Opinion: Is Festive Season a Mourning Season; New Definition under Chakwera Era?


By: Sankhani Chimbalanga…..

Born and grown in Malawi, one is guaranteed to the high level of joy once festive season is approaching. It is a time of feast and not otherwise.

This is a holiday period whereby societies celebrate the values that bring us together in life and make friends and families get connected in unity through togetherness and gratitude, of course sharing gifts becomes a norm. Is the case the same under Chakwera administration?

Malawi and the world at large just passed through the festive season the past two weeks. To the surprise, the 2023-2024 festive season has gone without feasting, Yes I mean festive season without feasting.

From 24th December 2023 to 3rd January 2024, moving around different places in the rural areas one could think people are mourning. Sad faces with no hope for a smile were seen all over the places.

All the places where we used to go and celebrate Christmas and New Year while carrying a bottle of Fanta, enjoying chips and chicken were all deserted. Women who used to cash in from their small businesses of selling Mandasi, Zitumbuwa, Kanyenya and other food stuffs were in doors as they could not manage to buy raw materials for their businesses.

Moving around the towns one could see men and women (vendors) by the roadside selling chicken, plenty of them but with no buyers around. Some had gotten loans with the hope of paying back afterwards, little did they know, the festive season has its meaning changed. No merry, jolly, cheery, jubilant…. but gloomy, sad, dreary, what a season!

The season has passed, of course many feel it is yet to come as some say *Khirisimasi ndi Nyuwele kwathu kuno sizinafike*. The atmosphere leaves us with questions as to what is really happening to the usual *Merry Christmas and Happy New Year* characterised by jovial mood by all not the few?

Economic crisis is at the center of it all. People have literally nothing to share even with very close friends and relatives. Some failed even to share with their own parents during the season. Yes, you cannot share what you do not have. Is there any hope that the situation will change to normal under the Chakwera administration? Shall we expect 2024-2025 festive season of similar atmosphere? Why should we have such leaders with no clue in place?

As 2025 is fast approaching, the general elections will be the only opportunity for the restoration of merry, jolly, jovial, happy atmosphere during the festive season.

The administration has proved its incompetency and there are no indicators of improvement to make things better. AIP has failed, this translate into food insecurity as farming families will not harvest, things are very expensive making businesses unprofitable, school fees have become very restrictive to the poor and average families. This is a new Malawi without hope and anything better for its citizens.

All the promises have been eroded,2025 change is inevitable, it would even be better if it could come now.

However, the change shall come with better and capable men to replace the current messed up administration. About the alternative leader(s) we will talk later.

The festive season has become a mourning season under Chakwera era

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