Spare Malawians this political mediocrity

The events of the past few days where opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leaders have been arrested and detained on alleged treason charges are a fundamental setback to the tremendous progress that this country has made as an emerging democracy, replete with an enshrined ‘Bill of Rights’ in the Republican Constitution.Loose cannon

Yes, there have been isolated cases of arrests on trumped-up treason and sedition charges that have occurred before the ascension to power of the current regime, but to repeat the same arrests today does not only raise eyebrows about the kind of leadership we have in place but also rekindles unpleasant memories of the oppressive one-party regime that we vehemently crushed in 1993 and 1994.  This is very sad and a serious cause for worry.

The once ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ is presently going through troubled times. The economic situation is growing worse by the day, and a majority of Malawians have been thrown into the poverty trap and desperation. The worrying thing is that government appears not to have any solution up its sleeve.

It is not right, therefore, for the DPP government to continue playing side-shows that are aimed at distracting the attention of Malawians from the real problems.

His Excellency President Peter Mutharika described as “stupid and abuse of power” his arrest on treason charges at the hands of the People’s Party (PP) government in 2013. He said this when he had become President and while ‘commemorating his suffering’. He claimed that the DPP-led administration shall never arrest anyone “on trumped up charges like treason.” Now, what happened to honesty? Are these arrests today being done behind the President’s back?

Literature has it that High Court Judge LovemoreChikopa quashed the sedition law on this October 8, 2010 at Mzuzu High Court in Criminal Case No. 5 of 2010, R v Harry Mkandawire&YeremiahChihana.

The learned Judge decided that sedition laws under the Penal Code are unconstitutional. This is a decision of the High Court, which under section 5 of the Constitution has powers to declare a law invalid if it is inconsistent with the Constitution.

Political parties, governing and opposition, the civil society, academia, the clergy and virtually all of us, collectively, must stand up unambiguously to defend the rights of the citizens as provided for in the Constitution.

As a nation, we must expeditiously strike down laws that impede people from exercising their rights to free speech, privacy and association, among others. In this day and age, governments cannot continue to suppress dissent by using draconian laws that limit free speech.

The world today is immensely complicated with the ‘Digital Age’ technically wiping out any such restrictions. Restrictions to free speech and other rights are simply counterproductive as many and many people shall still continue to use the internet and other social mediums to interact and express their anger over deteriorating governance standards.

In many progressive democracies, information and communication technologies have played important roles in driving change in the way that citizens conduct their affairs and primarily when making political, economic and social choices.

That is what is happening in Malawi and many thriving African democracies today. One can’t just wake up one morning and decide to simply stop this trend through torture and persecution of opposition political leaders as President Mutharika and his DPP police are attempting to do.

Hunger, hunger and hunger

Are the arrests an attempt to distract people’s attention from real issues affecting them on a daily basis? If that is the case, the DPP must surely spare Malawians this political mediocrity. A host of social and economic problems continue to haunt the ordinary citizens and this was the time for President Mutharika and the DPP to put their act together to deal with this desperate status quo, once and for all.

Many media reports suggest that Malawians face one of the worst hunger situations in their history due to climate causes. The future looks catastrophic!

Better late than never, so goes an adage. Instead of playing on people’s minds through staged treason and sedition arrests, the President and his DPP cohorts should have now been mobilizing political parties, the civil society, academia, the clergy and virtually all of us, collectively, to devour our common enemies, hunger and poverty.

The DPP must not allow an ingrained problem—politics of retribution—to play in the current situation. Government has a constitutional and moral obligation to protect citizens from dying due to hunger. It’s simply unacceptable.

The DPP has purportedly triumphed on the political scene on the premise of “ensuring food security” at both household and national levels. They even have maize cobs as insignia on their official party cloth to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring people have adequate food. In their collective rhetoric, the DPP cadres, including President Mutharika, continue to insist there are enough food stocks and that no one shall die for lack of it. There is nothing of that sort on the ground; Lord have mercy!

Under Chapter 12 of its 2014 elections manifesto, the DPP pledges to “develop a national food security programme through increasing efficiency in foodproduction, storage and distribution and manufacture affordable smallscale metallic food grain silos to ensure food security at the village level”.

