It can be said without any form of contradiction that freedom of expression can and contributes to the survival of multiparty democracy in Malawi. It can be further stated that freedom of expression , especially on topical issues is incomplete without appropriate response from relevant authorities. All this boils down to the fact that a listening government is a must have in order to achieve a meaningful freedom of expression in Malawi.
Most Malawians are aware that former President late Bingu wa Mutharika and his administration seemed not prepared to listen to anybody. Instead the President branded anybody with alternative or opposing views as his die hard enemies. He considered himself as a know-it-all type of a man. In fact he could even publically challenge that he was not cheap to be spoken too by every Jim and Jack. Naturally the majority of Malawians were wondering about the relevance of having such an impervious government. Without doubt Malawians are praying that they should never again be subjected to another of such a government like that of President Mutharika.
When President Joyce Banda came into power, there was still no shortage of the voice of reason. Malawians cried loud and clear. They wanted fuel, forex, donor aid, good relations with Malawi’s neighbours etc, etc.
President Banda promised to listen to people and so far she is doing just that. There is fuel in Malawi now as well as some forex. It is like a dream to drive to a fuel station and fill up a car.
Meanwhile, it sounds so strange to hear some people sarcastically ask,’ what has Joyce Banda done?’, insinuating that he has done nothing. Politics aside, honestly, such people have a very short memory. Have they already forgotten that the Mutharika administration seemed to have completely run out of ideas to run this country? To bring fuel into the country was beyond their imagination and instead they kept on making empty promises. Just fancy President Banda has brought fuel at a click of a button!
It is not a secret that Mutharika had left the country in total chaos and a very uncertain future. Therefore, it is naive for anyone to expect President Banda to rectify all the problems within 3 months. Fortunately, she has shown that she has the potential and political will. What she needs is support. Some of the support can be in the form of letting he know the people’s concerns.
The voice of reason which must include whistle blowing on the would be problems should be timely, loud and clear. This must be a continuous process failing which all manner of time bomb situation will be created and destroy all the gains President Banda will have made. Let the voice of reason by all Malawians guide this country to a prosperous future.
Emily Mkamanga Email [email protected]