DPP statement on security, arrests,rule of law: Reaction from critic in italics

Background

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wishes to put the record straight that it has assumed its role as a constructive opposition party and will always advise the new administration of Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda with an open mind. The DPP further wishes to remind Malawians that our beloved former President late Ngwazi Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika always advised us that the past is for us to learn from. DPP made significant contributions to the economic, social and political landscape in Malawi between 2005 and 2011. DPP also openly acknowledges that amidst the positive change brought onto the lives of Malawians, the regime encountered challenges which are purely ‘mistakes of judgement’ and not out of deliberate machinations to derail national progress. {You boldly own the positive contributions you allegedly made to the lives of Malawians, but are reticent in taking responsibility for the wicked governance you inflicted upon Malawians. This is a purely political strategy for cunningly deceiving people into believing that you did more good than bad to the country. In other words, you posture that the positive contributions you made were a result of deliberate actions on your part, while at the same time you relegate your horrendous governance record into “encountered challenges” and downgrade it into “mistakes of judgment”. DPP, same old DPP: whose political strategy is informed by iniquitous deception and inglorious propaganda conjured by in a bunch of politically deprave people. Was it not deliberate actions of your dead leader that brought all the miseries we suffered? His insatiable political and diplomatic arrogance; incessant economic plunder and blunder; hotheadedness; evil acts of terrorism and violence of the “smoke you out” fame (my God – that political imbecile even dared Malawians to war!!!); bwinobwamusi nepotism and the consequent heightened ethnic hatred which he even publicly sanctioned; the spate of lies aka “refutations” – were all these, among others, any “challenges” or “mistakes of judgment”??? Did these come within any purported “mammoth task” to better the lives of Malawians??? Don’t think us so gullible. These were all part of your premeditated scheme to retain power in 2014 through the person of your ruffian PETER MUTHARIKA after noting that he was going to be a bad egg to sell to Malawians owing to the iniquities of your dead leader Bingu which he tolerated and your greedy handclapping lot! It became clear to you, and rightly so, that your were set to lose the regular vote in 2014 and that is why you were busy scheming and practicing intimidation, violence and bloodshed on anyone who exposed your ills –all as part of your grand strategy for seizing and retaining political power come 2014. Our senses have been alive to all these, don’t be fooled by our silence!

As a party I believe you have a right to offer your advice to the current administration which as in the normal course of political engagement shall be subject to the views of others in the political system. But you should not exploit improper advantages by sneaking into your advice some cheap propaganda as you have done in this statement! It does not help your party. It simply shows that if you were given power, you would resume your traditional deceit and downplay and even justify your wrongs. Stop this or go to Mpumulo wa bata at Ndata!

The DPP administration worked around the clock to better the lives of Malawians and it is obvious that such mammoth task cannot be without the aforesaid mistakes of judgement. Therefore, we would like to admonish the new administration of Mrs Joyce Banda against apportioning unjustified blame on the DPP for every deficiency in managing the nation which they are already demonstrating. The new administration of Mrs Joyce Banda cannot attribute every mistake and their underperformance to ‘what the DPP did in the past’. There must be a cut off point to the apportioning of such blame, and Malawians themselves are capable of discerning the gross lack of seriousness on the part of the new administration through its fragrant disrespect of the rule of law, the unjustified arrests and firing of professionals, and the total failure to manage the security of the country, its people, and property. We have decided to issue this 2nd Statement in the month of July, 2012 as we believe that immediate checks and balances need to be provided before the situation reaches unmanageable proportions.

2.0             The Breakdown of Security and Increase in Robberies

The past 100 days of the new administration of Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda has been characterised with serious lapses in the security of the nation. Security of persons and that of property is at stake. DPP has noted daily reports of robberies targeting financial institutions. We have observed an increase in burglaries where homes have been raided almost on a daily basis. DPP wonders what the new administration is doing when people are being mugged on our roads, cell phones are being stolen, and motor vehicles are being broken into. Precious property and items acquired by people already suffering dwindling incomes through the erosion of purchasing power after the devaluation are being violently taken away. Our people continue to suffer multiple losses this time through the laissez-faire approach by the Joyce Banda administration in managing security.

