Home Global ISHANALAND COURTROOM by REUBEN CHONZIE (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources,...

ISHANALAND COURTROOM by REUBEN CHONZIE (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi)


                               ISHANALAND COURTROOM




My son is going to be a leader of Ishanaland; he is from a royal family! Ngozo shouted. What Ngozo is saying is totally a joke, No! Why him? He has a criminal record. A man who cannot handle his wife does not deserve the throne.  But only my cousin deserves it. He is humble, good looking, and polite and he has all the traditional beliefs in his heart, uttered Maseko. As a chief priest of Ishanaland I have a strong belief that all what Ngozo and Maseko are saying is bullshit, you think the throne is for crying babies? We need real men who can lead Ishanaland with wisdom from our ancestors, someone who can be trusted by the gods.

The dancers were jiving in accordance with the beats of the drums, each in a white attire, mirroring each other as they were throwing their legs in harmony. The way they were jumping and turning around on that muddy ground without being bemired left many in disbeliefs. On the other side the women caught the eyes of many, with wrappers in their waist, the decorated pots on their heads while twisting their waist like a wheel with the pots intact as it was raining cats and dogs. The spectators were cheering and jumping as the dancers were showcasing their dancing skills. As per custom we gathered at the yard outside the courtroom watching different dances, while diligently waiting for election results.

A week before the senior officials entered the courtroom, tension built up around the entire land as people were divided into two groups. The political divisions are evident in very unusual places, such like in a situation you could see a Nurse and patient in conflict because of holding different political views, you wonder if Nurse is in the right position to give a correct dose to the patient, teachers denying to teach learners who are holding different political views to them and couples entering into cold war because of holding different political agenda. The church pastors denying to minister church members from other political grounds. The feud between the supporters of the two sides reached the climax where some passengers were told to get out of the bus before reaching their destination. It was a time of unrest as gun sound was not a strange thing anymore, until it reached a point where movements were restricted.

The two men were lords of Ishanaland, they were very rich men who were controlling the economy of Ishanaland. Both of them had a lot of followers who were responsible for various fights in the city. Ngozo’s son had a lot of criminal records. He was famous of being a rapist. Most of his cases always ended up being covered with his money but still his father wanted him to be the ruler of Ishanaland. On the other hand, Maseko’s cousin was the champion of oppressing and exploiting the poor during cotton and tobacco selling. We wondered what kind of leadership could have been if they had ascended to the power. They were very boastful guys who had a belief that their money was the answer to our cries but for the first time in the history of Ishanaland someone raised an idea that changed the mindset of every citizen. Ishanaland was a home of corruption, oppression and exploitation. For the past decades leaders had been coming and going but no one paid a deaf ear to the cries of the poor. The fruits of a local farmer’s sweat was destined in the rich man’s pocket, the poor had no voice to air out their concerns.

Tension and drama built up outside the court room as each contesting party was supposed to give a reason for their credibility. Ngozo rose up with his usual aggressiveness, in everything, he did not want to come second “we both know why I am standing here, in case you don’t know am here because of the future of Ishanaland, I present to you Godwin Ngozo my son who is determined to bring all what you are looking for, he is a very educated person who can understand your problems better than this ignorant candidate who doesn’t know anything about leadership, my son was born from a reputable and leadership family, at all cost he deserves the throne” as Godwin took a seat his supporters made a huge noise of happiness, they were dancing and running all over the place. Then Maseko rose up “the people of Ishanaland, I don’t have much time to waste am going straight to the point, we don’t want rapist to be the leader of this land do we? We don’t want criminals to be leaders of our land, do we? We don’t want selfish educated people who cannot understand situations based on our context, do we? Actually we don’t want the so called Godwin to be a leader of this land, do we? If the answer is no then welcome my cousin Mike he deserves the throne not this arrogant Ngozo’s”. Before he took a seat, Ngozo rushed with a blow that landed in the face of Maseko, immediately a fierce fight broke out between the supporters, any object was a good weapon for the fight. You could see grass bottles landing in people’s heads. After ten minutes the police came in numbers to cool down the fracas.

