Malawi newspaper columnist on T/A Bvumbwe saga: PP over playing its hand

Newspaper columnist George Kasakula wrote in ‘My Diary’ column published in Weekend Nation on Saturday May 4 accusing the ruling People’s  Party for its conduct in the  Traditional Authority (T/A) Bvumbwe in Thyolo saga . The column is re-posted  below, full text:

President Joyce Banda and her PP may not like this but it is the truth that will only change after May next year: They are in power through the accident of death.

If I were the President, therefore, I would advise my party officials to be restrained and not throw their weight around Malawians as if they voted for PP in 2009.

But on the contrary, PP is now behaving like a foolish heir who takes over his dead dad’s riches and the spoiled brat goes about to making everybody know that they are the new deal in town.

T/A Bvumbe
T/A Bvumbe

Funerals are supposed to be solemn occasions where total respect is accorded to the dead in full realisation that after all is said and done, we shall all go through the same route without fail when our turn comes.

The last thing on the mind of mourners, let alone the bereaved family still in shock at their loss, therefore, should be somebody shamelessly and arrogantly using the funeral occasion for their beloved to gain political mileage.

Yet, PP, a political organisation we are calling a ruling party in Malawi due to the misfortune of death, decided to go against tradition on Saturday and threw out of the window the need to respect those who have gone before us by taking advantage of the funeral of the late Justice Joseph Manyungwa to campaign in Thyolo through the distribution of party colours to paint the whole occasion orange to please the President.

Because T/A Bvumbwe expressed his displeasure as the custodian of culture and morals in the presence of the President, the whole PP structure has descended upon him such that as I am writing this, he has reportedly gone into hiding, fearing for his life after getting threats from PP hoodlums.

Shockingly, the party is even involving government machinery paid for by our tax to exact its vendetta on the young chief, forcing Thyolo district commissioner Lawford Palani to organise other chiefs who addressed a hastily organised press conference where they said nothing meaningful, just to hack at their colleague.

Yet President Joyce Banda promised the nation that she will not politicise chiefs as past administrations were doing but she is allowing this naked thuggish behaviour perpetrated against the innocent chief whose only crime is to tell her the truth and on the need to respect the dead.

It goes without saying that the relatives of the late Manyungwa did not deserve this treatment and the President should examine her attendance of funerals to see whether they are meant to soothe and comfort the bereaved or they will become another load on the bereaved family if the behaviour of the PP youth is anything to go by. She should ask herself whether she would rather hear the truth now from honest characters like T/A Bvumbwe or she would prefer they coil under fear, like what the other chiefs from Thyolo did by foolishly attempting to apologise to her on behalf of someone who did not even tell them to do it.

Finally, I have this to say to Joyce Banda. Malawians have had enough of terror orchestrated by MCP youth leaguers, UDF young democrats and DPP youth morale in the years gone by. It is time they had respite from this thuggish behaviour.

Unfortunately what happened in Thyolo is a continuation of the same. A whole chief left the comfort of his home because he is afraid PP hoodlums might visit terror on him.

It should not happen in the 21st century democratic Malawi especially by a party that Malawians have never given power to and it should not happen a year before a general election. PP is overplaying its hand and at a wrong time, for that matter.

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