DPP wishes to strongly warn the new administration against careless management of information that is easily giving away the security interests of the nation and its people. We have observed that on a number of occasions, the State President has been too excited to divulge sensitive information through the media and through the many political rallies that Her Excellency is currently holding and commemorating her own life within 100 days, trumpeting her own personal achievements using tax payers money when Malawians are being robbed and are loosing lives to heartless criminals day and night. DPP offers the free advice to the new administration to quickly arrest the soaring crime rate, avoid statements that demotivate police officers, and immediately stop offering red carpet treatment to criminals.

As for the security breakdown: DPP, you tamed for this nation a nasty lot of youths whom your fallen leader called “cadets” for the protection of the party and himself as a leader. Their good number was a bunch of impecunious fellows gallivanting around for survival in our towns, no doubt finding hope for survival in the handouts your party wad giving them to execute terror and violence on innocent Malawians. I want the DPP to come out and tell us what they are doing with these youths now that you are no longer in a position of abusing public resources to finance the survival of these hooligans. I surmise that the insecurity experienced in the country is the work of your frustrated cadets. They now resort to using the antics of violence you bestowed on them for repression for their personal survival. Who knows, by your history in power, it wouldn’t even be unimaginable that you send them around for such acts of robberies and killings to find a pretext for issuing statements such as these! Its been too short, you haven’t neither learnt, nor changed your wicked political strategies! Spare us this scheme please.

3.0      Concern with Politically Motivated Arrests

The DPP observes with concern that the new administration has deployed police officers to make politically motivated arrests instead of getting these innocent police officers to work around clamping down the criminals and robbers who are terrorising banks, shops, homes and our streets. We wish to strongly warn that such tactics will soon boomerang and backfire on the new administration. DPP knows and has full information that the new administration is using the arrests as an attempt to distract the attention of the DPP from forging ahead to reclaiming our victory in 2014.

“Reclaiming our victory in 2014”, –my foot! Which victory? You are still living in denial? Come on guys wake up and face the realities which you know and you knew but couldn’t voice in the face of your godfather Bingu! And talk of “politically motivated arrests”, let me clarify something here: when you commit a crime and you are being prosecuted, it is no answer to the charges that “there are other who have also committed the same or worse offences who are not being prosecuted”. Get this clear! Further, the motivation behind arrest and prosecutions are inconsequential except where the person is eventually acquitted and sue for “malicious prosecution”. The reason is simple: if you have committed the offence, you will be convicted on the offence you committed, not the motivations of the prosecutor. Thus if any of the people your fallen leader deployed around the public service to advance his nepotism and plunder of public resource are now arrested and prosecuted, let the courts decide whether they are guilty or not. Or are you saying suspects who are DPP envoys in the public service should not be prosecuted because they are DPP? I am not surprised with your ideas here. You have a naked trail of impunity as a party!

However, the new administration should know that DPP has a strong intelligence mechanism which is able to read every political manoeuvre that is being made. The vanity of such politically motivated witch-hunting can only be seen through the skewing of the security emphasis away from protecting innocent Malawians towards a security system filled with busy bodies chasing DPP leaders and those alleged to have had connections with the previous administration. We have noted that the new administration has engaged into an offensive targeting DPP leadership and other professionals who were simply doing their job.

