Like the past two years, the past two weeks have been a painful lot.
It is as if the year 2022 is the time our thinking capacity has reached its limits and we no longer know what to do, where to go and how to get there.
Our mountain of hope, built on the foundation stone of the June 23 2020 court-ordered presidential election, has turned into nothing higher than a valley.
Already, the hope Malawians had that, following assurances from their leaders, they would be buying a 50 kilogramme (kg) bag of fertilizer at less than K5,000 has tumbled into nothing better than false hopes.
Yes, false hopes delivered shamelessly by the very leaders that raised that hope.
Chances are that, by the time farmers get ready for the 2022-23 agricultural season between October and November this year, fertiliser prices would have rocketed from K14,500 to K90, 000 or, worse still, K100,000. God forbid.
Today, the economy that was as strong as a chimpanzee’s chest on Independence Day, July 6 1964, has collapsed and turned into a mantrap for all those who count on it to make ends meet.
I am talking about farmers, some of whom depend on tobacco to shore up their pockets; some of them are into tea farming; with, yet, others steeped in maize, cotton, soybeans, macadamia nuts, and what have you, farming business.
Thing is, farming is no longer a business; it is some form of modern-day slavery instead.
Oh, that is how low our hopes have tumbled.
W h e n the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, announced new farm gate prices earlier this year, the idea was that farmers should have something to lean on; by this, I mean, to eat and sell.
The recent devaluation of the Kwacha by 25 percent, coupled with the recent increase in prices of fuel such as petrol, diesel and paraffin, has condemned Malawians to a state of hopelessness; a new low.
Right now, farmers are already counting the money they have in their pockets in loss terms; farming is no longer profitable.
Lucky are those that will afford a 50 kilogramme bag of fertiliser in the forthcoming growing season.
Today, the glittering pile of papers that served as the Tonse Alliance Campaign Manifesto is merely a bundle of false promises.
After all, where are the mega farms? It is only last month— when President Lazarus Chakwera realised, all of a sudden, that he had promised to put, here and there across the country, mega farms— that the First Citizen issued some, rather, low-toned instruction to Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe that he must either ensure that we have one mega farm or disappear from the corridors of the ministry.
Well, maybe two years is the duration the President takes to act on something, which is unfortunate because he was elected to deliver.
Talking about delivering; in his own words, the President— then in the opposition— promised to bring heaven to Malawi by transforming fortunes of this country within two years.
Has he done that? Your guess is as good as mine.
But, then, I think we, Malawians, are to blame. We sometimes trust the wrong guys, instead of trusting ourselves.
We sometimes take that childlike excitement we feel when voting too far.
In the end, when the elected leaders fail to deliver the goods, our sense of frustration becomes even greater.
So, on second thought, I think we have no one but ourselves to blame.
It is high time we stopped looking up to leaders for everything and started focusing on our own little lives.
These leaders we have depended on for so long are there to fill their stomachs, fill offices with their kinsmen and, when they walk the mile we call term in office, leave us where they found us.
At that point we start hoping again, instead of learning the bitter lesson and investing trust in ourselves. The moment we realise that we are all alone in this multitude is the day we will embark on a journey of self-discovery.
Time for self-discovery is now.
Look here, these fellas are jokers—and always have been. Thing is, they joke at our expense.