I stopped writing prior to elections because as said previously, I have very little patience for those who sow beans and expect to reap sweet potatoes. It does not work that way. Today, Malawi is in a self-created crisis, and none of the parties seem to have “balls” (excuse my English) to do anything for Malawians. Every one is too greedy to seek proper solutions. We will start with CSOs.
Unemployed youth, my biggest worry of all time, now are encouraged to go and dance free music shows at demonstrations, enjoy a bit of bush sex and stone properties, or like in eMzuzu, that small city covering two roads (Orton Chirwa Highway and Luwinga-MzuniDunduzu road) the properties are about to be finished, every demonstration claims new buildings. All sane Malawians are worried, insane political ones celebrate.
Interestingly again, Civil Society want more demonstrations, SaulosiChilima keeps chanting “osaopa” and the man of G turned politician no longer minds his company, two gay activists flank him at every walk, but because it is an end to means of getting into State House, he cares less their homosexuality views, it is time to bring down Peter Mutharika and his Government.
So far, none has been killed. Credit will go to the Police and Malawi Government for being more mature. Largely people have been allowed to express themselves, hopefully Inspector General Rodney Jose will happily uplift the ban, when his beaten Police gets well. I sympathise with him, look at the humiliation Police has undergone in the hands of demonstrators. Of course, he needs to sit down and think hard why the public behaves like that after massive investment in Police reforms. An honest answer could help.
That honest answer also needs to be answered by our Civil Society. Today they have actually become opposition or pro-Government groupings. Actually, it is boring to listen to CSOs as you actually know what position they will take even before they open their mouths. Unfortunately, this extends to journalists as well.
Timothy Mtambo has been labelled MCP alongside Billy Mayaya, Gift Trapence is said to be very UTM and FrysonChodzi, Bright Kampaundi and Voice Mhone all are DPP. Reverend MacDonald Sembereka was in Peoples Party administration and run on its ticket. He is not a neutral CSO person. He is a politician.
That makes it difficult to find objectivity in the current CSOs leaders who thrive on talking.Yesteryears we had respectable CSOs leaders that even Muluzi or Bingu Government failed to pin them as opposition sympathisers. Even when they fought against third term, their integrity and position was protecting Malawi and Malawians. These includedOllenMwalubunju, ShirelyKondowe, Vera Chirwa, Emmie Chanika, then Ralph Kasambara, Father ConstatineKaswaya, then Reverend Daniel Gunya and even FaustasChirwa and her Womens Lobby and IreenKachere and her Association of Progressive Women. He had upright defenders of human rights in Harold Williams, Father Masauko and others.
Later, UnduleMwakasungula led the HRCC to one of its strongest points, the same with Public Affairs Committee. These institutions alongside CONGOMA, faced accusations of partisanship, but its leaders always stood the test of time. Today, one would be shocked to hear that CSO leaders are non partisan!
I am not sure if Mtambo, Trapence, Chodzi et al mandate of their organisations includes organising demonstrations. What I am sure is that their credibility is measured and respected by the political positions they undertake. They speak for political masters, that they are so emotional and no longer provide the independent and neutral reason which politicians can draw lessons from.
I recall Reverend Lazarus Chakwera and the Evangelical Association of Malawi leading alongside PAC to find a solution to political crisis in 2007/08. I remember CHRR under Mwakasungula defending Government on budget passing, but still criticising DPP and late Bingu on human rights shortfalls.
Like an Animal farm, looking from politicians to civil society, and civil society to politicians, it is difficult to differentiate who has become who. CSOs should be in front to find solutions, speak out evil and balance national interests. They can’t be proponents of violence when avenues including Courts are available. They might want to read the Kenyan post-election script. Facts are that they are leading a campaign against the DPP as a party. Otherwise they would have demanded open meetings with everyone than asking opposition party supporters to keep marching on the streets.
The elections dispute is in court. Police are now undermined by CSOs or politicians depending which side one is, and nobody seems mature enough to know that shouting contests rarely bring results. People who fear dialogue have a hidden motive that includes being scared of reality.
Unfortunately, this season will pass. Mutharika might go or not go, forget the silly Ansah excuse, then Civil Society will have to come back to reality. From experience, most brilliant activists end after a political season. Either they get a job or go into wonderland.
This political season will end with two-parties leaders ending their careers. One young politician damaging his career before it starts, and reality will catch up with Civil Society pretenders who are politicians. Pray your side should win, or that is the end. There can only be one winner, not three, that is reality. A rerun will produce one person. Two will have to go home. A Court ruling upholding results will produce one person, two have to go. Reality is that only one will remain or become a President.
The post demonstrations period could be before or after Court case, the public will have lost trust in CSO’s. Already Trapence-Semberaka arrests and subsequent agreement to return money sounds like the same DPP returning Karim money. When they ask anyone to return money, I am sure even dogs would laugh. They have lost the moral grounds. As people calling for Ansah to resign, why not step aside, allow and independent investigations and come back with fire if cleared. No, they don’t believe or have values they call others to have. We know many who refused to resign, clang to state security. Lessons aplenty.
Steve Duwa and CONGOMA statement reflects the role of non-political CSOs as advocate of human rights and enjoyment of them. Mtambo and Trapence are hell bent on political rights even if they impede on the poorest of the poor who ply theirsmall scale tradeevery day to make ends meet. The levels of stubbornness no longer represent what we signed up at the start of demonstrations, they are now a political agenda. These poor traders no longer have a voice. CSOs wants Ansah out and they are prepared to see Malawi burn.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to differentiate who is a politician and who is CSOs. If DPP wins, we know which ones will end, if the Opposition wins, we know which ones will end. That’s is reality. I encourage CSOs to start looking at post demonstrations reality. Be messengers of peace and not violence against any Malawian. If the demontrations are not working (we started the third month) try dialogue, it works.
In Mozambique they fought for 17 years, but only took 8 months to sign a deal and have peace. In Angola it was 16 years of war. In South Africa- Mandela after 27 years, he started talking to the white man, within two years South Africa became a democracy and Mandela was free.
Free speech yes, demonstrations are free speech element, but allow dialogue, protect the poor by allowing them to have space to do businesses. For the politicians, lets meet next week and I will tell you whose career will end in post demonstrations period.
Dzuka Malawi, Peace is expensive, democracy is expensive, violence is cheap. Kuseli kwa mawa, kuli dziko ndi anthu!Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :