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ColumnsTales of Time

Two fools collide

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Time indeed flies so fast. The resonance of victory songs by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after being declared winners of the dramatic 2014 tripartite elections has not completely receded and here we are, the Malawi Electoral Commission has launched the next elections which are only 15 months away.

Since the last elections, a lot has happened and there have been too many things to write and talk about. The United Democratic Front (UDF) slipped into oblivion after its leader, Atupele Muluzi chose to have a dalliance with the DPP. People’s Party (PP), too, has stuttered and is no longer the same grouping that painted the country orange.

As we are speaking, just as in ecclesiastical tales about the Second Coming, nobody knows when Joyce Banda, PP’s leader, will return home. She left her party in disarray and it has wobbled to irrelevance. Atupele, it seems, is not sure what he wants as UDF leader. In 2019, Atupele has the enormous task of convincing people why he thinks is the right president more than the current Peter Mutharika in whose cabinet he serves. Perhaps just like he did previously when he was in Banda’s cabinet, Muluzi will find an excuse—lame or solid— to bolt from the government and start his campaign. It is up to him, of course.

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So far, the race in the 2019 elections looks to be between the DPP and the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Since 2014, the DPP seems to have lost a bit of yard and the MCP is closing in. The October by-elections of last year did no good to the morale of the DPP especially after losing in Ndirande and Nsanje Lalanje. Since then, the DPP’s main focus has been how to keep MCP off balance. Ironically, the MCP has, of late, been generously giving the DPP ammunition because of the MCP’s serial squabbles and blunders. Observing the DPP and MCP feud, and how their loyalists act, you can easily tell that these are two parties that are similar in their differences.

I read the shallow arguments on social media by supporters of both MCP and the DPP and all I am left with is a feeling of hopelessness that whichever party will win, it will be another five years of frustrations for well-meaning Malawians.

If you tell most DPP members that their Mutharika is being misled by turning into a layer of foundation stones other than a leader, you should expect vitriol of utter disdain from some inane supporters who have had their brains clouded in blue. Tell an MCP member that their Chakwera looks out of sorts and is only best at fantastic and superfluous speeches in borrowed American accent; be assured of insults of hate as if you have just killed their relative.

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Once upon a time, I thought the reason we do not have health debate on how to develop this country was our shocking illiteracy. I have learnt with shock that those who stayed longer behind the chalk board are even worse.

I know of some young ladies gentlemen from my college days who were sharp and focused. Those days, I had the hope that once out of college, this was the cream that will change Malawi’s status as a global laughing stock. Years later, these have turned into some irritating hand-clappers who have been blinded by the glare of political party colours. Some are DPP, some are MCP, some are UDF and some are PP.

As we take the last 15 months to make yet another grand decision for this country, I am filled with hopelessness especially that I am sure that if the DPP wins it will be the same boring routine while if the MCP wins it will be an opportunity for those who have been in financial doldrums to deep their finger in the public purse.

All said, I must say that whatever is happening between the DPP and the MCP, to me, is the proverbial tale of when two fools collide

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