Of political analogue and dialogue

Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
IT APPEARS the much-talked about political dialogue is still in analogue, we might as well call it political analogue.
As you may have guessed by now, everyone in the hood is getting impatient with the talk about dialogue, which people are yet to see because, as far as they are concerned, it is still in analogue.
One might ask, when are ZCID and the Church going to switch from political analogue to clear dialogue if at all it is necessary?
But it’s not like people in the hood don’t dialogue, the difference is that while politicians want to dialogue over dialogue, hood-dwellers dialogue over everything, including nshima (staple food).
You would hear a parent complaining that “Mwana wanga banamumenya bamuna bake chifukwa cha nsima, so, tifuna tinkhale nao pansi,” meaning, “My daughter was beaten up by her husband over nshima, so we want to dialogue with him.”
Well that certainly sounds reasonable. Except for one thing. In order to discuss the problem with the in-law, the parent has to find the mediator, in this case, nabukombe.
Of course, you don’t hear that the nabukombe (female marriage counsellor) and shibukombe (male marriage counsellor) have differed over the agenda.
If anything, they are not expected to differ over who should lead the marital dialogue.
But even after the nabukombe and shibukombe have resolved the matter in the domestic dialogue, the wife would still demand for another dialogue with her husband in the middle of the night.
“Ba tate bake junior, nifuna kukambako naimwe,” which means, “Father of Junior, I want to discuss something with you.”
Now the husband would probably have already gone into deep sleep after the day’s dialogue with the nabukombe and shibukombe.
Sometimes the husband would ask: “What’s the agenda?”
Sounds a little too much for the husband, I think. But dialogue in the hood is an everyday occurrence. Different kinds of dialogues tend to take place when you least expect it.
A dialogue can be called when someone’s daughter is impregnated. “Tifuna tinkhale pansi tikambisane pa mimba iyi,” a parent would say, meaning “We want to sit down and discuss over this pregnancy.”
Even when things fail to work out during such dialogues at home, the court would ask if the two families sat to discuss the problem.
Munankhala nao pansi makolo ba mwamuna? The court would ask the girl’s parent or guardian meaning, “Did you sit down with the boy’s parents to discuss the matter?”
In essence, it’s all about dialogue. Besides, even in the hood the church is involved in a number of dialogues concerning marriage.
“Ba church bana tinkhalika pansi,” one would say, translated as “The church sat us down to solve the problem.”
If they don’t want the church to mediate, they are always eager to find their landlord to mediate in their marriage wrangles, even if it means waking him up at 04:00 hours in the morning.
“Ba landlord ise takangana, mutiweluzeko,” the tenant’s wife would say, meaning “Landlord, we have failed to reason with each other, we want you to help us resolve the problem.”
In short, that’s how far the issue of dialogue can go in the hood. But whichever way they look at dialogue, they are still worried about the national dialogue, which they think is shrouded in misunderstandings and mistrusts.
Some are still questioning whether dialogue is necessary because some of the things which prompted the dialogue have been overtaken by events.
Perhaps it’s high time the Church and ZCID switched from political analogue to political dialogue.

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