Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fischer To Parliament: A Figment of My Imagination of Football Player Fischer Kondowe's Journey to Parliament

So, Fischer Anong'a Kondowe wants to have a go at Parliament in the forthcoming (May 20, 2014) Parliamentary elections?

So, he wants to contest in Blantyre City South Constituency?

Here is what I think, and this is fiction.

You see, the intentions of The Parliament are, as purposefully instituted, drawn on a larger scale than small, individual scale- especially when the individual in question is one Fischer 'Anong'a' Kondowe.


The moment one gets out of breath with running (on Match day and during training sessions), they can stop at Parliament building and pant a little, while the rest of the country calls them Honourable Members of Parliament.

The problem with this (Fischer's) line of thinking is that such people may not be in a position to contribute, meaningfully, to national discourse (debate, Parliamentary committee meetings etc). All they (such people) will be doing is reflecting that running up and down was not a pleasant thing since they earned their cash the hard way.

With Fischer's soccer career visibly on a downward spiral, all he could be thinking is that her miseries (ignited by the prospects that he may soon abandon the soccer pitch that has sustained him for years) are about to reach a pitch at which The Parliament is his only refuge.

So, all he could probably be thinking is: I will run straight away from the soccer pitch till I get to The Parliament Building through the ballot. There, at the building, there will certainly be cash goodies I need not run up-and-down-the-pitch for to get. Yes, there (at The Parliament Building), I will be safe from the rest of rival football fans who found fault with me all the time!

Of course, he will think of all the love he got from club coaches such as Gilbert Chirwa, Kinnah Phiri, Eddington Ngomano, Mabvuto Banda, Gerald Phiri, Lloyd Nkhwazi as she runs along (his eyes set on The Parliament), but he will reconcile himself to the idea of parting with them by determining that he would secretly send them letters just to let them know that he was happy and inspired while under their watch- emphasising that he will always love them so much, as long as he lives.

Putting these thoughts behind, Fischer continues running, stopping to pant every now and then; stopping to pant every time he gets out of breath. Fischer is so busy running that he hardly noticed that Tuesday, May 20, 2014 (Tripartite Elections day) came two days ago and quietly disappeared into the annals of history. Who could blame him for failing to observe it? (Three days before Tuesday, May 20, 2014, President Joyce Banda had announced on State-sponsored MBC TV and Radio 1 and 2 that May 20 would be a public holiday; with her communications' team emphasising that it had pleased Her Excellency to declare it a holiday, and that, without her, there was nobody who would have declared the day a public holiday. Long Live the President, the announcer's voice blared at the end of the public announcement). Nobody could, indeed, blame him because he never met anyone on the road as he ran to Parliament. In fact, in his haste for The Parliament Building, he forgot to pack his portable radio in his Big Bullets-labelled bag!

Today is Thursday, 22 May, 2014. The Tripartite Elections took place two days ago. Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) officials have been lazy. How come the results re still not coming through, three days after the elections? No wonder, Malawi Congress Party presidential candidates Lazarus Chakwera, Democratic Progressive Party presidential hopeful Peter Mutharika, United Democratic Front and Alliance for Democracy joint presidential candidate, Atupele Muluzi, People's Progressive Movement presidential candidate Mark Katsonga, Chipani Cha Pfuko's presidential candidate Davies Katsonga, independent presidential candidate Thoko Banda, green-card holder James Nyondo and other presidential candidates are all demanding "to know the truth" and are fuming at the mouth, demanding the release of Parliamentary and Presidential results. They have learned, from the General Election of 1999, 2004, and 2009 that these 'delays' are a sign of gathering gloom on the Tripartite Elections field. More specifically, it is President Joyce Banda's quietness that gives them a sense of something hideously preternatural looming. At once, they develop the timidity of an active imagination.

Fischer does not care. He is so sure that he will get into The Parliament this time around, and keeps on running. Stopping here and there to pant and renew his energies. Then, he sees The Parliament Building from afar. His destination is in sight. He can see one heavily-guarded gate leading into the The Parliament Building's parking lot. He has heard, as he vied for the Blantyre City South Parliamentary seat, that our short, Chinese people put up one massive hell of a building at the City Centre in Lilongwe. May be the guards will deny him the opportunity to get in at this hour. But, this afternoon, after Mec chairperson Maxon Mbendera makes the life-changing announcement about who has won and who has fallen, he will 'earn' his right of entry. It must be today, Fischer assures himself.

