Former colleagues of mine, both of them. Minister Sidik Mia enjoyed feeding large numbers of people at his house and was in the habit of giving away meat to all and sundry.
Although quiet spoken, at rallies he often burst forth in fiery but beautifully eloquent Chisena speeches that echoed against the escarpment bordering his beloved lower Shire Valley.
Minister Belekanyama expressed himself with a distinct politeness and even used to address colleagues as “sir” in circumstances where that was not called for, a carryover from his days as a senior officer in the Malawi Defense Force, where good speaking manners appear to be as important as shooting straight with a rifle.
A very loyal and unwavering foot soldier for his party during the long opposition years, I was quietly happy for him when he was at last appointed into cabinet.
We have been cruelly robbed of these two souls , along with so many other less known but certainly not less important folk who are perishing daily in our hospitals under our very eyes all over the land. Once again we’re being reminded how small and fragile we are.
That which seemed far away has had the audacity to perch its ugly self right in our midst. These are hard times.