By Flywell Kalikene
I should have written this earlier—or—on time. But; maybe—after all—it is not too late. I am compelled.
Until recently, I have been overwhelmed with how serious and then stupid politics can be. Well, mine is a now-generation. A generation that will simply read the stories of Kamuzu Banda’s tyrannical rule from such books as Professor Jack Mapanje’s And Crocodiles Are Hungry At Night or Sam Mpasu’s from Political Prisoner 3/71.
Entering politics then, was suicidal; so, we are told—or—so we read.
Most of the current generation, to say the most, know politics from Facebook or some animations on WhatsApp groups. Our youthful generation of politicians, and not just politicians, have—unfortunately—been groomed into the same manner of politics:
The politics of back-stabbing. The politics of witch-hunting. The politics of go-down-I-go-up.
Like now, as tumult is refusing to settle over the issue of the running-mates in our different parties, three days before MEC closes the nomination window, my heart is with the innocents—the ones that have been beaten in the back because their colleagues in their parties wanted to away what was theirs.
My heart is with those that, instead of working hard to enrich themselves, would kill; and, indeed slot their fellows in the pits of hypertension just to paint that picture that they are political correct. Of course, my heart is with those that really wanted good for our country but have gone underground because those with selfish wants have remained afloat.
And, such people, who have meant well for our country and kinsmen, who have committed no crimes—really—have been there since the dawn of multipartyism; when Malawians said enough was enough and with painful experiences and remorse picked up their sharp knives and slaughtered the black cock in anticipation of light—light that was never to be.
Such people are many. Innocently being ridiculed. In the confines of their living rooms. There is one of these I will give as an example. The reason is simple: he has been in the limelight than hundreds in a similar quagmire.
I will talk about Dr. George Chaponda.
After twenty years of diplomatic service, he returned home—for his people of Mulanje South West. Perhaps to help, for Mulanje South West constituency has never been the same since he was elected MP in 2009. From the late Bingu’s term and now Peter, the gentleman consistently remained in Cabinet. Not just a deputy, but a full Cabinet Minister. And, it is no mean feat. Some have gotten fired never to return.
He was at the helm of the Ministry of Education at a time every Jim and Jack would wake up and open a school. The situation in our private schools was deplorable—incompetent in everything. He came in and initiated the inspection of the private schools; and, not only that, those that did not qualify were closed.
But before that, he was Minister of Foreign and International Affairs where while banging heads with late Bingu, he championed the establishment of the relationship with the People’s Republic of China. Today, Malawi would never be the same—infrastructure-wise—without China. Fact.
Need I say more? Well, just one more thing: at local government, while minister, George promoted the DPP policy of establishing rural growth centers in Neno, Dowa and Nthalire and construction of modern markets.
…then something came up. Call it political smear if you want!
George was becoming popular in the ranks and files of the Democratic Progressive Party. He rose on government protocol list. He became Leader of House in Parliament. The President was a phone call away. His name started popping up—for DPP’s running-mate position.
I mentioned politics of back-stabbing, and I will brand them politics of greed, too. It was for George. Someone wanted the influence George had built over the years with sweaty leaps. Someone wanted to be Leader of House in Parliament. Someone wanted their name pop up—for DPP’s running-mate position.
…and then boom! Maize-gate came up, created as it were, to bring George down.
Those that wanted the DPP running-mate position palm-oiled Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and lawyers—just to have George blacklisted in the eyes of innocent Malawians.
But even after eleven months, George was found not guilty—not by just a small court, but the High Court. Those that wanted the DPP running-mate title, slumbered not. Again they went to court, this time with other created offences. For the whole Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had no issues with George anymore. For there was no maize-gate.
And, we hear, those that wanted the DPP running-mate positions are not getting it anymore.
But as I said, they have been politics of back-stabbing in the last four years. Politics of let them go-down-I-go-up.
And, as I said, these paragraphs are not just for George but for the others, too; and, for all of us who in one way or another have felt the pinch of back-biting.
It is sad, and we look forward to better politics in the next four years, that is, after May 21.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post