As it is in fashion, our fake celebrity prophets will tell us that 2018 is a year of abundance, year of harvest, year of joy and what have you. It is pretty easy to convince people about the goodies in store for the year ahead especially when the people are desperate for happiness. The response, for most, will be “I receive!”
When this year was beginning, we were fed with messages of hope from all corners. Religious leaders came with their false promises just as politicians did. But in the end, all we have is nothing but vanity and a life of misery.
Tonight after midnight, some will be crossing over to the New Year. As usual, it will be the traditional bustle, champagne popping, fireworks and everything. That, I believe, is a rare moment that Malawians have to be joyful about but after that it is back to misery.
The past two weeks, Malawians have been in a state of shock of having electricity for most hours of the day. In a normal country, having electricity round the clock is neither anything to be shocked about nor something to celebrate about. It is just normal. But here at home, we have been programmed to accept abnormality. We are used to live with problems and silently resign to hope that is not even in sight.
The year that is ending has been torturous to Malawians save for those that are close to power. Area 18 residents were made to drink sewage mixed with water, some pregnant women had to march at Chikangawa in Mzimba just to ask for an ambulance and, perhaps the most disturbing news, four children died at Kamuzu Central Hospital due to power failure.
Despite all these problems that clearly show lack of national direction, our leaders still have this irritating uppity, nauseating arrogance and debilitating nonchalance to believe they are the best thing that has happened to Malawi.
For any right-thinking Malawian, the year 2017 has not been the best for the best for the nation. Instead of moving forward, Malawi has regressed at supersonic speed. All hopes that we had when we were entering the year have been raped and left for dead by corrupt and crooked leaders that we have.
So far, what we should celebrate about is the plastic peace that we have. I call it plastic peace because, while we do not hear gun shots popping and bombs exploding, most Malawians are at a serious war within themselves: a war to liberate themselves from the manacles of privation that has been tight on them since independence.
When you do not have clean water, decent education facilities, when you are economically enslaved, when you cannot afford food, medical drugs then what you call peace is nothing but illusory.
The year ahead, for Malawians, does not bring any hope. Unless there is drastic change in our systems, we will remain a global shame and passing over to the New Year would only be a matter of changing the clock of our torture.
We cannot expect change in this country when we have leadership that does not give a damn about people. And this is even worse when the people are indifferent and they tolerate nonsense.
Last week, I read with utter disgust some silly apology from some Member of Parliament for voting against the Electoral Reforms Amendment Bills. I found the apology nonsensical because it would not change anything. Because of inane MPs like those that are now apologising, Malawi lost a grand opportunity to correct its flawed electoral system. Now what will that empty apology change? Nothing!
Leaders, that advertently mess up our affairs and expect us to smile at them and forgive them as if we are gods must go hang and after that go to hell.
As we are approaching 2018, my sincere hope is that Malawians should stop being a naïve lot that is easily wowed by political lies and blinded by the glare of party colours.
Just like you, I really would have loved to have a New Year of blissful new things that will make us all celebrate being Malawians. But it wrecks my heart that Malawians are entering the New Year with apprehensions and for most of them, the New Year is just another monster ahead.
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