Malawi is slowly, but steadily, descending into a dark dungeon of wreckage. Just look around. The streets are burning, business is shut, looting is vast and widespread, lawlessness is winning and the police are visibly and ashamedly underwhelmed. Surely, political wreckage is at hand.
You see, where we are, now, is a place we could have avoided or, of course, prevented—in fact, we still have the capacity to prevent every new step we are taking towards our own political wreck.
The person to prevent the wreck is President Peter Mutharika.
The fate of about 18 million Malawians, today, has come to a standstill because of one elderly woman, a mother, a pastor of a known God and, of course, the chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC): Jane Mayemu Mjojo Ansah.
Ansah’s crime before Malawians is that she presided over an electoral process that was all, in all intents and purposes, mismanaged. That mismanaged process elected a leader in Peter Mutharika whose legitimacy is being challenged through a court process in session. In all this, the public feels Ansah needs to step aside and far from the country’s electoral body.
It’s an uphill task to prove to the letter the sins of Ansah. But, qualitatively, she admitted herself that presiding officers ‘tippexed’ [correctional fluid] several result sheets without MEC’s approval—thats leadership failure on her side.
Further, again qualitatively, all the three major contenders—DPP, MCP and UTM—have spoken in unison that the election was stolen. This, on Ansah’s side, sparks loss of public trust.
Yes, the nitty-gritties of it all will have to be settled by the court process underway. However, it is only substantial—both from her own admission of failure and, also, strong admissions from the three major political parties including the ruling—that Ansah must step aside.
Strangely, Ansah came out softly on that Zodiak interview, softly, refusing to absorb and digest any word of resignation. Her refusal to resign was grievous and grievously has it put the nation on fire.
We have a situation where Ansah is stuck to her guns and protesters have vowed to invoke terror on the streets until the pastor Ansah bows down to their resignation demand.
The question is: Where do we go from here?
We have come to a point where Mutharika, as a Head of State, needs to prevent the nation from deepening into political wreckage. He must persuade Ansah to leave—after all, presidency is about persuading contrary forces to act in the interest of public good.
I don’t know why President Mutharika has chosen silence over Ansah’s resignation call. Ansah is a leader who, in her own words, admitted having failed to manage tipexed results. Mutharika himself, in saying some of his votes were stolen, spoke loud of waned trust he has in Ansah. I believed Mutharika—to save the integrity of MEC and, also, state institutions he heads—must have been the first to bay for Ansah’s blood.
That is why, whatever President Mutharika has for Ansah, he must stand up, as Head of State, and tear down this wall of arrogance erected by Ansah. It’s keeping the nation at a dangerous standstill.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :