Coming from a Zambian independence celebrations, the president spoke well of the event. He told the nation how he found it exciting to see the former head of state in that country taking part in the national celebrations. He also hinted on how he wished he could have a chance to delegate some of his international duties to the former head of state.
As I was reading the article on nation online, I was interrupted by a TV casting footage which was featuring a documentary on Iraq. It showed one account how in the deadliest attack, gunmen in five vehicles attacked a convoy of buses carrying police recruits near the northern city of Baqouba, killing more than 15 and injuring 25 others.
A series of bombs also exploded at a Baghdad market and bakery packed with holiday shoppers, killing more than nine people and wounding several others. As the program went on, it turned out that the violence was not between the armed resistant and the occupation forces, it was rather between Iraqis and Iraqis.
It was shias on sunis and more than chilling, the shocking scenes appeared to have had the blessing of politicians both in government and the opposition.
When those disgusting images of dismembered bodies and faces reflected in my mind, as I remember seeing Several bodies found dumped in Baghdad streets or in the Tigris River, I looked around to see who was seating next to me,only to find my lovely one year old daughter Zinzi in her pram and Ngaileka ,my four year old son. I immediately hugged them and told myself, how lucky they were to be called Malawians.
I imagine us walking by the shore at our favorite spot in Salima, and then imagine another driving from Nsanje to Karonga to the tidal basin of friendly people.
I picture us walking beneath the shadows of abject poverty, cast by the Mountain of Despair,yet despite criss crossing through the valleys and hills inhabited by the bantus of different parantage,languages and culture,I imagined oneness.I picture us meeting Mr Ken Ng’oma, who at his peak time was considered the most power full man, I consider us meeting Mr Ishmael wadi, who at one time could cause panic, from Mr wadi to Mr Kaliwo and then my good friend Ralph Kasambara, these people had one thing in common, their offices made them the most hated people in certain political sectors yet nothing had happened to them when they were relieved from their offices.
But gazing up at the flames of Hope, and reading the quotes of our national anthem thus:
“join together all our hearts as one”
And at some point, I imagined my talkative son asking me "Daddy, why is nothing happening to them like what is happening to differing groups in iraq?These people no longer hold public offices therefore public security has been withdrawn yet they walk free. By their own accounts, they were people frequently racked with political doubt, and not without flaws, and yet they enjoy their private lives without their former foes compromising their security ?
The answer lies in the Malawian democracy whose spirit champions the task of healing the festering wounds of a nation's original sin.
The spirit that gives courage to the faint of heart, by dint of vision, and determination, and most of all faith in the redeeming power of love, under the auspices of warm heart of Africa. The spirit that endures the humiliation of arrest, the loneliness of a prison cell, the constant threats to voters lives, until it finally inspires a nation to transform itself, and begin to live up to the meaning of its creed through a well thoughtful economic turnaround.
I discovered the warmth and sense of community that the people of Malawi possess - their sense of hopefulness even in the face of great difficulty. I discovered the beauty of the land, a beauty that haunts you long after you've left.
For all the progress we have made, there are times when the land of our dreams recedes from us - when we are lost, wandering spirits, content with our suspicions and our angers, our long-held grudges and petty disputes, our frantic diversions and tribal allegiances.
And yet, by sustaining the democratic spirit no matter how fragile it has been, we have proved the warring, divided and toned nations, that the love of our country beckons us, and that we will find it not across distant hills or within some hidden valley to go the Iraq way, but rather we will find it somewhere in our hearts that there’s progress in all fronts, that though with teething problems, our democracy is growing and that whenever there are differences, we resort to settle our differences in courts as opposed to machetes and pangas.
But for all the progress that has been made, we must surely acknowledge that we have not yet fulfilled our potential - that the hopefulness of the post-colonial era replaced by repression is a regrettable fact. That a post repressive administration was replaced by a decade of corruption and mob justice is another sad reality and that political despair, and that true economic freedom has not yet been won for those struggling to live on less than a few dollars a day, for those who have fallen prey to HIV/AIDS or malaria, to those ordinary citizens who continue to find themselves trapped in the crossfire of political depression needs a united front that brings the nation together.
There is no doubt that what Malawi has accomplished within this short period is both impressive and inspiring. Among African nations, we remain a model for representative democracy - a place where many different ethnic factions have found a way to live and work together in peace and stability. You enjoy a robust civil society; a press that's free, and a strong independent judiciary. When people are judged by merit, not connections, when the best and brightest can lead the country, people will work hard, and the entire economy will grow - everyone will benefit and more resources will be available for all, not just select groups.
As the former president reflects on the incumbent president’s reconciliation, when he responds to the call of national duty, he should take the state president’s approach seriously. I know that honoring his legacy whilst leaving active politics for good may seem like an impossible task - an effort bigger than he can imagine - but sometimes all it takes to move us there is doing what little you can to right the wrongs you see.
In today's Malawi - a Malawi already more open and less repressive than in the past is the envy and pride of many –It is a Malawi that has been courageous enough to confront its past this is the sort of Malawi the former head of state need to be proud of. A Malawi he can ably stand for and defend it in the international scenes as the current president seriously considers giving him the mantle to represent Malawi.Dr Muluzi, time for amangwetu is over ,
Its time to respond to the national duty of raising the flag and tell the world that Malawi is indeed the warm heart of africa