How we miss it (Part 2)


A woman, who I happen to know, opened an eatery in Mandala a couple of months ago.

With her food creativity, she has captured the imagination of white collar workers around Blantyre, to a point that you hardly find parking space during lunch hour at the place.

The queues of respectable men and women looking for lunch from her, before going back to the office, are a common sight every day, Monday through to Friday, as well as the spectacle of imbibers on weekends.


What she has done is simply to cure the nostalgia that her customers have for the food that their mothers or grandmothers were cooking for them in the village as they grew up.

She cooks chigwada, chipele, nandolo, mkhwani wotendera, khobwe, masamba a kayela and the list is endless.

These taken with nsima together with other mouth-watering foods such as local chicken, fish, both fresh and dry, and even beef and goat meat cooked in the truly Malawian way with no funny spices that make you intoxicated as if you were taking alcohol have found a ready market.


The net effect of all this is that the place is bustling with business and I am sure she is making a good quid.

Because customers are coming in droves, she has employed a group of committed workers who get a decent wage.

But all this serenity and creative entrepreneurship nearly came to a tumbling crash around 2am on Tuesday when armed thieves came calling.

They broke into the place and demanded money from her and went away with some cash after the late night harassment.

Despite the good job she is making out of entrepreneurship, her country did not protect her from the bad boys who came demanding from her what is not theirs.

The police were nowhere to be seen because police are nowhere to be seen on our streets at a time we need them.

Police presence is only on the roads and highways, where they harass motorists with fines or demand bribes.

Late night patrols are so rare that we, citizens, are at the mercy of thugs.

As usual, this does not seem to make Malawians angry. We do not seem to mind that the government we give our taxes to take care of our affairs has its priorities upside down.

It is a well known fact that most police stations have no vehicles to respond to anything.

They are perpetually underfunded that a big police station such as Blantyre would be given a measly K1 million for other recurrent expenditures that include fuel to take care of the security of over three million people in its catchment area.

Grace Chiumia has been telling us since eternity that China has donated over 100 vehicles to Police and they are on the sea, on their way to Malawi.

So, in the wisdom of this DPP government, our security is a subject of the mercy and compassion of the Chinese and that is what we must wait for eternity.

This is one sad joke. In an ideal world, Malawians should have been up in arms demanding security for themselves and their children.

What we have done, instead, is to form neighbourhood watch groups in every other location and barricade ourselves in fortified, fenced houses on top of employing private guards to take care of security, while the politicians get away with blue murder through abuse of resources on senseless things such as travelling to the US for the now redundant United Nations General Assembly.

They cannot worry about this because they are protected to the hilt, courtesy of taxpayers’ money, by the same police.

The problem is that we, Malawians, have accepted this status quo and take it as normal.

And we have made everything that explains our low quality of life in the eyes of the world normal.

We can wake up to dark houses with no power and no water and think that is normal as long as Escom and its now cousin Egenco keep on lying to us year in year out that something is being done when we know nothing of that sort is happening with the rampant DPP establishments incompetence around us.

These are things that have been with us all these years and we are happy to do nothing about them and our low quality life continues while the politicians cheat that all is well and they are looking after us.

This, dear reader, is how we lose it. We have come to accept this rampant mediocrity around, although we are the ones paying the ultimate price.

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