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Full of pettiness

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With Madalitso Musa:

If any of you wants to know how damned we are as a nation, the best place to check is social media. On social media, that is where you learn how much we are obsessed with trivial and pettiness. The past months— actually about two to three years since it sank in us that Peter Mutharika won the polls in 2014—the country has been switched to elections mode.

All of us, somehow, seem to have suspended rationality and are no longer thinking beyond May 21. The first two years of Mutharika’s rule were nothing other than a boring session of recollections of how he defied odds to defeat the incumbent Joyce Banda. Nothing else. After he, somehow, realised that the tale had become insipid and no longer awestruck us, he and his cabal embarked on a nationwide spree of laying foundation stones to dupe Malawians that he is in the business of developing this country. But what has become of these foundation stones? Nothing. But on social media, you would be shocked that those who exude more blue in their hue, those who think red is divine, yellow is sacred and green is salvation  can never take criticism. They actually defend and blindly follow whatever their groupings dictate.

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You have to be very afraid of the flip-flopping of party jingoists. It is shocking how people shift posts and start glorifying those they had been insulting all along simply because they have decided to align themselves elsewhere.

The past months, well-meaning Malawians have held debates for both running mates and presidential candidates. What I have learnt from the debates, I must confess, is that we are more obsessed with trivial and the people who have offered themselves to govern us all belong to a club of shysters who have nothing best to offer us. Actually—and read this louder—these are front-men of poster-boys for thugs who are waiting for their turn to ravage what belongs to us.

But as they say, every country deserves the leaders they have, we, too, deserve the pack of wolves who are here to gnaw at us once we give them a chance to govern us after May 21. Is it not utter foolery that we should be pasting, posting and celebrating on social media trivialities about how good or bad looking one candidate is or how much one’s spouse carries themselves with glamour and splendor? Running a country is more than the silly things we talk about on social media and other petty forums.

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I know of people who have the statue, the voice and the looks and, somehow, divinity decided to deprive them of wisdom and intellect. If I am to put this in very raw terms, I must say that I was greatly disappointed by the blind loyalty to our candidates of our preference. A hundred years after today, Malawi will be stuck in the mire of poverty because we have decided to look at things through the optics of affiliation. Now it is campaign period and it is that time pretenders and liars come to sell us dummies and looking angelic with halos over their heads. But we must just take a glance in the mirrors of time to learn now that all these fights are nothing and all these booklets called manifestos are nothing but well-woven scripts full of pettiness.

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