You see, you even dare threaten the current administration with having “a strong intelligence mechanism which is able to read every political manoeuvre that is being made.” So what? That simply shows that the public service is still fraught with your hooligans whom you deployed as “professionals to do their job” – o yes, stealing! Perhaps government should really move with speed and purge the system of such DPP envoys. They must have been feasting a lot from the stealing that was the order of the day and must now be very frustrated that those in power may not stand by them when they steal! They would thus be very eager to have DPP back. They are sure a menace to the people of Malawi. And track them down, we must!!!! If you see most folks being arrested and prosecuted are DPP folks and sympathisers, it is simply because your entire lot is a bunch of greedy thieves and inglorious criminals! Dont complain therefore. Let the law take its course on those you christened as untouchables because of the wicked service they were rendering your party and your schemes for retaining power in 2014. Dzukani mafana, kwasintha kunjaku. No one will sympathise with you for your deceitful and empty cries!

Among other numerous arrests recently made, DPP is left askance about the arrest of the Director of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), Mr Nampota (Mr Nampota unprofessionally made arrogant attacks on the judiciary and the legal profession as though he was clean. Yet as the allegation goes, he netted allowances for a trip he did not undertake. Simply put: kuba! Usizinantole! Further, it was well reported that when he set on to investigating the MK400m theft, he was visited by DPP hooligans and lo! He dropped the case!) He was just another agent of the DPP for silencing others and not the real corruption practitioners! You want him to stay on and not face the  jaws of the law with impunity? Nonsense! We are now not surprised that Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda’s political machinery has shifted into a higher arrest mode by rounding up DPP youth leadership. (The DPP youths, which ones? You mean Ngalande and the lot that killed Chasowa? Oh please! I guess your querying of their arrests is purely motivated by your wicked selfishness and your culture of impunity!) Its this simple: they will be tried before very impartial courts and found either guilty and sentenced or innocent and acquitted. You don’t want even that due process to take its course? Get serious, DPP, a wakuda, you are an old man muzikhala ndi manyazi! If the new administration is sincere about the arrests, we challenge them to also arrest all those that were looting, vandalising property and engaging into arson activities during and around the 20th July demonstrations. If the new administration is serious about the arrests, it should also round up the civil society leaders who are faulted of negligence in the careless handling of the demonstrations. (NGO leaders did not handle anything carelessly. It is the unwise and juvenile judge injunction that brought in the confusion coupled with the heavy handed reaction by the police on orders from your fallen leader Bingu! Your tactics squized the nation to a point it could not take it. May I remind you that fully aware of the planned demonstrations, your fallen leader Bingu typical of his arrogance then organised some so called public lecture to divert national attention and the services of the police that were much needed in carrying out those demonstrations. In case you think the allegation against CSO leaders can hold any water, dare commence civil suits against them. Take responsibility.  Similarly the DPP challenges the new administration to caution media houses who were irresponsible in their reporting of the 20 July events.

Singling out DPP leaders will only confirm our observation that the arrests are not genuine but politically motivated. Whether the arrests are genuine or not will be decided by the courts upon due consideration of the evidence and the law applicable, AND NOT THE MOTIVATIONS BEHIND THE PROSECUTIONS! GET IT YOU DUNDERHEADS! We have information of other top DPP leaders who are lined up for arrests and we will not be surprised when such happen since the nation is yet to see the worst of the politically motivated arrests instigated by the new administration and some of its vengeance filled influential leaders. Ehe! Here the ploy is “pre-empt the arrest so that when they happen we will say, look, we told you already”! Simple: if they committed crimes, they will indeed be arrested. Pre-empting the arrests won’t even gain you public sympathy. Luckily, Malawians know too well and its been to short for them to forget! Special advice to Mrs Joyce Banda, and this advice is also kindly offered for free: Beware of some of those cabinet ministers around you. We in the DPP know them better. They have spent more time with us than with you our beloved State President. For the sake of innocent Malawians, beware of those vengeance-hearted so-called cabinet ministers, and for the sake of national progress, do not say DPP did not warn you Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda. {Now this is a pure threat on the person of the Head of State. It talks of vengeance hearted so called cabinet ministers. Wow! Who could imagine that someone outside government could issues such derogatory remarks about folks in the cabinet? True freedom indeed in home. Well these remarks may cause breach of the peace. You would want to make the President live in an atmosphere of insecurity all the time and thereby derail her from being focused. On the other hand, may be a way of laying down circumstances (guised as a warning) which can later be invoked should something serious happen to the person of the head of state! And this could well be at the hands of disgruntled DPP. After all killing is your legacy. You even faked an accident targeting the life of the president when she was vice president. Malawians and those in government had better taken these remarks seriously! This is DPP we are talking about. A bunch of ruffians.

