Last year I was listening to a local radio station. They had done a report on women who had had C sections at one of our big public hospitals. However, they were discharged without getting medication that would prevent infections in their uterus since the hospital had no medicine available. After some time, the women came back with infections and had their uteruses removed as that was the only option. Why am I sharing this?
I care very deeply about human rights. I felt, that our current government (DPP) had failed our country in safeguarding that. The last 5 years, DPP has openly misused public funds yet hospitals continue to have no medicine. As a feminist, I worry for the sister in a marginalized community who lost the ability to have children because our government couldn’t afford to provide the medicine they needed. I was horrified when a representative from the Government openly denied that people with Albinism are being killed and should seek asylum in other countries stating that “the government has it under control.” I was even more horrified when a teenaged girl was raped in police custody when she should have been protected, actually when she shouldn’t have been there in the first place. So yes, I am very concerned and scared that DPP is still in power; I fear for those in marginalized communities.
I wanted change, yes, maybe for me, change looked like MCP and to others UTM, I just wanted change. I wanted a leader who not only cares about others and developing our nation but, a leader who is surrounded by people I have personally seen go above and beyond to develop their communities, to empower women and create opportunities for young people in our country. Mostly, I wanted a leader who cares about those in marginalized communities. The rate of unemployed me in Malawi is very unbelievable trust me I have lived it, I wanted a leader who cared about creating opportunities to reduce the employment rate in Malawi. This is why I am struggling with wrapping my head around people who are celebrating this win, but my friend reminded me most people celebrating this win have a personal gain and connection one way or the other. Y’all selfish and love money but anyway to each his own, as William Wilberforce said:
“Selfishness is one of the principal fruits of the corruption of human nature, and it is obvious that selfishness disposes us to over-rate our good qualities and to overlook or extenuate our defects.” yes maybe I am being very judgy.
DEALING WITH THE ELECTION RESULTS
As a Malawian citizen, I am very devastated not because my favorite candidate did not win, but because this loss feels like the death of democracy. My brother in law stopped voting a few years ago because of the Malawi Electoral Commission, He voted this year because he, like a lot of Malawians, wanted change. After the elections, he said to me “Mfana this why I don’t vote, my vote doesn’t count, Asamanditayitse nthawi.” The truth is, there are a lot of Malawians who feel voting is a waste of time. Yes, I know that some believe people will get over this with time but lest we forget this election’s irregularities were publicized. what happened confirmed what a lot of people have been saying that our votes do not count because MEC chooses who they want.
I have asked myself where do we, as citizens, fit it in Malawi’s democracy? After all, democracy simply means rule by the people, meaning we as citizens take part in the decision that affects how our communities and country are run. So, voting in an election is us taking part in the democracy, but since our vote doesn’t count then are we really a democratic state?
I have lost the little faith I had in MEC as an independent body, and also in our ability to fight for what is right. “Amalawi sitichedwa kuyiwala” Insanity is doing the same thing over expecting different results. I was so shocked that 20 minutes after the results we were already ready to move from this. We lack the spirit to fight for what is right, to question the system or even seek justice. We receive what has been given to us and just take it. We refuse to have constructive conversations about what went wrong and why are we still in this mess without trying to outsmart each other (opposition parties). We were here in 2014, we are here in 2019 maybe that’s why I believe most people won’t vote in 2024. I am not saying people should resort to violence no, I am asking if we can honestly talk about how we as citizens are going to hold MEC accountable? what is the bill of rights for our country? what does the constitution say? How long are we going to ignore the fact that tribalism is a problem? Who will fight for us to make sure we have our voices heard? What is our part in our Democracy? Maybe it is time for us to civic educate ourselves before we plan on civic educating those in the rural areas.
I have to be honest this loss hurts. As a Christian, I believe God is a God of Justice; I don’t want to pretend I understand why he let this happen when to me it feels like the injustice will continue to prevail. I am not less of a Christian because I told God “right now I feel like you do not care enough about this country even though I know you are involved and in control.” It doesn’t mean I am blaming God, it means I am confused and not understanding the work that he is doing and I need his help to understand that. I don’t believe God expects us to come on our best behavior when forgiveness is hard. I think he wants us to acknowledge our fears, and struggles and He wants to meet us in our questions, doubts, tears, and prayers.
Maybe just maybe we can borrow a page out of William Wilberforce (Slave trade abolitionist, MP and Reformed Christian). He could have accepted the slave trade as the will of God and just prayed as he waits for the day the Lord chooses to end the slave trade. Instead, he did his part and let God do the rest. So maybe instead of asking others to move on, maybe let them have those questions; maybe those questions will move them to action which will contribute to our bright future. Maybe in those questions is where they find God’s purpose and call on their lives. Yes, I understand God is in control, not a day have I doubted that but should we just wait for God to move in 2024 without us doing anything to make sure the injustice doesn’t prevail? We also have to be reminded that we have been called to serve, as Tim Hughes sings
“We must go, live to feed the hungry, stand beside the broken, stepping forward keep us from just singing, Move us into action,” I hope the pain of this loss somehow moves into action for those in marginalized communities, to educating those trading their right to healthcare for a bag of maize without realizing it. For the good of the country, human rights, and social justice. Maybe we should all ask ourselves what should we fight for while praying?
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”― William Wilberforce