These are the ones who cause divisions, who are worldly and devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God as you await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life… Jude 1:19-21
In the globalized environment that we live in, especially since the great big war of 1941-1945 (aka World War II), there is a general consensus that all human being have basic human rights. This has compelled countries to establish institutions with guiding principles that entails politically-correct behavior by all people in civilized and democratic communities.
There are things you say; and there are things you don’t say. There are things you do; and things you don’t do. There are things you dare not even think, unless you be deemed undemocratic. This is the tradition of the democratic culture and basic human rights ethos routine.
In recent times, however, there has been words uttered, things said, things done even, that are shocking, to say the least, and must be spoken about as a means of preventing us reverting to the horrors of the 1940’s when one group of persons attempted to eliminate an entire race: driven by bigotry and hatred and propaganda.
US President Donald Trump in the past two weeks has taken head-on US football players who are protesting police brutality and the killing of black men in America. One such sportsman, quarterback for San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick, has taken to kneel during the playing of the US national anthem at opening of games. Countless others have followed suit – especially after Kaepernick was benched.
In response, President Trump called him and other black protesters “sons of b—ches.” While I can’t believe that the President of the most culturally diverse society as the United States, which is leader of the free democratic world, I was equally surprised that he called confederate flag-carrying white supremacists, as a “few good men.” (Such men as those who among them was a killer who purposefully ran over another protester from the opposite side).
To President Trump, it must be said, it’s time to eat a heaping teaspoonful of political correctness and become President of the United States of America, not just the GOP. Sir, become leader of the free world and wear the colors of a true democrat.
In my beautiful Malawi, I could not believe some things people said about a variety of things. To them too, I suggest they go to the Human Rights Store and buy several kilograms of political correctness.
At a recent function in the Northern Region, where leader of the opposition in Parliament, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera was harassed by DPP cadets, the Police stood idly by and watched as the VIP dodged stones. Police is reported to have said they did not do anything at venue of the public function as a “car is stoned, because the ogranizers did not call us or inform us about the function.”
The person that made such a lame reason for Police inertia, should go back to the first lessons on the role of the Police Service. In the class, they will learn that the role of the Police is to protect lives and properties, preserve internal law and order.
The instructor will tell the first-grade policeman or policewoman that “you see someone breaking the law, you get into action…;” you do not need a gold-gilt invitation. The tax collected by government and which pays for sustaining a police service, is paid by supporters of all political parties. The politically correct thing the police must do is protect all Malawians.
On the ongoing bloodsuckers saga, front runners in the utterance of the unutterable came first from two cabinet ministers who charged that the blood suckers “are from the opposition parties because they are only in DPP areas.”
Then at a political rally this week, President Mutharika weighed in and added rubble-rousing muscle to an already confusing and scary saga or myth as others call it. At a political rally in Lilongwe on Tuesday, President Mutharika said political violence destroys DPP’s reputation as the blame goes to DPP cadets.
“The opposition party supporters usually starts political violence in many areas but they rush to write their masters to put the blame on DPP in order to destroy our party’s reputation. Therefore, I am asking you to stop and refrain from such violence despite being intimidated by the opposition,” said Mutharika.
On issues of bloodsuckers myth, the President told Malawians that there are no bloodsuckers, but that he understand rumours of such started in neighboring Mozambique. He is yet to be informed who started the rumours in the country.
There are inherent eyebrow raisers in the two presidential interventions. On the issue of violence at political rallies or events, how is it possible that supporters for MCP leader’s car is stoned by his own supporters? This is what started the violence. Additionally, apart from resisting to take sides, the State President should get briefings from a depoliticized intelligence service.
This depoliticized intelligence service will also alert him with timely information on an issue that has been rocking Malawians’ nerves for over a month. In that time, lives have been lost, and properties damaged. This is a national issue that must be tackled outside ambits of the political party.
To President Mutharika, I say, it’s time to eat a heaping teaspoonful of political correctness and become President of the Malawi, not just the DPP.
Lastly, on his return from a robust attendance of the United Nations General Assembly, President reiterated the call he made to Malawians in the Diaspora, however on lading in Malawi, the call was directed to journalists. He asked that journalists should write articles to attract investors.
To be perfectly blunt, and in all fairness, attracting investors to Malawi, is not the role of the press, media, or journalists. However, there is someone who sits in the Malawi Cabinet, who draws a posh salary (paid by taxpayers), draws allowances from parliament (also at the expense of the taxpayer), and drives a Benz and other luxury cars. This is the dude whose job it is to attract investors to Malawi.
The media’s mission is to oversee the work of government officials (like the cabinet minister who should be attracting investors); this is done on behalf of the citizens of Malawi – the taxpayers. The media is the watchdog of society or the fourth estate. This is based on the Montesquieu’s tripartite system, the other estates in modern democracies are often referred to branches of a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.
In general, journalists are impartial, independent of commercial and political interests and responsibility.
Long live genuine democracy!
- Janet Zeenat Karim -(Bio: Former diplomat at the Malawi Mission to the United Nations, I am an editor/journalist, teacher and instructor.)