I start this last but one entry into 2017 on a very personal note. I want to say a few words in honour of those who are no longer here, even as it pleased God to favour me with another 12 grand months since the last Christmas. Not that I was better than those who did not make it to the next December 25 which is two days away. But because of His grace and mercies whose depths are unfathomable.
From my little known village in the middle of nowhere, several of my keen and kith were recalled to glory; cousins, a grandpa and a grand nephew. God also graciously enriched his Kingdom with one jolly good man—brother-in-law.
It pleased Him to give us all these good people during the time they were on earth and it has pleased Him again to move them over to His abode. Who am I to have said no! Thank You for them. In everything I give praise. May Your name be blessed.
But on a more national concern, my heart bleeds when I think of all those who lost their dear ones on the roads of Malawi due to human error, drink-driving, unroadworthy vehicles that have been plying our roads and poor conditions of the roads. Police say over 1 700 people died in road traffic accidents in the country in 2017 alone. These are far too many deaths. It is the more reason that I want to say people can do anything with their resources—vehicles, money and life—but please be responsible enough by not endangering other people’s lives.
And as we inch closer to another Christmas, the day when billions of people celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, all I can do is to wish you all well. The lure of the festive season comes with the usual glitz and glamour. With the festive mood in the air, the merry-making during this period is unavoidable. But let this not be a hazard to others.
You will note that I have carefully avoided being patronizing to you about how and what you do with what God in his providence has gifted you this festive season. If you get a bonus pay or a 13th pay cheque, lucky you. It is the fruit of your sweat or prayer or both. But just be responsible enough so you don’t endanger others in anything you do as you spend those resources—some call it kudzipepesa.
Yes, eat, drink, wine and make merry, but remember that there is still life after Christmas and January 1. School fees, the long and difficult month of January to negotiate through, the usual utility bills, agricultural inputs to buy, debts to square if you care to enter the new year with a clean sheet, to mention but a few.
That it will be a dark Christmas, thanks to the generosity of the Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) does not make things better. The two institutions have sold this country many dummies, volunteering lie after lie about their plans to import gensets. All the talk about the gensets—some were to be airlifted from China—has only come to an addition of 2 megawatts to the national grid, so I am told. Under the cover of darkness, especially in the streets and homes, thieves will have a field day.