From ‘Subjects’ to ‘Citizens’: A tale of Malawi’s triumph in 2020

Malawi’s first leader, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, was a bad dictator who, for 31 years, reduced Malawians into subjects of this nation.

People of the year

For over three decades, Malawians had no say in how they were being governed for every attempt to speak out, even a slight one, ended in streams of tears and pool of blood.

It was in rejection of being subjects in their own country, that is why Malawians, in 1994, voted out Banda and opted for democracy where their voices should matter in how they were being governed.

Simply put, in 1994, Malawians rejected the notion of being subjects and opted to be citizens where, as the Constitution stipulates, those governing this country should do so at the sustained trust of the governed.

For 26 years that Malawians have been experimenting to be citizens in their country, the journey hasn’t been that rosy. Those in power, in the past 26 years, have been steadfast in advancing selfish policies aimed at stopping Malawians from being citizens in their country.

One of such policies is on how those in power have been stifling the voice of Malawians through manipulating the electoral processes to their favour.

Apart from the 1994 and 2009 general elections, almost all our electoral processes have been wrought with widespread irregularities that militated against every thought of free and fair elections.

Electoral irregularities became a constant feature of electoral processes, almost a normal, a rotten culture that stole the voice of Malawians in deciding how they must be governed.

But, as they say, every dog has its day.

The 2019 elections, just as its sisters before, were wrought with numerous irregularities that questioned its integrity. As usual, one expected the opposition leaders to cry out loud in the media, a rush to the court and, after, that silence—everything returns to normal.

Interestingly, 2019/2020 was different. A ruthless and unforgiving voice of the people, through civil society organizations, ganged up and mobilized every sector of the society, both through the medium of courts and street protest, to challenge the 2019 electoral results as it did not represent the voice of Malawi.

The level of resolve was unprecedented. Malawians gave up everything to defend their voice—a new feature of hitting self-actualization in the journey to citizen hood.

It paid off, eventually.

Courts overturned the results, fresh elections were held and the people’s favorites rose to power. Surely, 2020 showed us that, when people stand together and defend their voice, the outcome would be certain.

The question is: Will the 2020 resolve be sustained or it will sink with time?

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Mampara.Smati
7 months ago

I am going to Mugg&Bean for a cappuccino. And a fudge.

Ungwelu
Ungwelu
7 months ago

I fail to understand that nobody wants to say the truth. But I will say it again without fear or favour. The Special Law Commission (SLC) set up to look at a number of legal Reforms recommended that the first past the post (FPTP) was not the right method of electing our President. SLC drafted and Cabinet approved the 50+1 Bill and made all the clearance until on its way to Parliament, Hon Tembenu plus Chief Secretary and others ambushed it in Mafia style. The Judiciary was watching. When the 2019 Electoral case came before it, justice was done and… Read more »

CESSPOOL
CESSPOOL
7 months ago

Malawi has wriggled out of electoral servitude never shall we be the subjects of any president we now own this country. We are aware of the fact that the multiparty leadership never ever thought we’d get out of hero worshipping. Our passivity won us a badge of total abuse Malawi was the most fraudulent state in the SADC captained by a horde of thieves at cabinet level. Our justice bench was as clean as 2020 Malawi won’t sleep

Peter Phiri
Peter Phiri
7 months ago

A lot of negatives has been said and written about my hero, Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Apart from his Human Rights violations and detention without trial, this was a man with foresight. His set hight standards in whatever he did. He tolerated no corruption and haagedencouraged hard work. The list is endless. If it were possible and given a choice, I would surely choose to live under Banda. Period.

Wakwithu
Wakwithu
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Phiri

In those days those in higher positions were very corrupt but people could not say anything for fear of being killed ruthlessly. The higher standards were being reached for fear of being tortured not that Malawians were good people, NO! This time around people are very enthusiastic of change of government and are not able to see the wrong things that are being committed. Pano angoti bolani ajawa achoka m’boma. Akamadzadzidzimuka zolakwika zitamera nthenje. WATCH OUT!

nyarugwe
nyarugwe
7 months ago

2020 resolve may not be sustained if we are not careful. Watch out DPP is like a mutated covid-19 virus-very deceptive, cunning, aggressive and cruel.
We have to be steadfast if we do not want to return to being subjects

Japan mee
Japan mee
7 months ago

It will be sustained for long.

Kanyimbi
Kanyimbi
7 months ago

According to how DPP performed in rerun election, I have all the trust that it did not rig the elections, If MCP and UTM had gone to the polls separately, they could have been defeated again. But now the issue is on the fulfilments of the following:

  1. Universal fertilizer
  2. 1 million jobs
  3. Fighting corruption
  4. Economic Transformation
  5. Governance transformation

Only 10% has been scored on governance transformation

Zawela
Zawela
7 months ago
Reply to  Kanyimbi

10% in 5 months how about in 55months?

Williams
Williams
7 months ago
Reply to  Zawela

Kkķkkk will be more than 10%

wakalekale
7 months ago
Reply to  Kanyimbi

DPP ‘s votes shrunk after combining with UDF.
ndiye inu mukuti ikanawina bwa?

guest
guest
7 months ago
Reply to  wakalekale

ndipotu makhadeti amachita ulesi zedi pakaganizidwe…mwawafunsa bwino ndithu kut mavoti awo anatsika pama fresh elections as compared to the 2019 elections figures Jane ansa gave them chonsecho panopa anaphatikizana ndi UDF nde anatsika bwanji malo mokwera

Williams
Williams
7 months ago
Reply to  wakalekale

Aaah sikanawina

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