DPP apology to Catholic Church serve as a lesson: Malawi politicians told to guard their tongues

The apology from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to the Catholic Church over remarks by its deputy director of youth Hophmally Makande  on Sunday dragging head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, into local politics dominated local press headlines on Wednesday as two Malawi dailies urged politicians to guard their tongues.

Dausi: DPP sincerely apologise

During a maiden rally Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa addressed in his capacity as DPP vice-president (Southern Region), Makande attacked critics who argue that President Peter Mutharika, 79, should retire due to old age and pave the way for younger leaders. He said if Mutharika is old and not fit to lead, the same should apply to the Pope who is 82.

The DPP has apologised for  the “retrogressive, inappropriate and disrespectful” remarks  and Makande has also said sorry and withdrew the statement.

As part of the detailed coverage, The Nation and Daily Times newspapers have carried editorials on the matter.

Both daily papers have applauded the DPP for gathering courage to issue the apology.

However, the two newspapers have urged politicians to stop inflammatory language and that this should be a “turning point” towards transformation politics that is issue-based and not petty personality attacks.

In an editorial titled ” Tame your tongues, politicians’, the Daily Times  pointed out that much as everyone has the liberty to express their views on various issues, politicians must be particularly careful about what comes out of their mouths.

“Malawi is best known for the peaceful co-existence of its people regardless of their political and religious leanings and this should not be traumatised by reckless politicians who, in a bid to please their feeders and masters, throw their senses to the winds,” reads the editorial in part.

It observed that Makande might have simply expressed his views but he was supposed to be cautious enough to know that they would not go down well with others.

“This is a wake-up call to people who use political podia to spew senseless sentiments which can injure others. They must tame their tongues,” the paper said.

Another editorial by The Nation titled ‘Politicians, mind your language’ said  the ruling DPP should lead by example  and ensure that what applies to Pope Francis is also applied to all and sundry.

The paper observed that DPP has let its high ranking officials attack others willy-nilly.

It noted that DPP regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha recently launched a personal attack  on United Transformation Movement (UTM) secretary general Patricia Kaliati while DPP secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey wa Jeffrey described the opposition as “akuba ndi agalu [thieves and dogs]” The two attacks and others were made in the  presence of President Peter Mutharika.

The President has also been faulted for using language with the potential to fuel violence such as “ndikunyenyanyenyani [I will break you into pieces]” and “I will drop on you like a tonne of bricks”.

The editorial said politicians across the divide should understand and accept that in 1993 through a national referendum, Malawians voted for multiparty politics.

“Democracy means tolerating dissenting views and using decent language to put across a point,” The paper wrote.

It stated that politicians should guard against their tongues and focus on issues instead of personalities, especially this time when the country is moving towards the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

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mtete
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mtete

Dausi should have nudged Nankhumwa there and then requesting him to disown Makande’s rhetoric. Believe you me this would carried more weight than subsequent apology.

I am sure this has completely damaged Makande’s ego. He will now think twice before praise singing APM.

Kumzy
Guest
Kumzy

Mukadapepesa

gozalo
Guest
gozalo

ok

zongoti
Guest
zongoti

we are one pple as a nation. am happy that an apology has been made and hope the one making that wild statement has apologised. let us avoid making more harm by making wild statements which are even worse than what we are condemning. let love lead us

mapuyamurupare
Guest
mapuyamurupare

Madzi akataika sawoleka basi.
Apa ndiye zavuta SIR!

James
Guest
James

Nicholas Dausi is to blame. He knows how this apology should reach the Pope but has chosen the other way round. Why should DPP mix politics and religion? How many times will DPP apologize for speeches deliberately uttered by its members? I smell the death of my old mighty party.

Dimingu
Guest
Dimingu

Ok

Wiseman
Guest
Wiseman

Ok, so we can say papa is a youth. Queen Elizaberth is young as well right?

Monte Christo
Guest
Monte Christo

Kodi iwowo ngampingo uti

Muswahili Mambo Sana
Guest

Hon Dausi was present at the meeting when all these stupid speeches were being said by Hon Makande , why did he fail to tell Hon Makande that the speech was totally against what he had said on the platform to Malawians and to all the Catholic Christians in the whole world especially with the due respect of Catholic Christians do give to their POPE ? Dausi doesn’t work on his own, it means that he works by receiving orders from above , if Dausi was given those rights of condoning the person who attacked the Pope in his presence,… Read more »

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