Chibwana’s joke was not funny on Malawi one-party state: Editorial

We at Nyasa Times would like to believe that sentiments  ruling  People’s Party (PP) secretary Henry Chibwana, expressed at a political podium in Lilongwe that he wouldn’t mind if Malawi were a PP one-party state because President Joyce Banda has delivered were merely a joke that failed to come off because no one found it funny enough.

His party has since repudiated the comments yet Chibwana’s outbursts simply show the moral bankruptcy of political leaders when power has gone to their head.

Chibwana was an adult and saw how Malawians suffered under the 31 single party-dictatorship of MCP and its atrocities that saw some people lose their lives and scores sent into political exile.

Chibwana was also there in 1993 when Malawians said enough is enough and massively voted yes in the historic referendum to choose what sort of system the country was to adopt.editorial

We needlessly want remind the PP secretary general that MCP did not just give up this one-state power as some brave Malawians paid the ultimate price of sacrificing their lives in the struggle for multiparty democratic dispensation while others suffered various other injustices such as loss of jobs and wanton political arrests.

And so, for Chibwana, to put his foot in the mouth and think that all this can be reversed at flick of his finger because PP is the beneficiary of death and has been ruling this country since last year falls way off the mark as much as his reasoning that this should be the case because the President and PP have brought back donors, improved tobacco prices, ended shortage of fuel and foreign currency as well as initiate Safe Motherhood Initiative and the Presidential Initiative on Poverty Reduction and Hunger.

But power is sweet and no one wants to let it go. Chibwana is obviously enjoying the trappings that come with being secretary general of a ruling party and would fancy a lifetime opportunity at it.

We, at Nyasa Times, would not mind that arrangement on condition that it is restricted to the PP if they so wish and not the State to which we all belong.

The President is getting on with her mandate of governing of Malawi by coming up with this and that initiative. That is doing her job for which she is paid for through a top-dollar salary and the opulence that come with it.

Yet we hasten to say there is nothing spectacular in how she is doing her job that would warrant Malawians to even have a faintest idea of making Malawi a PP one party country and by extension make Joyce Banda life president.

Jokes aside, we expect some seriousness from people of Chibwana’s calibre. Their positions in society demand that. Malawi cannot be a one party state of PP and indeed, any party for that matter because Malawians in 1993 rejected that arrangement which robbed them of competition and choice.

Instead they wanted plural politics which ensures transparency and accountability as well as respect of their human rights.

Chibwana’s delusions of grandeur should therefore be restricted to PP and not Malawi as a whole.

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