The climax of the election process was inside the courtroom where senior officials of Ishanaland hassled each other with words in order to come up with a common understanding of who was going to be the leader. It was a hottest debate ever because some of them had already pocketed money from the contesting parties. “We don’t want to repeat our past mistakes, why should the leader of Ishanaland be uneducated person? We need a leader who can make sound decisions based on the past, present and the future and that person is none other than DR. Godwin Ngozo”( a person from the judicial department). The statement was counteracted by a member from human rights department “for how long has this so called educated people let us down, it’s high time we should start choosing people based on their personality, you know leadership is all about dealing with people, only those with good personality deserve the throne, am sure MR. Mike Maseko is the right candidate for the throne”. Then the chairman of the courtroom said “well for that matter let me remind the chamber that the two candidates DR. Ngozo and MR. Maseko do not have a good reputation that is based on the records that I have, both of them have criminal records and they are also answering corruption charges, with that description then I move on to disqualify the two as the right candidate to the throne”. “No it can’t be!” A member from financial department exclaimed, then he processed “do you all know the meaning of that? If Maseko and Ngozo are disqualified then we are remaining with one candidate who is not a cloud puller, I mean he is not very popular and does not have the financial muscle to grant him a voice”. People clapped hands in support of his idea then another person from education department seconded the idea “yes we cannot allow that poor and uneducated guy to rule us, we want real men with capacity” immediately there was a disagreement in the courtroom everyone wanted to be heard, the members were completely out of order and the chairman lost control of the situation. A man in black suit intervened “ can I be heard please” the whole courtroom was quite then he proceeded “ the people out there are patiently waiting for the results of this gathering, yes this is not a time for fighting, it’s a time to discuss matters of national importance. I know most of you know the truth only that you have pocketed other people’s money that’s why you are arguing for the sake of argument without involving your brain. Ishanaland has been in this state because of the same mistakes that we are about to make here. We are here to choose a real leader not a rich or an educated person. We wasted time looking at big issues up there without looking at little things that make up a good leader in our society, for the past years we have been changing leaders but what have we benefited if not increasing corruption and oppressing the poor. I dare you to day Ishanaland does not need a change of a leader it needs a responsible society. A society whose members don’t know the right place to urinate, the right place to defecate, how to use a toilet seat appropriately but climbing on it, a society whose citizens don’t know where to put the remains of banana, mangoes, groundnuts and other food stuffs even when the bin is in front of them, that society cannot produce responsible leaders. Those people cannot be trusted with tax payer’s money because they have a mindset problem. That’s why some of the candidates have corruption charges and criminal records before they ascend to the throne, so how can those people bring a better life to the people of Ishanaland?” There was a big silent in the courtroom, everyone was busy digesting the speech made by the man in black suit. The speech opened the mind of many, the members started thinking about the issue in another angle. The division that was in the courtroom before the speech was no more, they became one group trying to figure out the right candidate who could hear the cries of the poor people and ably to make decisions for the betterment of all the citizens. After heavy discussion, voting took place, no one who was in the courtroom was surprised to find out that the chairman declared MR. Charles Chisoni the winner. It was twelve o’clock noon the Chairman was ready to announce the results of the election, outside the courtroom the supporters of the two competing men increased their singing and dancing.  Journalists were everywhere waiting to get some good news from the scene. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing to listen to the results of the election. Hospitals, schools, and other social service centers were closed, the roads were all closed for an hour for the important announcement. Immediately, the chairman started speaking “greetings to you ladies and gentlemen, thank you for holding your patient until this far. Let me also thank all the candidates and the senior officials for a job well done, with the power endorsed in me by the people of Ishanaland I declare MR. Charles Chisoni the winner. Automatically MR. Chisoni was asked to take an oath indicating his determination to rule the people of Ishanaland with God guidance.

The results of the elections was a shock to everyone, what was supposed to be a day of civil war was a day of total silence in major cities of Ishanaland. The man in black suit was awarded a medal by the election team for guiding them to choose the right person among the most qualified candidates. That year’s election was marked as the best ever because the results were not what people expected and many books were written covering the events of the election and it’s important to the future of Ishanaland. One of the hottest and most selling books was written by an upcoming author and the name of the book was Ishanaland Courtroom. The book recommended parents to socialize their children to be responsible in the little things they do in order to create a society full of responsible citizens who can be responsible leaders of Ishanaland.


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