Saturday, April 20, 2013

(Not)Stocktaking the DPP’s Convention. Tracing PP's Implantation of Chimunthu Banda


My colleagues and I had just finished erecting a barricade in the Biafra stands on this dilapidated stadium in readiness of the season just weeks away from commencement.
            As a football diehard, there was no better news than Carlsberg Malawi’s decision to sponsor both Bullets and Wanderers FCs.
I deeply contemplated on what would happen if Carlsberg Malawi had decided to sponsor only one team. Games involving each of the two teams could have been marred by missiles. Not ones made by Pyongyang of course, but still dangerous enough to take a life, but mostly aimed at having the sponsorship taken away from the other team.
Malawi’s football does not deserve to go back to the dark ages.
My wishful thinking: Bullets and Nomads have to learn to live side by side ngati matako amene, abusa ena anati, ngakhale amapatsana ukwetche chantundu wanji salekana. I can hardly see any future in the country’s football without Bullets and Nomads.
The two teams can beat each other -by the way they could use their pint-sized allocation with sound accounting and management in order to win the sponsor's confidence.
Because this sponsorship should not be taken as the final destination to be swindled as a state-house budgetary allocation.
Rather, Bullets and Nomads should see this as ulimbo (charming glue) to attract supplementary deals. I just hope there is no clause which stops the teams from clinching add-on compacts with other companies.
While gazing at the western horizon from the Biafra stands. Further beyond the VIP stands! Lost in my thoughts! Seeing the sun coming to the grounds, slowly kissing the Michiru hills, I smiled!!
Only to be awakened by the sight of a huge blue smoke leaving Comesa. A huge uproar followed.
“Amai should brace herself! Peter Mutharika has been endorsed!” A colleague of mine, standing on my left, but packing the tools we were using for putting up this barricade, whispered to herself.
Will Malawians ever forget
I looked at her. “What? We all know what this convention was all about. Poor that Tonga boy from Nkhotakota”, she answered as if I had put to her any question! She continued with her packing, not concerned at all with the growing pandemonium!
With blink of the eye, I recalled the road to the DPP Convention which had started about three Christmases past.
I could hear my own thoughts. December 2010.
Then I  remembered the ethnic charged and discriminatory attack which saw Joseph Mwale being fired as a sub-editor at MIJ in August 2011. Yet to be told why.
My mind took me away to one of my construction trips to the University of Malawi in Zomba. It was sealed with a yellow tape, inscribed: Police Line, Do Not Cross. Why the institution of higher learning and critical thinking prematurely closed for almost a year?
I then heard the wailing of over 20 innocent souls, lost in cold blooded gunshots.
Businesses like mine were closed because there was no forex for importing resources. I heard about the ambulances running on dry fuel, people’s lives being lost from treatable diseases because there was no fuel in the reserves.
Malawians were reduced to drunkards, yes, tiankwenzule, we were called by the DPP.
All this period, the junior Peter Mutharika [Thom] was being touted as the rightful heir to the throne which he took since that fateful months like this one last year.
Need I mention what could have happened if the “midnight 6”s agenda had passed?
My conclusion is that the job of Willie Kalonga, The Chief Elections Officer from MEC mandated by DPP to man electoral process at the convention was an easy job. This was one of the most undemocratic, unfree and unfair conventions Malawi has ever had largely because elections/conventions are a process. The essence of how free and fair elections cannot not just be determined by what happens on the voting day. There is more!
But also, Willie Kalonga’s was the most difficult position one would have wanted to find themselves in, if the unexpected had happened. But that was all against the odds. As I said, electoral path is a process. But this is also why Chimunthu lost to the tribalist Mutharika because he did not position himself well within the party and its delegates.
Lest we forget what some of the people elected at the DPP indaba did to us when they were in power
When the people who stood with the Young Kahuna (merely because they were denied entry into Peoples Party), Chimunthu’s allegiance to DPP was filled with many questions. 
The implantation of Chimunthu Banda started with the Section 65 saga. DPP was geared to avenge the exodus of its MPs to PP. The party did not care much about the welfare of Malawians apart from catching on JB, giving her a hard time in parliament, including the possibility of her impeachment. DPP was saved by the same when Bingu ditched UDF. However, Malawians did not matter for DPP. 
