Sometime last year, when all was rosy in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), presidential candidate elect, Peter Mutharika used to say a phrase that became the motto for his preliminary campaign.
“If you thought we put up a gallant campaign in 2009, then you ain’t seen nothing yet” (It’s too American so forgive me if I have rearranged it undesirably).
It kept us on our toes. Thinking of how Bingu brought in a new wave of campaign tricks in 2009, it built up our anticipation towards 2014.
For the first time Malawians saw a campaign that went beyond distribution of money and T-Shirts and caps. It came with branded products ranging from sweets, cooking oil, pens, umbrellas and many more items.
Who can forget the giant screen that moved from one township to another village, from one municipality to another trading centre. The setback about it was that it was used to castigate former president, Bakili Muluzi and John Tembo, a typical Malawian way of doing politics.
However, for 2014 as Peter said on several occasions, we had not seen anything yet.
We now know that Bingu and Peter had other ideas to dazzle the population. Reliable information filtering through our ranks indicates that Bingu had planned to spend hundreds of millions of kwachas to ensure that his younger brother becomes the country’s First Citizen.
In a replica of the American Presidential Election etiquette, the two brothers were going to criss-cross the length and breadth of the country in two of the state-of-the-art Brazilian made super double-decker buses. Each one of them was going to use his own bus.
(For the benefit of my international audience, Malawi last used the old model double-decker buses in the early 90s. I will not say much on recent developments lest I dilute the contents of this write up)
The two buses were going to be branded and restructured to suit their taste. (We all know that their long stay in the West transformed their taste to levels not compatible to a common Malawian’s lifestyle)
We are still not sure whether the two had agreed on which deck they were going to occupy. I bet Bingu would have opted for the top deck. As for Peter, just ask him, he might have an idea.
Some of the generic features in the buses are an average of six television screens with DVD, air conditioner, saloon heaters, washrooms, fridge and toilets.
Our research indicate that one bus can cost an equivalent of K150 million.
The revelations do not come as a surprise because Bingu’s reign was already punctuated with lavish spending such as the SUV Hummers on his convoy and his insistence to purchase a top-range Maybach 62.
I know that at this juncture, some of you my dear readers are starting to create your own theories and attachments to reality on the ground. Unfortunately, I will not substantiate to the fact that just because the brothers wanted to use two buses then those are the ones you see on the roads of Malawi. I live beyond the narrow reasoning of speculation.
However, we are all eager to see whether Peter will still decide to continue with the flamboyant campaign plan. I wish 2014 would come very soon.