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No longer homely

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If all goes well, our President Peter Mutharika will be home today. He went missing since he went for the United Nations General Assembly in US. We were told that Mutharika will jet in at 1300 hours. Likely, his arrival will be with pomp and funfair.

Mutharika’s trip to the US has made too many headlines — good and bad. If you were very new in town, you could have thought Malawians care so much about their leader. Since he left, almost everyone has been tracking the old man. Everyone wanted to know exactly where their beloved leader was. It was like Mutharika is the solution to all our national problems. But those of us who have been here long enough know that Mutharika is not the solution to our problems. He has never been. In fact, he is another problem that we need to solve.

Whether he is around or away, Mutharika does not make any difference. With or without him, we are still a nation on autopilot and left to cruise to damnation. So, the whole concerns about the whereabouts of our leader was not about missing his acumen rather it was all about knowing what has befallen him. In fact, most people will tell you that there was some fresh air when the old man was away.

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Chiefly, our major worry was the painful truth that while in the US — whether recuperating, resting or doing businesses — good ol’ Peter was blowing our money fast. That was the reason we wanted him on the next plane home. You and I will agree that it is very painful to be paying someone who is not doing his job properly. And Peter Mutharika is not doing his job properly. In the two years he has been in office, he seems to enjoy seeing the country running in reverse. For instance, we do not have electricity and it appears we will not have any of it anytime soon. And now, we also have to pay VAT on water, bread, milk and laundry soap. If you were to ask Mutharika or his minions, they will just stare at you and give you that mocking stare. Not that they are arrogant, but just that they do not know what it means to run a country.

Four to six years ago, we went through the same dress rehearsal of living in hell as we are doing now. It was during the DPP regime when passport fees were increased by over 100 percent; it was under the DPP when this country was chocked with repressive laws; and it was under the DPP when colleges closed for almost a year and nobody cared.

The trend is so simple here, the DPP is best at torturing Malawians. And they do not care about that. Making matters worse, this party knows how to treat people with legendary nonchalance. But we cannot blame them for whatever they want to do to or with us.

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In 2012 — that is if you believe in divinity like I do — God intervened in our affairs when he decided to pluck Bingu away from us. Not that I find entertainment in death, but Bingu’s departure then was necessary. Necessary because that time, everything is Malawi went bad and it was because of one man. So when he went, it was a prayer answered for many Malawians.

But Malawians really have goldfish memory, that is why only two years on, they decided to bring back the callous DPP. Now the DPP is here and trust me, it will stay for longer. When Peter disappeared, you could tell from the social media and elsewhere that some people really wanted some bad news. But, I do not think God will bail us out anytime soon. He has Syria, Haiti, Sudan and many other problems that he is interested in. He did us a favour in April 2012 but we decided to mock him two years later.

I might sound fatalistic, but this is exactly what honest Malawians will tell you. Well, after all said and done, I have been looking forward to seeing my president again and in good health. Not that I like his leadership or that I draw inspiration from him. I always insist that he is a fatly paid employee whose performance leaves a lot to the desired. But allow me to welcome my president home even though home is no longer homely.

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