4.0      Unwillingness to Implement Section 65 Constitutional Provision

The DPP sounded the call for adhering to constitutionalism in our earlier statement released during the commemoration of our 48th Independence Anniversary on 6th July. The new administration is displaying double standards on the straight forward matter of the 41 MPs who have crossed the floor. In one instance, Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda claims that it is expensive to hold by elections arising out of the seats that may be declared vacant. By advancing such arguments, the State President has implicitly admitted that Section 65 needs to be invoked immediately. Secondly, Her Excellency admits this as a factual truth taking into account the statement she recently made on 17th July 2012 after her audience with the UK Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Bellingham. Mrs Joyce Banda admitted that implementation of Section 65 is the responsibility of the Speaker of Parliament.

 

DPP you see, even though you lack the moral standing to advance this stand in view of your own legacy, I give it to you! Simple point is s.65 should be implemented. It wont even prejudice the due and normal running of government and this our MPs should always understand. You don’t need a bunch of MPs to run government. You only need good policies! If MPs defeat good policies in Parliament, we as a nation are here to judge them, bring pressure to bear upon them and make them run affairs for our exclusive benefit as a country!

However, we know that the injunctions on this matter have been served on the Speaker through the Attorney General who has vested political interests since he doubles as Minister of Justice. The Minister reports to the President and is part of the same Executive whose head is Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda. Much as the DPP acknowledges Her Excellency’s statement, we wish to point out that Mrs Joyce Banda is simply deploying empty rhetoric. She too has work to do and it is a pity if the Minister of Justice should be the first to erect stumbling blocks to the straight forward issue of Section 65 where the Courts already made relevant interpretations. The DPP will hold Her Excellency accountable on the breaching of the rule of law through this particular matter. We recommend that all relevant institutions and offices should move with the required pace to uphold the rule of law and invoke the Section 65. The judiciary has a pivotal role to play in this matter. The judiciary should speedily check the abuse of powers by the other arms of government and should ensure that the legislature speedily invokes the Section 65. (DONT ISSUE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE JUDICIARY AS YOUR FALLEN LEADER USED TO DO THROUGH PUBLIC STATEMENTS! THOSE MEN AND WOMEN KNOW THEIR JOB! Likewise, the judiciary is reminded of its rightful role to put the Executive in check over the same matter of Section 65 and other issues bordering on the infringement of the rule of law. In the same vein, DPP calls upon the development partners to avoid falling into the double standards trap by ensuring that every regime respects the Constitution. The donors suspended budgetary support and other aid during the DPP administration citing lapses in the rule of law and other governance challenges. The new administration is not an exception and the donors should be impartial in their approaches.

5.0      Conclusion

We wish to conclude by reiterating our earlier stand that selective application of the laws should not be tolerated and should not become the norm in a democratic Malawi.  We make this our concluding remark as we are also reminded of the reluctance by Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda to declare her assets. Malawians are desirous to know how much wealth she had or she had not, before it becomes difficult to draw the lines of boundary between wealth accumulated before and after she became the State President. The longer the delay, the more tricky it will become to assess the assets and accumulated wealth. Lack of commitment to accountability is another instance of lack of commitment to rule of law which needs to be nipped in the bud and must be addressed as a matter of urgency. As these issues are being pursued, the new administration should also address the security situation and take police officers away from ‘political duty stations’ enforcing politically motivated arrests and should instead go back to their legitimate duties and round up robbers who are giving sleepless nights to innocent civilians. The new administration should display civilised politics and abandon the self-defeating ‘handcuff politics’.

 

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