Kudos to Chakwera for joining demos- it’s not just the CSO’s job

They are moments when the power of democracy can overcome any threats or intimidation. Malawi experienced that moment this Friday when protesters in the major cities and other districts marched to showcase their frustration over a number of issues that the current government need to look at .

Chakwera join protestors in Lilongwe

Headlining those issues is the call for Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and  Local government Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa to resign   for being the architects of the MK4bn saga.  The climax of the events really was the moment when the leader of opposition and president of Malawi Congress Party, Dr Lazarus Chakwera donning his black top joined the protesters in Lilongwe to deliver their grievances at the president’s office at the Capital Hill.

This was interesting , as in so many occasions active politicians tend not to join the demos and leave it to the civil society to do the job.

Looking at the history of demonstrations in Malawi since multiparty came in, one would agree that politicians have never been at the forefront of demos. Except on few occasions like Bon Kalindo protesting over the killing of albinos politicians have not been actively involved on the ground preferring to just make commentary here and there.

Chakwera involvement on the front line injected a fresh approach to the life of demonstrations. Critics have been quick to argue that, politicians involvement in demos politicizes the whole thing and its easy to think they are doing it to score political points and take advantage of the situation for Public relations purposes. That however, is a weak argument, as the reasons for the demos should be put into consideration first.

The issues that the civil society organisations brought about are issues that have affected each and every Malawian and it would be shocking and inconsiderate if the opposition politicians would have shunned the event. Chakwera as the leader of opposition handled his role well and his involvement in the demos is something that should be applauded.

Problems that Malawians is facing are not civil society problems only.   When a country is hit by persistent electricity problems and the government doesn’t seems to bring any tangible solution to it , that’s not just a problem for CSO’s. When a finance minister comes ups with a suspicious  K4 Billion to fund  86 constituencies, with alleged criteria basing the rewarding to  those who rejected the electoral reforms including 50%+1 electoral system for electing the President, then that’s a problem for all Malawians.

When the party in power takes over the national broadcaster MBC and gives no chance to the opposition, or let the broadcaster broadcast freely without interferences, then that’s a problem for all Malawians.  Malawi cannot continue to go on like this , corruption is on the rise , issues of money laundering are starting to surface with a  great possibility of another cashgate scandal . These demos needed a collective action by all Malawians who care about their country

Politicians and civil society need to work together for the good of Malawi.  Malawi democracy should be mature enough to realise that demonstrations does not mean violence. This is why , its very commendable for both protesters  and the police on the way they handled things and the fact that the demos ended up being peaceful.

Memories of what happened on July 20 , 2011  when protesters were killed after violence erupted should be a reminder to everybody  that violence during protests yield nothing but disaster.  That is why it was a shame that a day before the planned protests, the DPP staged their own protests telling people not to go to Friday protests. While, they were exercising their right too, but it was sad of their regional governor for the south Charles Mchacha to start telling people that “protesters were not allowed in Limbe and Blantyre” .

What Chakwera has done , is show Malawians that political leaders and civil society  leaders can work together, not necessarily to cause problems to government of the day , but to highlight the issues that affect Malawians. It would be interesting in future to see politicians getting involved. Some MCP names were seen taking part in the demos like Harry Mkandawire, Sam Kawale  and Abidal Mia.  Hopefully when need be, other political parties will get involved too. But most importantly it is every Malawians hope that the issues the civil society have addressed will be looked into for the better of Malawi as  a nation

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Napoleon
Guest

Where were other MCP MPs apart from the greedy man Harry Mkandawire. This shows that other MCP MPs are not in agreement to what he was doing. Hope he will also March when he will be screwed in court When Kaliwo Qc takes him head on.

Truth Be Told
Guest

There were several other MCP members of parliament. Surely you don’t want the writer to mention everyone. By the way, Kamuzu Chibambo, president of Petra too marched.

Napoleon
Guest

Kikikiki Truth Be told, serious! Kamuzu Chibambo of Petra was there, how many MPs does his party have in the House of Parliament.? What about other briefcase parties? Shaaa !

Hatton
Guest

The K4 billion issue must be blamed on Leader of Opposition. Why did he allow and supported the proposal. Does it mean that he suffers mental retardation which allows him hours if not days for him to reexamine his actions. The leader of opposition has displayed serious amateurism and has cast doubts on Malawians as to whether he is fit to rule Malawi.
If the CSOs were not agents of MCP, they would have demanded the sacking of the leader of opposition for letting down Malawians in the manner he handled the K4 billion issue.

Truth Be Told
Guest
That’s not true Hatton. You did not listen to Chakwera’s statement when parliament was rising. He clearly said right there in parliament as leader of opposition, making his official statement, that he called on. ACB to conduct investigation of possible corruption on Goodall Gondwe and Nankhumwa. He also clearly stated that he expected Peter to remove them as cabinet ministers and he demanded their resignation. He explained that instead of 86 MPs benefiting from the suspicious money, since the finance minister insisted that the money was meant for development, as a party their argument was that all the 193 MPs… Read more »
Zangazanga Ncube
Guest

well said! I really wonder.

Tzzak
Guest

We will go to the polls, if Chawina Wins great for him. Otherwise I will vote for APM as my right!

Gwemula
Guest

Political or no political aliyense wofuna kwabwino anakamatcha basi kakolopeni kunyanja ngati zakunyansani simuona mavuto alipo mMalawi muno?mukamadyelela nokha basi nkumati zonse zili bwino

Silica gell
Guest

This m’bus a has chicken brain!

Samuel
Guest

His presence vindicates those who said prior to demos that the whole thing is political and is funded by opposition.

Agenda Setting Theory
Guest
Agenda Setting Theory

I don’t think Chakwera did the right thing. He could have stayed away.

Katatwe
Guest

WHY shuld he stay yet he is a concern citizen although he is in Politics jst like me working in a Bank

Country man
Guest

think what you want as it is your birth right, however, Chakwera is a Malawian just like you and me thus he has just exercise his right with full responsibility.

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