Tales of Times: Living a nightmare as Joyce Banda so removed from realities of the harsh times
I have come to believe that President Joyce Banda is far removed from realities of the harsh times that we are going through in this country.
Listening to her State of the Nation Address in Parliament, one cannot help but shudder at the grim reality that this ship, which is sailing in turbulent waters, is captained by one who doesn't even know where north is on the compass.
The president's confessed ignorance of the acute drug shortage is surely a mere footnote on the list of so many other important things she is not aware of.
We might have blamed her addiction to play beardless Santa when it is not Christmas and globetrotting, as reasons she is often in the dark about what is happening in her country, but I think her Excellency's major defect is simply put, a lack of Presidential sophistication.
I am not sure whether she was delivering a lecture in ironies or reading some extract from a piece of literature of the absurd, but to tell the nation that all she is seeing in this wretched nation is prosperity and economic breakthroughs borders on some classic example of executive insult.
Perhaps, the numbers of people who have died or are assured of dying soon because the country has no drugs do not move her an iota that is why she had the guts to tell the nation her prosperity myth.
You do not need to have eyes the size fluorescent tubes or a brain as sharp as that of Einstein to notice that everything in this country is crumbling under the "wise, dynamic and visionary leadership" of President Joyce Banda (you can prefix a DR at the beginning if you like).
As we are speaking now, government business has come to a halt because civil servants have come to the end of their patience and can no longer sustain themselves with concentration camp salaries.
I am told that more trouble is brewing as nurses, known for their legendary professional patience, will soon stay away from hospitals because there is nothing to either work for or with. We all know that the only beneficiary of this will be the grave that will be receiving more tenants.
Someone may want to duck responsibility of this economic mess by blaming someone who is now lying supine under some marble mausoleum at Ndata, but the truth is that in the nine months that JB and her People's Party have been in office life has become unbearable; almost hopeless.
What angers most is that, Banda has licensed the Bretton Woods lords to turn Malawi into an economics laboratory for neo-colonial economic experiments that are abhorred there in the west.
We were told that the side effects of the western economic dosage we took in May will be painful, but we shall recover but, as it appears, the same dosage is fast forwarding us to the grave instead of healing us.
Look here, when Banda's convenient scapegoat, Bingu wa Mutharika, was in office a litre of petrol was less that K300(if my memory serves me right) now, thanks to the biting Automatic Pricing Mechanism we are buying the same litre at over K700.
The consequence of this needs no rocket science. Obviously production costs for companies will soar meaning prices of commodities will continue skyrocketing.
With the stunted salaries that you and I receive it means survival will be by some divine providence, if you believe in any.
Sometime back when we were reading that commodity prices in Zimbabwe could rise while a customer is on the queue we thought these stories were mere fabrications to taint uncle Bob Mugabe's image. Now we are living in that nightmare in which what a K100 can buy today it cannot buy the same the next day because price are ever upward changing at the blink of an eye.
But then, it is not everybody who is living this nightmare. You can just take a look at how some people grown potbellies in just nine months (not because they are pregnant) and you will notice there is a gulf between us.
If you want to know who I am talking about, find a video footage of JB's speech in parliament and watch those animated faces who were clapping hands and foaming with praises even when JB said nothing but coughed or sneezed.
If you want to know more of these accomplices in national plunder, just flip through the pages of newspapers you will read some glassed men in suits praising the economy simply because it is benefiting their greedy banks, companies and their bank accounts.
We thought we were done with that dark and painful era when , apart from fighting on so many survival fronts, we had to live with the pain of leaders who specialised in lies and arrogance.
Take for example the once revered Goodall Gondwe- yes the man who was part of the DPP cast that wrecked the country big time and now taking a starring role in the PP comedy. I do not know whether it is his advanced age that has betrayed his memory or maybe he has joined the band of those who are in a trance and do not know what is happening or know what is being said, but I was shocked when he said that no one ever said the Economic Recovery Plan has an 18 month time-frame.
This to me was a bad joke that insulted me. It is all over on record and perhaps he should have had a talk first with, for example Ken Lipenga or Reserve Bank Governor Charles Chuka if the President was far away.
That said and left like that; we should take a look at what is happening around, be it with our education, health or any sector.
It is like we were bewitched by charlatans whose curses are irreversible. You still find in this era primary school pupils at a school of over 5000 sharing less than four reeking toilets, secondary school students sleeping on the floor and 100 college students queuing endlessly for one tattered text book.
It is not easy being Malawian. You really need an extra survival strategy to live up to the life expectancy age. For a common Malawian, life is about having thieving and visionless governments, receiving bad education, loafing around town jobless and if you find one, receiving laughable salaries then in the end die because hospitals have no drugs. It is all about living a nightmare.