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In the first place


JUST like me, President Peter Mutharika, is not in any way among the best speakers of this world. You need to be very patient and attentive to grasp what he is communicating. I am pretty privileged than Mutharika because, save for specific days, I am not required to spend hours on end trying to explain myself orally.

Of course, to some extent, Peter, too, needs no hours to give reports of his outings of duty or whatsoever. But occasionally, Mutharika is duty-bound to update the nation on some very important tours of duty.

One of such is the trip to and from the United Nations General Assembly (Unga), from which Mutharika recently returned. Personally, I did not expect any encouraging news from Mutharika especially that I know him as someone who is only good at bringing us tales other than results.


Mutharika has, as president, been to the Unga for the fourth time and all of you can bear witness that apart from controversies on the crowd that tags along, his traditional overstays and secrecy on expenditure, there is nothing beneficial that Mutharika’s annual junkets have brought to this good country.

It all started when Mutharika was leaving that his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Fabiano, laboured to give us a likely dubious manifest which, up to this day, we cannot verify.

Somehow, we got Fabiano’s tales as the truth and never bothered to probe further the numbers that made Mutharika’s trip and how much was spent on the same. All said, upon his return from the trip that you and I silently yet painstakingly funded, Mutharika was supposed to have the courtesy of updating us how he spent our money.


But he decided to be pompous and non-chalant to stay at home—likely being massaged— and sent his surrogates to mumble some incomprehensible lines to us. Get me right here. It is not like Mutharika’s speeches have a tinge of pleasure or inspiration, but as the most senior servant who we pay so much and who survives on our purse, he needs to have some decorum and humble himself to give us updates on whichever assignment we send him to.

Actually, it is not like we are asking for a favour that Mutharika must address us after his outings of duty. The truth is that Mutharika owes us an update every time he spends our tax. Today, Peter and his hangers-on might have some uppity to think that they owe nobody an explanation and that all they have is the fruit of their toil.

But let us face it: Before 2014, Mutharika wealth was not what it is today. Mutharika, his immediate family and all his cronies have accrued wealth in the last three years just because they are living on our taxes. It is just wrong that Mutharika should now have the cheek to stay at home, doing whatever, when he had just returned from another money blowing trip. I know Mutharika has this cowardly way of attending to serious issues.

Most times, Mutharika, like the proverbial ostrich, buries his head in the sand and somehow expects everything to sort itself out or disappear. Take, for instance, this time around, people were expecting Mutharika to, like the nation’s superman, tell us how his government has prepared to bring peace to Mulanje, Phalombe, Thyolo and Chiradzulu where some people have been mercilessly killed on blood sucking rumours.

On his return from the Unga, Mutharika should have told the nation how he was going to deal with the savages that are terrorising the nation’s political landscape in the name of loyalty to the Democratic Progressive Party as well as dealing with his overcharged minister, Grace Chiumia.

Mutharika had and has no excuse of not personally addressing the nation after his trip from Unga. It is not like we are asking for some favour from him. Actually, the importance to which he attaches the trip should be reciprocal to what happens after it. Putting it in straight and unadulterated terms, Mutharika was disrespectful to send his subordinates to address us on the Unga. Mutharika has a thousand issues to explain to us. If he thinks the trip and anything about it were useless, then he better not have gone in the first place.




ON some occasions, I spend time in my Ndirande encouraging youngsters who want to earn a living through writing. One thing I persistently encourage them is to read and read quality things. To those that are far here is an interesting and poetic ending to a short story “Strange Fruit” by Monica Arac de Nyeko I am an end giving birth to another end. I don’t realize it when the weight above me is lifted. It does not matter. I am already too heavy to fight the stormy seas. I am sinking. There is a kick to my thigh and a command, “Lets get lost”. I hear laughter. It mounts the great Kilimanjaro and withers its grandeur. Movement around me becomes faint. Sounds of gumboots thudding upon the earth draw away. Sounds of feet jumping and stepping onto the back of the Land Rover come through. There is a long ring of laughter again as the vehicle starts. It spits gravel and raises dust, which floods the compound. It is quiet for a while.Then the cry of a lone openo bird pierces through. “Cu cu cu.” Piloya’s voice also comes through. “Ma, Ma…” The lingering filth in my depth is stronger than death. I struggle to keep my eyes open. I seal layer upon layer of restraint over my emotions, till they are tighter than a hymen. I am sprawled over this very earth Piloya took her first footsteps upon. The red earth has blended with my naked thighs. My breasts point up to the heavens like two small anthills. The sun sheds a gloomy light. It is dull and shifts the hours slowly. I hang to the hem of sanity like an antelope in a snare. I remind myself; my name is Lakidi Sofia. I am stone. I am warmth. I am sky.

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