News in town is that former president Peter Mutharika has been named as this year’s recipient of the Uhuru/Raila Peace-Accord honorary award at the 5th London Political Summit and Awards 2020.
But does Mutharika really deserve this award? To answer this question, one needs to understand how this award came to be.
The Uhuru/Raila Peace-Accord was created in 2018 by the London Political Summit following a truce between Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on March 9 2018 after a conflict that emanated from a 2017 general election.
The award recognizes African leaders that have promoted peace, democracy and possess high levels of political tolerance.
It is debatable, though, if Mutharika’s six years as a Malawi leader has proved beyond reasonable doubt to earn him the Uhuru/Raila Peace-Accord.
However, it must be underscored that this award, fundamentally, aims to measure and honour a leader’s capacity to manage a nation in times of political tumult.
Mutharika’s measure, then, would not be found in the five years he was in power; rather, between 2019 and 2020 when popular revolts terrorized the streets demanding electoral justice.
Yes, Mutharika was adamant in defending and keeping Jane Ansah at the helm of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) when thousands took to the streets baying for her blood.
It must be underlined that Ansah symbolized a breakdown of electoral justice and for Mutharika’s resolve to defend her was a big blow to the country’s entrenchment of democracy.
Equally shocking was the move by Mutharika to play a victim after losing elections—he didn’t accept gracefully, something which is, again, a measure of democracy.
He put up strange arguments to discredit the electoral process and, even worse, he chose to retire to Mangochi instead of heading to Lilongwe to hand over power peacefully. For that, Mutharika must be slewed and not be forgiven.
However, besides his worse, Mutharika will be remembered for allowing Malawians to air their views without repression; even, as a Commander of Defense Force (MDF), he recoiled from pressing the panic button to buttress the protesters.
So does Mutharika deserve this award? I doubt if he does, especially, if you look at the legacy of entrenched State corruption, abuse of power and tribalism that his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) machinery let loose on Malawians.
Even worse, when you have one of his party’s shola boys, Tay Grin, being an ambassador of these awards, you just sit and wonder: Is the choice for Mutharika not politically motivated?
Should it had been General Vincent Nundwe of Malawi Defence Force. You have your say.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :