Deadlines on sugar needed

Dear Diary,

Tomorrow, as Plutarch and Shakespeare would tell you, is the Ides of March, the day a soothsayer predicted emperor Julius Caesar would be assassinated. Caesar could not hear any of it and faced the onslaught.

I am not much given to suspicion to take in the belief that this has always been a day of doom and wrath.

As I write, President Lazarus Chakwera is somewhere in Mzimba touring some ‘development’ works. He has been up North, very busy touring water projects, roads, stadiums and what have you. Very busy, indeed.

Well, from the wall where I am seated, I can hear some say from one side: “Saulos Chilima should be given a chance to rule Malawi. He should not just be accompanying the President on these tours. We saw him chasing top government officials when they were late for his meeting. We saw the efficiency in his work on the civil service reforms….”

Yet, on the other side, the voices chatter: “But he has been in the Presidency for two consecutive terms, does the law allow him to contest? Besides, what, actually, has he done in these two terms?”

But this other side still persists: “And then, you see Madame Monica Chakwera is everywhere the President is going. It makes little sense. If we all took our wives to our workplaces, there would be chaos.”

“No, he comes from a religious background and there is no problem for Mayi Busa to accompany the moderator when he attends to church matters elsewhere,” responded the voice on the other side of the wall.

I don’t know. But strange things are happening in Malawi right now. What, really, is it about the sugar that we keep seeing men and women fighting for sugar in the shops? What really is the problem that traders are now selling the mighty sugar at double or thrice the normal price?

There is just one thing about the scarcity of sugar and bread. It reminds you of pictures of the Great Depression or when communist regimes were crumbling.

Dear Diary, worry not, when the President is done with the tour-de-Mzuzu, he will give further ultimatums. The President will obviously say: “Give us brown sugar, white sugar, industrial sugar (which at times finds itself on the street and called Number One sugar) and the granular sugar or you will face the chop.”

That, nonetheless, would not be the best thing to do in a liberalised economy that is Malawi. It’s not like passports!

By the way, what is all this hullabaloo about passports? It is a complicated complication. The Chakwera administration announces it has reduced the fee from K90 000 to K50 000. The praise singers say this is just great.

But, wait a minute, this passport has fewer pages and expires in five years instead of 10. Which means Malawians will have to pay for renewals more often than ever!

The hope is that after ultimatums against the sugar barons who for some reason may be hoarding that fortified sweetener, other deadlines have to be issued since drivers’ licences and vehicle certificates are no longer in issue for whatever reason.

The United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index shows the inequalities are two wide in Malawi. It is clear in the sugar saga, that the poor who are marginalized are left to suffer.

Think about that mandasi woman who is in the dilemma of putting no sugar at all in the mandasi and face the wrath of customers or reduce the size of mandasi to equate with the sugar price surges.

It is not a wonder, Dear Diary, that Malawians are faced with new forms that bring them better joy. Like watching a podcast where the presenter makes his guests so drunk they forget their own names!

We are getting used to the cyber-bullying that is becoming the norm, in the name of social media freedom. These little chicks we are raising will someday come home to roost.

The post Deadlines on sugar needed first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Deadlines on sugar needed appeared first on The Nation Online.