It was demanded and expected of Chimunthu Banda by the DPP and its seniors that the Speaker  was to disregard his neutrality, the core of his job responsibilities, put on the blue party collars and whip all the MPs who had crossed the floor out of this dishonorable house. This, for DPP, was enough evidence that Chimunthu was an implant!
Yet, this is the party which today claims it has the welfare of Malawians. May be the definition of what constitutes the welfare of Malawians has significantly changed.
It is not surprising that he was thought of as an implant, something which is hardly disputable. I was told later that as others had put on party colours at this convention, Chimunthu anangokolekera ka scarf on top of his black tuxedo. A true absconder.
But, DPP needs to be applauded. They have done their part by electing a confusionist, a gossiper and someone facing treason charges to lead them. DPP likes to gamble.
Innocent Malawians slain for questioning the DPP's regime
But will Malawians forget about the atrocities committed by some of the people elected at this convention? Will my people forget the blatant lies told by these people? Will we forgive these engineers of such evils which rocked Malawi since independence? Is DPP interested in Malawi’s welfare or they are only fueled by cores of hate and vendettas against JB for snitching the throne which DPP itself snatched from UDF (all through backdoors)?
These are questions which other bloggers can critically zoom on and attempt to answer.
 “Let MCP not fail Malawians”, she pleaded to herself while this time, looking at me. Puzzled as I was, she added: “Let the delegates elect Rev. Dr. Laz Chakwera. You know what? JZU stands to benefit with Chakwera’s candidacy considering that the man of God represent the values and kind of transformational leadership that Malawi needs to stir her from the seemingly vicious cycle of mediocrity, corruption, nepotism, and politics of subsistence to high levels of excellence, integrity, unity and abundance for all. A developed and prosperous Malawi is possible and Chakwera is the dawn of hope we all need”. I looked at her, my left eye dimming, my right one wide open.
I don’t believe you. “Malawians have fallen in love with substandard goods. For example, Madonna raised $18 million for the construction of a girls’ academy while using the images of innocent village girls living in chronic poverty.
“Madonna then stopped the construction of an academy saying Malawi was better suited for community based schools.
“She built what she calls 10 schools but which are just 10 blocks (each block having 2 classrooms). One school is supposed to have a minimum of 8 of those she calls schools.
Dr. Lazarus Chakwera: Is He the ONE that Malawi has been waiting for?
“And when put together, her 10 schools cannot even cost half a million dollars. Less than $50,000 has been used to construct a total of “10 schools”. Thus, despite one of the richest people in the world, Madonna has given Malawians a raw deal and we have accepted – just because we think we are poor! Anything given to us by trickery means or not is acceptable. Is this justice?
“Malawi deserves better that the raw deal Madonna has given us, using innocent poor girls to re-position oneself in the global eyes is itself against humanitarian causes! NO MALAWIAN CHILD, JUST BECAUSE IS POOR, SHOULD BE USED FOR SUCH SHAMEFUL CAUSES!!!” My voice could be heard on the other side of the pitch, this time, the ‘VIP’ section
But the look on my colleague’s face was all-over written with this question: Hey, where is the connection with what I said?
“You don’t see it?” It was my turn to speak in whispers.
As I had expected, she gave me a cold shoulder, ignoring everything I had just said. Giving me the look that I had to carry the tools she had packed, she left me while heading towards where she had put her jumbo ya Bwanoni on the eastern side of stadium, the Lalilubani stand where we had started our work earlier.
And with a snap of the finger, as I watched her protruding figure (boys will be boys), I wondered: Why have the name Carlsberg before both teams? Is that not archaic or retrogressive for commercialization of these teams? I am yet to see AON MAN U or SAMSUNG CHELSEA; QATAR BARCELONA!
I sighed, looking at a pile of the things I had to carry all the way to where I was supposed to catch a mini-bus to Chilobwe where I would be greeted by dry taps, blackouts all day every day!
Yes, the very same place where nauseating debris replaced tarmac road long time ago! To my surprise, my neighbors have internalized such an image as a norm! This is Malawi. The place I call home!

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