For any doubting Thomases, to use the old age hackneyed idiom, there are damn surest signs that this DPP regime has lost it.
What remains now is that it is holding on to the straws. For all intents and purposes such a regime is dangerous for it looks for anthills where they are none and creates imaginary enemies who do not exist.
Ours is a democratic society after 63 percent of Malawians votes yes in the 1993 historic referendum.
This means citizens have to enjoy certain rights and privileges and all of them are guaranteed in the supreme law of the land—the Constitution
For a government that has lost it, this seems not to matter and will find reasons to circumvent democratic processes just to hold on to power.
That is why you have a whole Secretary to the President and Cabinet, a former judge at that, breaking the law in broad daylight by instructing government departments to be secretive and not release government information to Malawians that need it.
To Lyold Muhara, the fact that Malawians voted for a multiparty democracy in 1993 referendum because they wanted a transparent accountable government, does not matter.
What is it that the DPP government wants to hide from Malawians that it would instruct officials not to release certain information?
But Muhara is only doing the bidding of his boss, President Peter Mutharika, a former professor of law. Clearly the President is against an open and transparent government because his government has something to hide.
That is why Mutharika was against Access to Information Bill and wanted it watered down to protect his corrupt regime from Malawians who would use such a law to demand accountability.
That is why he threatened to veto the Bill if it contained any provision that says Malawians are free to demand past information but only that which becomes available after he assents to it.
It is yet to be seen whether Mutharika will sign the robust bill that Parliament passed when it reaches his desk. I am not optimistic.
He runs a secretive operation called DPP government that has issues that it wants to hide from Malawians and Muhara was doing his bidding—a surest sign of a government that has lost it and holding on to the last straw.
Such is a dangerous government and it is prepared to use power to clamp down on critics using state instruments and institutions.
It will use anything including attempts at trying to take away their livelihoods without blinking an eye.
That is why the DPP uses MRA to go after opposition leaders as pretext of enforcing payment of tax when the truth is to get even with them.
That is why MRA only pounced on MCP MP Peter Chankwatha only after he was vocal in Parliament demanding that the DPP government must account to Malawians and fulfill a promise it made in its manifesto to reduce presidential powers especially in the appointment of the director of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).
The DPP shot it down and the President shamelessly went on a podium laughing at Malawians in the face that such a thing will never happen although it is in black and white in the DPP manifesto.
But that is the sign of government that is holding to last straw. It is a danger to citizens.
The critical media is the first to suffer the full brunt of its cruelty. It will use regulation unfairly as it is happening in the country.
MBC can choose to throw to the window the ethics of the journalism profession and not balance news and attack opposition leaders willy- nilly without giving them a chance to response and the regulator will look the other way.
If the same thing is done by the critical but professional private media, the book will thrown at them without mercy.
And yes, MRA will concoct tax bills, serve them on private media in the evening and the following morning show up in full force with a battalion of heavily armed police officers to harass men of the pen as it happened to Times Group last Friday.
These are signs of a government that has failed to govern in a democratic society. It gets rabid like a dog and bites at anything in sight.
Fortunately Malawi is not a banana republic and this will not be allowed to stand.
- The article first appeared in Malawi News under ‘Hitting the nail’ column