The DPP also pledged to establish effective means of ensuring that strategic food reserves do not fall below a level endangering the people. Where are we today? Chaos and desperation!

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. “ – Nelson Mandela

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
bolingooh
Guest
bolingooh
7 months 5 days ago

Without Donors you can’t play the game of economic ilo ni bodza a pitala pangani ubwenzi ni mayiko akunja.Chacha anali JB mayi odziwa kutakata.Tinali nivuto lamafuta agalimoto koma anayesesa kulithesa mukanthawi kochepa.Amayi bravo osati zinazi ma sample chabe. Boma LA pitala kuti liyende bwino achotse mikhala kale ayikemo new faces coz azikhala nimantha koma enawa achina Kaliati ma style one anawadziwa kale.Salabadira za anthu awo.Pitani mukapepese kwa Azungu.Zichepetseni abwana.

rojas
Guest
rojas
7 months 5 days ago

Amend akusapota DPP ni galu yopanda maweya. Pita kumudzi ukaone momwe agogo ako akuvutikira ni njala. Koma ndiwe galu chindere chakufikapo.Unathawa kumudzi coz of njala.Wagula ka walkman wayamba matama.Achewa opanda nzeru inu.STUPID!

Juliana Kanthiti Lunguzi
Guest
Juliana Kanthiti Lunguzi
7 months 6 days ago
Nothing said here. What was being discussed was treasonous. When somebody linked Chakwera to coup plot earlier on, people trashed him. Little did people know what Jessie and her cohorts were hatching. Just wait. more arrests are coming. But for once, MCP, and PP have goofed again. Kubisala mumtambe wambatata nsana ukuonekera. Why were these fools running away and wanted to hide at German Embassy? Ever thought why JB is at large till now? You think government machinery has no details of her wrong doings? A Jessie apatu ndiye mwambwita. Inu mumaona ngati mwakwera yowina. Just wait for a month,… Read more »
Mapholisa
Guest
Mapholisa
7 months 6 days ago

For malawi to have enough food just look for farms and let the police officers start farming,it seems akusowa chochita that’s why they are busy chasing opposition members. Give them hoes to farm in the Green Belt Farms.

His Excellence the Life President Wolemekedzeka Mkango Lion Chivomerezi Chisokonezo Artillery ArchMissile Manthakanjenjemereza
Guest
His Excellence the Life President Wolemekedzeka Mkango Lion Chivomerezi Chisokonezo Artillery ArchMissile Manthakanjenjemereza
7 months 6 days ago

Coup plot is only to use ignorant mass attention from real issues. But that issue is not hunger and poor economic status. Wake Up DPP otherwise……….

MCP media
Guest
MCP media
7 months 6 days ago

Thom Chiumia and Nyasatimes, are you the MCP party media talked about in the leaked Whatsapp plotting group? Just wait, more evidence is coming and it will be alarming. Let us all respect our constitution. Any who doesn’t respect my country’s laws is but an enemy of the state. Or is it because you were mentioned in the coup d’état?

Dodoli
Guest
Dodoli
7 months 6 days ago

Spot on! Agwa nayo makape, matchona a DPP moyo wa ku Malawi saudziwa kungofuna kutibera basi

simon
Guest
simon
7 months 6 days ago

Yes please address economy and do not divert the attention. Kwacha is falling like leaves falling from a tree on autumn, Kwacha is the worst performing currency in the world, we cannot even afford to pay examination fees for our children wanting to pay for exams from abroad. We are in a total mess. The suprising thing despite economy and kwacha performing so badly, boma is not firing chuka, he is anti poverty and prorich poilicies are hurting poor malawians. Lord please help us with this evil kwacha depreciation it is robbing us for development.

Ngalamayi
Guest
Ngalamayi
7 months 6 days ago

If the DPP put HALF the energy they are using to chase alleged traitors into food security, the provision of enough maize to be bought honestly from ADMARC depots, there would not be a hunger crisis in Malawi.

wpDiscuz