Charles Simango on Malawi elections mess: Thinking Aloud

You have no idea how anoying it is to me to see, otherwise, intelligent and educated friends of mine posting partisan positions on Facebook veiled as arguments when it is very clear that all they are trying to do is to prop their candidate. Why is it so difficult to simply do what I do by just declaring who you support and how you would love to see them win? But to come here and start pretending to use the law to justify your partisan position is an insult to my intelligence. And yes, I am intelligent – there, I said it. You do not like it? You disagree? Then stop reading my post and go to hell!

Unlike most of you, I have said this before and I will say it again – I do HATE the DPP with a passion because as far as I am concerned they are a watered down version of Boko Haram. They are the most arrogant and most violent party Malawi has ever seen since the end of the one party state. They murder with abandon (Chasowa, Mzuzu massacres), they do not fringe from terrorising anyone with dissenting views, be it the media (burnt and smashed Zodiak vehicles) or civil society leaders (burnt Rafik Hajat’s Offices, Sembereka’s house) – all these are facts. And while they are still in opposition they can stone a presidential convoy in full view of an armed presidential guard. Who does that?

Simango: Thinking aloud
Simango: Thinking aloud

Now, unless until the MCP is tested as a ruling party in a mutiparty environment, we both know (I am still assuming you are equally intelligent to follow this argument) that the argument of MCP atrocities pre-1994 does not arise, here. I was in active journalism during the last 2 years of the one-party state and through most of UDF’s reign but I can only imagine what was going to happen to my family and The Democrat Newspaper offices had we been operational during the DPP regime. Personally, I do not think I was going to be alive to be writing this today – and I mean it.

Now, I have nothing against Peter Mutharika because I do not know him that well. In fact he may surprise everyone should he win and then turn out to be a very good leader (I hear he is a good person but that is not exactly the same as being a good leader). I personally like Saulosi Chilima because he is not afraid to speak his mind and he is not afraid to take risks. We shared trenches when we were agigating for change as Chanco student leaders in 1991/92 and today he remains as courageous as he was then. If you do not know him you may find his ‘true-story’ approach to arguments a bit abbrasive but for us who are familiar with him we know he means well and he is not against you as a person. And we all need someone like that in our lives and more so in the presidency – somene who will say, ‘Your Excellency, I disagree’. And as far as the elections are concerned I do not believe he had anything to do with the electoral irregularities. In my book, the cheating, mistakes and irregularities were all a result of manual actions made by ignorant monitors and in some cases party zealots on the ground. But they certainly had nothing to do with phones or electronic networks. Let’s leave Saulosi out of this. Please.

My candidate, however, is Lazarus Chakwera and my wish was and remains for Chakwera to win this election. But should he lose fairly and we are all satisfied beyond reasonable doubt (that is one phrase you lawyers can do well to use a lot during this time) I will go with whoever wins even if it means living another 5 years under DPP terrorism. That, unfortunately, is the price we all have to pay for the type of democracy we chose where the winner takes all (if Peter is declared a winner, DPP would form a government even when they have just half the number of MPs that MCP has secured – what a system!).

Now, to all my friends on Facebook, if you are for Peter and you think he won, and in view of the serious irregularities that have emerged, can we all be intelligent and move this thing forward by simply confirming him as our president with a nationwide recount of the presidential vote? Or you’d rather be known as the party that stole the elections? And while we are at it, how about declaring who you are supporting, in your posts, instead of using those veiled arguments? It is annoying especially when it is done by an otherwise learned and intelligent person.

And in case you have not noticed, I have spoken my mind without attacking the persons of my candidate’s opponents. Try it sometimes, you will be surprised how much joy it will bring to your spirit.

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