When cometh modern day Joseph?
In the good book of Genesis, a story is told about a young boy called Joseph, who was sold by his brothers into slavery for twenty pieces of silver and off the traders went with him to Egypt. It is the developments that followed while in that country that is of interest to us, in light of some of the matters that unraveled here at home last week.
While Joseph was in prison, King Pharaoh had a dream and he could not easily fathom what they dream meant, just like his helpers. It was only after the cup bearer in the palace told him of how prisoner Joseph was interpreting dreams that young Joseph’s prowess would come to the fore, after he successfully interpreted the king’s dream. Now, why am I bothering you with all this?
Last week, Vice President Saulos Chilima, returned from an official visit in the United States of America and immediately sent tongues wagging when, after touch down at the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, he left people, especially his UTM party sympathisers that were on hand to welcome him, with more questions than answers after going proverbial in his brief address to the crowd.
Whether what he said related to the goings on with the Tonse Alliance political grouping or purely relates to government business is up to everyone to determine, as the VP simply laid it out for the public, urging them to find meaning on their own. Therefore, who among us wants to be the modern day biblical Joseph and interpret what the Vice President said? I for one would not dare take on such an a daunting task.
In a clear vernacular statement, his two sayings went as follows, in that order:
‘Okazinga Soya sadikira mbuliuli’ [do not wait for Soya to pop when you’re flying it]
Munthu wanzeru saotcha tchire lozungilira nyumba ngati alibe chimbudzi’ [One does not burn the bush if his or her house has no toilet]
Though I have but shied from being that interpreter, this time not of dreams as Joseph but of sayings, do permit me however to share what I personally would like to believe Chilima insinuated, which he encouraged each one of us who were listening or watching, to do.
I believe the two sayings encapsulate the troubled times that both Tonse Alliance and government are experiencing. It has been quite clear that all is not rosy in the alliance, especially between the main partners UTM and Malawi Congress Party (MCP), much as the leaders of the two parties appear to be on the same page.
Followers of the two parties, and to an extent some officials, have been busy antagonizing each other, more especially on social media, and many have feared this might overarch to the affairs of government if left untamed. Even the absence of MCP supporters at the airport was in itself telling (unless I missed them). The same was said about the absence of UTM party cloth along some roads in the Northern Region when President Lazarus Chakwera was up North on a tour.
I believe Chilima, through his ‘toilet’ saying, was sending a message that MCP should not behave as if it can do without the alliance partners because in the first place, it is that partnership that helped oust the previous regime and formed government, hence they all need each other. (the parties, that is; if at all the nine of them are still functioning).
Coming to the Soya saying, my take is that he was probably alluding to the procrastination that is there when government wants to make crucial decisions. It is common knowledge that time is ticking and fast; hence any delays or indecision on government programmes that have a bearing on the public would be a minus for the Tonse-led administration.
It is high time that Tonse Alliance and indeed government, started functioning like a well-oiled machine to deliver promises that were made to Malawians before ballots were cast.
But anyway, these are just my thoughts so do not read much into them as I said I am no reader of dreams (or sayings?). You might just discover that they are completely off tangent to what was meant by the Vice President.
Therefore, let me ask; when cometh our modern day Joseph to interpret the sayings?
Stephen Dakalira is a seasoned Journalist who works as Times Group’s Online and Digital Executive Editor. He is also the Assistant Editor of The Sunday Times Newspaper, and author of Full Circle column which appears in Malawi News; all of these under the Times Group stable.
He has previously worked in key positions for some of Malawi’s key media institutions such as Malawi News Agency, Capital FM Radio and Star Radio (Now Timveni Radio).