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Tale of times: A hopeless cast

Twenty months ago, Peter Mutharika and his DPP entered the scene with an aura of importance and lofty promises for the nation. A good number of impressionable Malawians were swept off their feet and started thinking that the road to the Promised Land had been shortened.

Come now, all that hope has vanished and what is remaining is staggering disillusionment that is even registered on the craggy and unhappy faces of most Malawians. We are in a depressingly hopeless situation where even those we ought to bank our hope on have admitted—overtly or covertly—to have run out of ideas.

If you look around, only Peter’s long train of hangers-on that are each said to be walking home with an obscene K1.6 million every month are those that have the cheek to insult us by telling us that Malawi is in the safe hands of Peter Mutharika and his DPP. If not one of Peter’s gofers, then you only need to be someone daft and suffering from acute mental retardation to tell us that we are a nation on the right track.

The economy is in complete mess as we all can see and feel it.

You need some kind of courage just to look at the exchange rates because the figures are depressing and scary at the same time.

The dollar is way up at K750 while the pound is soaring somewhere around K1050. What is worrying most is that the free fall of the kwacha won’t stop anytime soon.

Even the Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has resignedly left all economic matters in the hands of God which, to me and many others, is an ominous sign of more woes to come.

Strangely to some, Peter Mutharika still thinks Goodall still has potency and acumen to turn our economic fortunes around.

But I have always known Peter as one disinterested leader who takes years to notice problems—most times he doesn’t even notice them. I would not be surprised to see Peter maintaining the old and tired Goodall at the helm of the all-important Ministry of Finance.

At his advanced age, Peter needed a group of young and high-spirited technocrats to cover up his glaring flaws that are presumably coming because of old age.

Instead, he has chosen to surround himself with people like Goodall, George Chaponda, Allan Chiyembekeza who will tell him nothing other than nostalgic stories of their stay in foreign lands.

Regrettably, even the young men that are closer to Peter are a bunch of pompous and good-fornothing lads who are only there for the gravy train so that they can hook every cheap lass in town On Wednesday, Allan Chiyembekeza—who is Minister of Agricuture, Irrigation and Water Development—made a statement that confirms how out of sorts this DPP government is. After denying for so long that Malawians are dying of hunger, Chiyembekeza came out and conceded that things are not all that rosy. But while some of us were expecting the good doctor to tell us how government plans to avert this hunger, all he had to tell us was that we should start eating half as much as we normally do. In simple terms he conceded that we must learn to starve because the government does not know what to do.

It is a national tragedy to have a President and his cabinet that do not inspire confidence in the citizenry.

Elsewhere, where people are clever, knowledgeable and serious about how government is supposed to be run, plenty of questions would have been asked about the current government.

Shockingly, there is still some voice out there that Mutharika must stay on until apocalypse. Truth be told, we elected Mutharika hoping that he will be a transformational leader who will move us from the political and economic mire that we have been in for the past two decades.

Sadly, Peter has just proven to be another mistake that needs redress in 2019.

Where I work, I would be fired if I run out of ideas or get caught sleeping on the job. I am sure most of you would face the same fate at your work places. But Peter and his Cabinet are a lucky grouping that, instead of being disciplined for failing, gets rewarded with edifices, long motorcades and all the luxuries there are in the world.

We cannot afford to continue living in this state of hopelessness and arrested development.

Across the borders, our friends are vibrant enough and would not let a government get away with mistakes like we do here at home.

But, sadly, we have a culture that is too patient and used to suffering.

We will still pay our tax, continue deifying the President and his failing Cabinet and life goes on.

What I am made to believe is that, just like the President and his Cabinet, we are all in a comedy and we are a hopeless cast.

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