Dzuka Malawi: CSOs, the post demonstration period and political reality

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!

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Tariq
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Tariq

Here is a suggestion: stop writing. You clearly have nothing to say. Go back into isolation and fuck off accordingly. You have no fundamental understanding of politics.

Kanyimbi
Guest
Kanyimbi

You are right on Angola, Mozambique & South Africa talks came bcoz they fought u think DPP could’ve talked PAC if we werent demostrating violently? Your article looks cadetship arrogance of DPP doesnt know dialogue they accept dialogue to fool Malawians this time demo formular is only DPP dosage & sitibvomera mpaka zitheke.

Joloza
Guest

Ng’ona ilibe pabwino simayamika.

HARRISON
Guest
HARRISON

KULANKHULA KOMA KUMENEKU, I LOVE THAT ONE, MAY THE LORD OPEN DOOR FOR YOU TO SEE AND ENTER HIS KINGDOM IN JESUS NAME AMEN AND AMEN

Chukambiri
Guest
Chukambiri

These are facts, only the insane will disagree.

Chi
Guest
Chi

To put record right: on Angola war ended after the defeat of UNITA and the killing of savimbi it’s leader. In South Africa, it’s the guerrilla war and pressure from within and outside the county it’s when the apartheid government agreed to talk to the freedom fighters In Mozambique, renamo got support from South Africa army and Malawi governments. South Africa stopped supporting RENAMO AFTER NELSON MANDELA become a leader. Renamo gave in because they did have support. Peter can not fire Jane Ansah for the obvious reason and Jane Ansah can not resign. Just imagine after these demonstrations, lose… Read more »

Chittanooga
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Chittanooga

One correction. Nelson Mandela and ANC guerrillas knew that they would never win the struggle through military means against white apartheid South Africa. On the other hand, Frederick de Klerk also knew that ANC’s struggle would continue as long as it is necessary but international pressure to give Africans the right to govern themselves would mount. De Klerk then pinned his hope on Mandela for a dialogue so that the country is accepted by the international community. After all Mandela was able to speak to the South African whites in their own Afrikaans language. So winning their hearts was made… Read more »

Wisdom
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Wisdom

Very well written, but it seems as if the writer does not live and know politics in Malawi. Without what has happened and will continue to happen on the streets of Malawi, the current government would not have taken Malawians seriously. It would have been same old story and money (lots of it) would have changed hands and the status quo maintained. Things needed to get bad before they could get better. Malawians needed to fight for their freedom otherwise the political masters would have continued to take them for granted. After this, no politician will take us Malawian for… Read more »

Keen Observer
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Keen Observer

Firstly Rudo we dont have Rudo in Malawi we have Chikondi, this is not Zimbabwe, secondly it’s a wastes of precious data to read your article which shows which side of the divide you belong. It’s just a useless analysis.

Vinthumfumbenge
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Vinthumfumbenge

There no peace without a price. Everything regarded as good in man’s life comes with a price. Democracy we are all enjoying today, that we able to go to the streets to fight for a better Malawi,there were also people who fought our freedom during colonial rule and the one party since. Nothing comes on a silver platter. Yes, dialogue is important, but we to look at issues that require dialogue. Why should there be dialogue? With who? The one who is fueling poverty in Malawi 55?.The one who knows best is stealing our hard earned money that we pay… Read more »

Sweep and clean Malawi
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Sweep and clean Malawi

The writer of this stupid article is foolish and doesn’t have balls to defend his nation when is need to be freed from thugs of politics by the name of Dpp. We demonstrate because we want to sweep the land to be clean for our beloved children to have a better nation and future. Let me tell you this that yours are silly by birth coz u don’t know how people are suffering in this country. But I do believe kuti u are one of atidye nawo.