"Using powers vested in me as chairperson of the Electoral Commission," Mbendera addresses an ecstatic audience at Comesa Hall Tally Centre in Blantyre, "I...". The air is heavy. The moment is here; to be lived, or hated. "Aaaaah, sorry ladies and gentlemen," Mbendera says, to the bewilderment of the Comesa Hall audience. "We apologise, but we forgot to include the Parliamentary results from Blantyre City South Constituency."

As Fischer walks towards The Parliament Building gate in Lilongwe, he eavesdrops a fiery debate among the three judge at the gate. "These folks are dunderheads. How can they forget to announce the results of Blantyre City South Constituency and, then, hold the nation to ransom by delaying the results of the Presidential election. Fotseki! Who do these people take us f.."

"Hey," Fischer interrupts the guards. "What's wrong with the Blantyre City South Constituency results. Are they saying..."

"Shut up you malnourished Rasta (man). Let's get the Parliamentary results from Blantyre City South Constituency first. The chairperson of the Electoral Commission is about to announce now." They give Fischer an old, brown sack to sit on. The radio set is placed some five metres away, at a distance safe enough (for the radio) to be left 'alone', but close enough to everyone's ears.

"Fischer Kondowe of Big Nyerere Progressive Front is the winner with 7, 689 votes. He is seconded by the..." Fischer has no time to listen. He commands the security guards to take him on a tour of The Parliament Building and show him the chair he will be sitting in. They rebuff him, with one of them bluntly telling him to contact the Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly. Angry, Fischer slaps one of the guards, calling him a filthy, old man who deserves a place at a shelter for the aged at Chifunga in Neno (he is probably talking about Neno Shelter for the Aged, managed by the Association of Progressive Women along the Blantyre-Mwanza Road. The guard does not take this insult lying down, and jumps on Fischer, throwing him to the ground. Fischer tries to wrestle with him, but realises he has run out of energy.

The running. The running. It has left him too exhausted that he can't even push an old man off his body! Sure, he will need five years to rest and regain his energy. He will need to relocate to another constituency so that his constituents will not drag him into exhaustion with their "unreasonable" requests! Aaah, he realises that the Electoral Commission chairperson's announcement has made him wiser now.

Suddenly, two men in ragged clothes appear on the scene. They have machetes in their hands. The guards, including the one who pinned Fischer down, rush to confront the two men. One of the men raises his hands in a half-whining, half-coaxing tone and asks if any of the guards has K20. He says they are beggars who are looking for money so they may eat that day. Fischer lambasts the two men, calling them all sorts of names, and reminding them that they have two hands.

"Those two hands are not there for nothing. Work. Fotseki! And, for your own information, this is The Parliament Building. Good-for-nothing people like you have no business here. This is for us, Honorable Members..."

"But you have not even be sworn-in! You..."

"Fotseki," Fischer tells the guard. "My people have elected me, and I am an MP, with or without being sworn-in. Fotseki!"

But, as Fischer fumed and fumed, one of the guards immediately draws out a K20 bank note and, with a smile, says, "I hope this will help".

Just then, Fischer realises why MPs behave differently when elected into office. He realises that, intoxicated with the little power they have got, MPs only see ragged clothes and shaggy clothes in their constituents. They, unlike on the soccer pitch, look at their constituents as good-for-nothing people (beggars even).

"I think the soccer pitch is better than The Parliament Building. In sports, you look at the supporters in ragged clothes as very important people who contribute to the team's success. In fact, it is them who pay gate fees and oil the finances of sports clubs. I think it will be different with being MP. It is like a sudden drop from simple peevishness to patronising instruction!" Fischer thought.

And it dawns on him that a, rather, disappointing journey has begun! The soccer pitch, in spite of the bareness of the hard surface, was his pretty home. And he was fond of the kit-boy who always took great care of his training jersey!

What a rapid modification of ideas even before being sworn-in as MP!

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