets six hours before the national leader passes through that road, exposing our men and women in uniform to excessive sunlight and rains.

The problem with making motorists wait for far too long for the presidential motorcade to pass by is that, unlike in the past when traffic was low, there are so much vehicles now that any unnecessary delays culminate in queues that take forever to clear out after the President finally passes by.

The problem with the deployment of hundreds of police officers to roads designated for the President’s use is that criminals get a free way to do as they please.

Come to think of it. Security for Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences students in Blantyre has become so compromised that there are 10 robberies a day on average.

Inspector General of Police George Kainja weighed in on the issue in the week, saying, to the contrary, the security situation in Malawi has improved.

He says what Malawians regard as insecurity is, actually, isolated cases of “crimes of impact” that have been registered in the past three months. A prudent Malawi Revenue Authority official died under mysterious circumstances in Dedza District; so did a lawyer in Blantyre.

Theft has even taken place in the precincts of the State House, a case in point being at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.

Every day, people are being robbed on the streets but it would be foolhardy to count on the President to do anything. He may, right now, be busy thinking about the next inconsequential trip abroad.

He is too busy sneaking his own interests into national affairs.

At the national event yesterday, the constellation of the President, party women and people out to advance personal interests had the shape of politics, other than national interests, itself.

Malawians are on their own.

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