Even in his weirdest dreams, never did it come that such misery would accompany the white raiment. In his early days the ‘angels’ uniform symbolised glory, not only the praises he would gain from the society, his pockets would also benefit.
That was then, before reality had sunk into him. The last time he questioned his Clinic supervisor why he had gone four months without pay, the usual answer followed: “There is no funding at the District Commissioner’s office, you should wait for the new budget.”
He is a civil slave anyway, a maid of the common people. As he awaits the new budget the hospital still has two nurses to cater for a population of 30,000. He is a faithful slave, he will still wait for the new budget while conducting an average of 40 to 50 deliveries per week. After all it’s his profession, a wet dream he had always nursed.
‘Heavy’ women will come to him seeking advice on nutrition and he expertly instructs them on how to prepare meat products; the same meat he hasn’t had for 3 months because the people’s government is not honouring its part of the deal.
The last time I pitied him in a calm and tired voice he responded, “Ndiye dziko lathuli limenelo.” His voice, drained of all energy, did not just address me. It questioned society. In mockery. In sadness. He expressed how the colourful thoughts he harboured had been forced into oblivion by those supposed to support them; the government.
As our conversation was drawing to the end, the midday news bulletin signature signalled, at last it was time to hear progress of the country’s ongoing cash plunder scandal which almost everyone was tired of the state’s snail-paced prosecution of suspects.
“The Lilongwe magistrates court has ordered the state to return money and assets belonging to one of the Cashgate suspects who has been discharged from charges of money laundering and unlawful possession of foreign currency…He was arrested last year after being found with K3 million in the boot of a car at Capitol Hill and $25,400 at his house. The court has decided to acquit the suspect following the State’s unwillingness to prosecute him.”
Sigh! Millions gone, without trace; the way dew evaporates.
Meanwhile posh cars congest our tattered and bruised roads; mansions mushroom in weeks and the deluxe of overseas holidays is being enjoyed by those strategically positioned. As for pals who dreamt of walking majestically in hospital corridors while putting on a white coat, our mentors who aspired to hold chalk in their hands and rub the dust off our ignorant minds, they are truly living their dreams or nightmares. For, what is a dream without a reward?