It is only two months but the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), erroneously referred to as the ‘ruling party’, has already started becoming scared of independent thought and opinion.
Look, the DPP took issue with my friend and colleague George Kasakula’s “tone, aggressive language and inaccurate content” when the columnist fingered DPP thugs as being behind the fire that incinerated the Lilongwe Malawi Electoral Commission warehouse.
That the Lilongwe fire was suspiciously familiar is a fact. There has been a dangerous trend. It was not strange, therefore, for someone like George to see DDP handwriting in it and go to town with the same.
What is wrong with expressing an opinion? After all, it was just his opinion.
What the DPP should have done, instead of abusing the Office of the entire President and Cabinet, is to engage the same paper in advancing a contrary opinion. There are a lot of hired guns out there who could do a good job countering George’s opinion.
If the DPP had a contrary opinion, or indeed facts, I do not think Weekend Nation would have found problems in broadcasting the same.
Intimidating the columnist with the whole State House Press Office may not help anyone. In any case, this is not a matter for the State House Press Office; this was a party issue.
We know in Malawi there is a thin line between the party in power and government. But certain things are so obvious we do not have to cartoon ourselves.
If the DPP had problems with Kasakula’s opinion, it should have brought forth its contrary opinion, no need for threats.
If we start regulating people’s thoughts and opinions, where will we stop? The DPP government is only two months old in government. What will happen to our independent thoughts after a year?
State House should guard itself against being abused to fight other offices’ battles; it has better battles to fight.
- The article appeared in the Sunday Times newspaper