…of shoe shopping and vetting of candidates..

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I was one of the first people to go for voter registration. I was home and very excited that I’d finally take part in the one election which was not only the first for those born under “democracy” but one very interesting and closely watched election by many.

As luck would have it, God had other plans for me. I find myself in a different part of the world altogether but still feel the need to contribute my last two cents in a quest to wanting nothing but the best for our country Malawi and it’s people.

Since I’m not going to be able to vote, I thought I should do a write up about this event which may make or break Malawi. My hope and prayer is that we as a Nation will help this 50 year old man become self reliant. So, here it goes…

The best illustration I could come up with is one in the form of shopping. Two things that I’m very picky about are my shoes and politics. Comfort and durability are a must!

I’m very careful and meticulous in the way I choose my shoes. Though color is important, most will agree with me that there’s more to picking out a shoe than meets the eye.

The same is true in politics. Choosing our leaders/representatives shouldn’t be based on their looks but on what they bring to the table and how they plan to implement their policies. Like shoes, will they support us all day long without us wanting to change them after a few hours? How well will our feet adapt to the pair we have on? The last thing we want is to keep changing the shoe pairs because they are too high, too low or not comfortable.

Most politicians fail miserably at delivering or implementing policies due to lack of or for having very little knowledge on the subject matter which in this case would be governing.
It is advisable then for one to get a perfect comfortable fit that will last us a while. I say “a while” because a “long time” makes most accessories appear outdated fashion wise.

There are some lucky few pairs of shoes or leaders who fall under the category of a “long time” namely the Gandhi’s and Mandela’s of the world.

While some in Malawi have been partly ready and happen to have settled for a particular candidate to vote for, at this midnight hour others are still sorting through their wardrobe to pick out their shoes, hair style and the outfit to wear to the ball on Tuesday the 20th of May.

The scary part is they don’t even have the slightest clue what outfit will gI was one of the first people to go voter registration. I was home and very excited that I’d finally take part in the one election which was not only the first for those born under “democracy” but one very interesting.

As luck would have it, God had other plans for me. I find myself in a different part of the world altogether but still feel the need to contribute my last two cents in a quest to wanting nothing but the best for my country Malawi and it’s people.

Since I’m not going to be able to vote, I thought I should do a write up about this event which may make or break Malawi. My hope and prayer is that we as a Nation will help this 50 year old man become self reliant. So, here it goes…

The best illustration I could come up with is one in the form of shopping. Two things that I’m very picky about are my shoes and politics. Comfort and durability are a must! I’m very careful and meticulous in the way I choose my shoes. Though color is important, most will agree with me that there’s more to picking out a shoe than meets the eye.

The same is true in politics. Choosing our leaders/representatives shouldn’t be based on their looks but on what they have to offer and how they plan to implement their policies. Like shoes, will they support you all day long without us wanting to change them after a few hours? How well will our feet adapt to the pair we have on? The last thing we want is to keep changing the shoe pairs because they are too high, too low or not comfortable.

Most politicians fail miserably at delivering or implementing policies due to lack or having very little knowledge on the subject matter which in this case would be governing.

It is advisable then for one to get a perfect comfortable fit that will last us a while. I say “a while” because a “long time” makes most accessories appear outdated fashion wise.

There are some lucky few pairs of shoes or leaders who fall under the category of a “long time” namely the Gandhi’s and Mandela’s of the world.

While some in Malawi have been partly ready and happen to have settled for a particular candidate to vote for, at this midnight hours others are still sorting through their wardrobe to pick out a the shoes, how they will style their hair and what to wear to the ball on Tuesday the 20th of May. The scary part is they don’t even have the slightest clue what outfit will go with what and yet we have had a good five years of so many shameful acts like cashgate, midnight six and many others to remind us that we deserve better.

While an old pair of shoe is good and comfortable in the fact that it is broken into, there is something about a new pair of shoe that intrigues the buyer. For starters we tend to go for them because they are in a way unique from those we already have. Unique transforms by bringing in something new instead of the usual normalness. Color and style too may be a determining factor as well as whether they are comfortable or not.

We should then ask ourselves these questions before we tick beside anyone’s name on the ballot:

1) How well do we know them?
2) What is their stance as far as ideologies and moral issues are concerned?
3) What’s their cv/history in relation to their area? If they are just began to work on some developmental projects in the constituencies, was it politically motivated so that they can gain favor with the people to get themselves elected?
4) What policies do they have for the betterment of the country? How connected are they in their areas and what are they doing as far as education and basic empowerment of the people in their constituencies?
5) In light of cashgate and so much corruption, what changes are they going to implement once elected into power? Accountability and transparency should be enforced!

In politics, civics education is very important as it is one way of making sure that the citizenry practices their rights and duties creating a form of checks and balances which make it easier to hold the government accountable for its actions. A government that infringes upon people’s rights is a no!

In countries like the USA, the vetting process takes a long time and for a very good reason. People want nothing but the best qualified candidate for the position. Political offices are taken very seriously.

Ever wonder why we the citizens are taken for granted? We do a very miserable job at vetting those who represent us in government.

The above analysis sounds very simple but yet very important. Outfit picked, shoes ready, hairstyle good, makeup okay but there’s still more to be done to complete the outfit.

I believe it’s time to go back to the drawing board for the constitution or better yet why not implement the constitutional reviews already collecting dust as I write?

While it’s a must that the shoe be exceptionally great [the presidency], and that the whole ensemble should balance out, right now it’s all concentrated in one piece only.

What is needed is the right body, the right accessories and most important of all the right shoes. Not only should they last you a long time, they need to be comfortable as well. If they are too tight your feet will hurt and if the heel breaks off the pumps, then we’ll either fall flat on our faces which will then require that we get new pairs of shoes.

With less than a day to go before people head to the polls, I ask you my fellow citizens if the shopping you’ve done was worth it and if you’ve found a good pair of shoes.

If you haven’t then may I direct you to the scripture reading in the book of Judges 9: 1-21. I’d like you to read the parable of the Jotham. In life, in Malawi we also have our own brambles (thorny shrubs) vying for the highest office and the lower ones. Now the question is, do we really want another five years under the shade of such bushes? How long will we let the thorns keep pricking us like we are already dead? Do we really know the definition of democracy and what it all entails or are we just comfortable with whatever comes our way in the form of leadership?

It is high time we started demanding and going for quality, comfortable, transforming and unique leadership to better our lives. For every outfit to shine it needs a good background and I was once told that a good pair of shoes, one which is durable, strong, comfortable is the one that offers the best support. In the same wat, a solid strong foundation is essential for a strong lasting structure/building.

The one thing to know is that such change often comes at big prices. Be ready to pay for the change that will transform the nation.

Vote wisely on the 20th of May. I pray the voting process will be a peaceful one.

The beauty of politics and shoes is that we don’t have the same taste so if others don’t subscribe to your ideologies its okay. What matters is working together for the betterment of our people.

God bless Malawi!

About Mbachi Joyce Ng'oma

Femme noire. Femme Africaine.Lover of Politics. My song is of STRENGTH AND DIGNITY! Women and Children Rights are my Passion... View all posts by Mbachi Joyce Ng'oma

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