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Muckracking Extra: A wow Parliament

Going by Clerk of Parliament Roosevelt Gondwe’s pronouncements, the elected 192 members of Parliament (Blantyre North is yet to give us an MP) will take their oaths of office from tomorrow at the Chinese-built edifice in Lilongwe.

Congratulations are in order for my good friend, Juliana Lunguzi. It was risky to voluntarily walk out on an international job for your passion to serve the folks in Mua. We know you did not make that decision for fun.

Jesse Kabwila, too, is going to Parliament. My! I cannot imagine the academic freedom goddess face-to-face with Patricia Kaliati. These are two women with different backgrounds but united by acerbic tongues. I cannot wait to watch the contest across the floor.

And, finally, Harry Mkandawire has bought a ticket to Parliament; the guy has been trying and trying and failing and failing. I am happy for him, trust me.

I am also happy for Kamlepo Kalua. Man, you cannot write a book on the history of multiparty politics in Malawi without the name of ‘Tchwee, Mwana Tchwee!’ Too bad he will be on opposition benches. But, hey, Kamlepo has never been material for the ruling side. He is at home in opposition.

But the muckraker is sad, though, that his four friends will not be in this Parliament: Ken Lipenga in Phalombe, the two kakas – Cassim and Fahad – in Nkhotakota, and BJ in Mulanje. What happened? These guys could have added value to this Parliament.

But while mapwiya, the kakas and BJ can wait for only five more years to try again, I am devastated that my friend Godfrey Kamanya will not have a second chance. I remember one night joking with him and Ulemu Chilapondwa at a pub in Blantyre that all MCP turn-coats – Kamanya, Chilapondwa, Abel Kayembe and even Ama’s anointed deputy Sosten Gwengwe – would not return to Parliament.

Godfrey and Ulemu challenged me, of course, but never had I envisioned that Godfrey would take the loss so badly he would kill himself. I wish I was there to tell him sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. He still had the whole life ahead of him.

Anyway, I wish Nicholas Dausi and education activist Joyce Chitsulo had represented the folks in Mwanza in Lilongwe. But I am happy for aNgoni Davies Katsonga. Chipani Cha Pfuko read like a joke but at least he has proved that if the nation at large never thought he was cut for national politics, at least his folks in Mwanza thought he had what it takes.

And, hey, one of his councillors even made it to the district assembly!

The same cannot be said of his half-brother, Mark. The guy had a well-oiled campaign complete with a big campaign bus. How could he not grab that seat in Neno? He wasted crucial time traversing the country chasing the wind while Neno was slipping away from him.

Hey, I never gave an outside chance to my ‘now MP’ Allan Ngumuya. His field was too crowded. ANgoni Lucius Banda, too, will again mesmerise us in the august House with his red ‘Kanda Bongoman’ suits! Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri, that one, yes; she too, is heading for Lilongwe.

And there are other interesting faces in this Parliament. My good friend David Bisnowatty has defied the odds to become Malawi’s first Jewish MP. And, in Rumphi, a Dutch philanthropist Jacqueline Kouwenhoven, is also going to Parliament.

It does not get better than this!

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