In 2007, Bright Molande, then a lecturer in Literature at Chancellor College, wrote a very prophetic article about the 2009 elections.
In the afternoon of the day that the article ‘Candle burning in the storm’ was published, ardent readers, run to the streets searching for the newspaper vendors. This was after they got the news from friends that the The Nation had carried a thought provoking article that aptly described the political seasons that the country was going through.
In the silence of their homes, they read every line of the article, pressing the ideas in their hearts to calm their troubled minds. In that period of political confusion, I guess some people felt like they were reading a scroll sent from the heavens. It was an article that left people debating and with many questions.
At Chancellor College, students scuttled to the desk that kept them updated on current news. The students found the name of their own lecturer as the author of the article they had heard about. They scrambled to read the piece on which their dear lecturer had spewed his thoughts like the cobra’s venom. That day, the library desk was very busy. That piece of paper, was a victim of literary wannabes- it ended in their hands.
The opposition political party leaders were shaken to their feet. They did not like Molande’s article. They loathed and cursed it.
That day, the name Bright Molande, grew wings and flew high in the sky like an eagle. With its eyes it surveyed and gobbled into the evil minds of the opposition against Mutharika’s plans for Malawi development. It laid bare the evil motives in their hearts- that made them push for the Section 65 and delay the passing of the nation budget.
In the article, Molande prophesied Bingu wa Mutharika’s landslide victory a midst the political storms that hit at his administration. Molande predicted Mutharika’s win basing on the wishes of the people that time.
The article addressed many issues surrounding the controversy between Bingu wa Mutharika and the leaders of opposition parties.
But I suppose what caught the people’s interest was how Molande aptly described the greed of the leaders of the opposition political parties. He called them ‘suicide bombers’.
Remember, a suicide-bomber usually walks into the crowd with an innocent face and then finally bombs himself to die with those close to him.
Molande wrote that other politicians are like suicide bombers- they walk into the crowds and politically destroy themselves and everyone who follow them. He wrote that the suicide-bombers also have a skill to attract other politicians to join them into their destruction.
So in this May 2019 elections, take care, for you might be following a suicide-bomber. For there is always one winner in an election, the others could be political suicide-bombers roaming around in the name of presidential candidate.
Unfortunately, you do not know that you are following or sitting close to a suicide-bomber. Only the wise know. Yet, some know and choose deliberately to rub shoulders and dine with political suicide-bombers. But in a democracy, you do not have to wonder about their choice as the political suicide-bombers have the choice to die the way they want.
Molande, in the article also described the opposition party leaders as using ‘Lucifer’s logic’.
The Biblical Lucifer waited for Adam and Eve to get hungry and then point them to the beautiful fruit in the garden. The opposition parties do not like to form formidable alliance because everyone is hungry for power- they are hungry for the presidency.
In this political season, the leaders of opposition parties- hungry for the fruit are a confused lot. It is the season of betrayal and season. They have no time for them to get organised. The confusions and betrayals dishearten voters who look forward to sober and faithful leaders.
The leaders of the opposition political parties, this time will behave as if they have not learnt a lesson in the past. Everyone wants to be the president and that is where alliances breakup or fails- the backbone of the opposition parties once again cracks.
Currently the big opposition political forces of Chilima has indicated no interest in partnering with Chakwera at the polls and the vice versa is also true.
They pretend not to know, yet they know that they have little chances if they go to the polls alone or without partnering a big political party. That is why you can call them political suicide-bombers.
For example in the last elections, the MCP, UDF, and PP, lost the elections but basing on the number of votes that each presidential candidate of these political parties, amassed, the chances were that they would win the 2014 elections if they had entered an alliance.
So, on May 21, the candidate who meets the people’s expectation and needs will carry the day. How big the storms would turn to be towards the elections day, the candle that people love will keep flickering in the storm.
In short, Molande’s article was interesting to read. It shook the country. Now, some 13 years on, the article still rings in the minds of some ardent readers and opposition political parties. You can ask Bakili Muluzi or John Tembo, if they have lost a memory of ‘Candle burning in the storm’. ( By Nyoni wa Nyoni)