Letter from Sapitwa: The manifestos, the Yellow and Blue lies

It’s that time of the year, when everybody has something to say. Thank God we have lived through four  elections of 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009. The 2014, by his will, we should see and wave good bye in a few days’ time.

Everyone has become experts and branding each other “liar” seems to be fashionable. Lying, gossip and petty jealousy are Malawi’s national treasures, ask the composer of the national anthem, he captured the spirit of the same quite perfectly.

But the Yellow and Blue lies seem to dominate the airwaves and once in a while, you get hit by some oranges and some black cock shouting lies as usual.

Today we should start with party manifestos released, finally after a long wait. Meaning literally, the DPP, MCP and UDF, the key parties had nothing on their table, until they read their friends and adjusted to suit their lies.

Two presidential candidates Atpele Muluzi and Peter Mutharika
Two presidential candidates Atpele Muluzi and Peter Mutharika

This is debatable, but it’s a fact. Elsewhere opposition sets agenda for the elections. In the UK, with elections a year away, Labour has already sent David Cameron’s Conservative Party into defence mode.

Labour will freeze energy prices, cut University fees and now considering even further measures that will change the scene.

In South Africa, Cope, Democratic Alliance and even Julius Malema released manifestos earlier as they capitalised on ANC weaknesses.

Its only in Malawi, yes only parties with lies, that have stayed in opposition for 20 years (MCP) 9 years (UDF) and 2years (DPP) wait for a ruling party to release a manifesto. It tells you two things, they are either lies concocted now or have no idea what they are talking about.

The biggest challenge for Malawi is the gap between the richest and the poorest. We have too many poor people that their survival depends entirely on hand to mouth ‘ganyu’ or literally prayer.

Unfortunately in this category, there are around 13 million Malawians. Forget the 60 percent living on a dollar a day. Even working class drivers, messengers, labourers cannot afford a dollar a day meal. I will not talk of “a mchenga” and others hustling.

Lets go back to the lies.

The first argument is that these parties adjusted their manifestos to sound the same like others after only other released theirs, because they did not either believe in them or they have no idea what they are talking about.

We start with the Yellow lies. Putting money in your pockets. This sounds very familiar with one gentleman popularly known as “Political Engineer”. He charged all the time, “Kangachepe komwe timapeza tizigawana pang’ono pang’ono”.

By the end of his official 10 years, with thwarted attempts to extend it illegally, the engineer was Keza rich, TV and Radio station richer than any Malawian. Poor women had to wriggle their bones to receive K50 notes which caused overload of the kwachas in the country’s money system.

The Yellow lies are back, others about donors, who have responded, but more importantly lying to Malawians that they will have money in their pockets. I have studied the UDF manifesto, the problem it does not say how that money will mysteriously fly into my pocket on May 24 when Mr.
Atupele Muluzi is inaugurated Head of State.

The same goes with the blue lies. It Chief founder, the Late Daniel Phiri (Hey the guy changed names like anything, he was once Webster Ryson Thom, then Bingu wa Mutharika and his brother, wife and others, I guess children decided he be called Daniel Phiri at the end, don’t blame me) was once an epitome of anti-corruption crusade. He coined a famous phrase “Ndikakupeze ukusolola, ndikumanga, makiyi ndikataya ku shire.

By the day he assumed his new name Daniel Phiri, courtesy of his loving brorther “Professor Tate Peter Mutharika” he was K61 billion richer, an audit of K92 billion stopped and mansions in Portugal and more properties in Zimbabwe. He seemed to have invented a new meaning of “kusolola.”

This is apart from the sheer scale of tribalism where the new qualification in Malawi included a Lhomwe home village for you to get a Government plum job. For people who hate the truth reminding them won’t be a bad fact.

By the day Daniel Phiri (don’t scream my choice of name, the dude had three, its multiple choice here) went to meet his maker, Clerk of Parliament, Chief Justice, Heads of Military, Police, Immigration, Reserve Bank, State House, Admarc, NFRA, and hey almost everything were incidentally from one tribe.

Ministers for Finance, Foreign Affairs, Education, Justice, Health, Information and half of Principal Secretaries in all crucial Ministries came from a specific area or tribe. Today DPP wants Malawians to believe that it will forgo its blatant tribalism when trusted with power?

The blue lies want to cover the fact that Ndata MUST University was originally approved to be in Lilongwe as Lilongwe University of Science and Technology. The DPP wants Malawians that the plans to shift the National Stadium to Blantyre from Lilongwe were all dreams of the late Daniel Phiri?

For some reason the DPP manifestos deliberately omits to pledge of a nation united and people working on merit not on their places of origin or language they speak.

Today they want us to applaud the many loans we have to grapple from over borrowing on domestic market and the Chinese loans we have invested in sectors that will not bring anything to the coffers for the 20 year period we will be paying back the loans.

The blue lies continued earlier this month, talking of “Tate” as a cultured family man. The questions have already been asked by the public.

One thing for sure, the UDF and DPP are desperate than any other party to go back into power. The reasons are family interests than anything that defines Malawi and its future after 50 years of independence.

Mr. Atupele Muluzi should learn that after meeting people, you don’t go and share on the podium what they said to you in private. It’s a self-inflicted disaster he has to apologise to Malawians and
development partners for part of his credibility to be restored. He should try again in 2019.

For the Professor, at 74 years, its time for one to retire. The gruelling campaign, insults and comic portrayal of family man will surely kill the old man quickly. The people pushing him to run have
own interests than love for the old man.
At 74, people go and play with their grandchildren (assuming they exist), tend to their late families graves and enjoy the riches than trying to save some 15 million poor people who won’t appreciate you after 2 years in office.

Unfortunately for this week, the Yellow and Blue lies are not convincing. Next Thursday where did you see the black cock and how Oranges are tasting strange nowadays………………love from Ntopwa, near BCA Hill residence.

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