Malawi is in a terrible crisis. Both in terms of governance and economy. It is a bare fact that the government of Bingu wa Mutharika, Webster Thom, has totally messed the once admirable economy, thanks to the Bingunomics theories that have no practical application, other than ruining whatever they are applied to.
The Binguconomics theories have led to increasing protests from all sectors of society in the country and Mutharika has responded but not by listening to critics.
Instead he has been banging his fists on tables while telling Malawians, whose relations are dying needlessly due to lack of drugs, and soon to lack of food, that they are crying chickens.
Despite advices pouring in from all sections trying to convince him change his leadership techniques the near 79-year-old (February 24, 2012) president has remained as defiant as ever.
His clearest answer has been a full-fledged stabbing of democratic principles. Think of the academic freedom saga, section 46, the police bill, the injunctions bill, the killing of 20 unarmed protesters and University student political activist Robert Chasowa.
His quite brazen defiance is also witnessed in a recent interview with the British Guardian newspaper (as reported by Nyasa Times– February 17, 2012). Here, Mutharika defends himself that his leadership approach is in line with democratic values because, he blatantly claim, there have not been any political prisoner under his rule.
Whether Mutharika is becoming debilitated or he simply thinks that Malawians are a bunch of dafter not to make sound conclusion on critical issues affecting the country and not just accept every junk is for every person to judge individually.
It is not my duty, a non-entity, at least for today, to remind the whole professor of Binguconomics and leader of 14 million people for that matter that Malawians are very much up and know the very truth as to what happened to Dr Cassim Chilumpha, SC, when he was the country’s vice president.
They are incredibly aware of what the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) government did to the two Josephs, late Chimbayo, former Commander of Malawi Defence Force, and Iron, former Inspector General of Police. They have not forgotten either what happened to legislator Yusuf Matumula, businessman Rashid Nembo, UDF senior politician Humphreys Mvula, Brigadier General Cosgrave Mituka, Major Genral Mathews Chirwa, just to mention a few mortals.
Without visiting any four-wall structure or open air classroom to be schooled on the definition of political prisoner, any level headed individual will perfectly tell why the above mentioned people spent days in police cells and prison cages.
And what has just happened to the country’s renowned lawyer Ralph Kasambara calls for more people of Yunus Mussa’s swift thinking to kill more goats to resuscitate our leader before it is too late. Surely, we may be saying he is just being arrogant when something is seriously wrong upstairs.
This will perhaps help him to once again remember with clear brains that in 1993 Malawians voted for change from autocracy to democracy as such sending his party boys to petrol bomb houses and offices of his system’s critics, particularly human rights activists, has no place in new Malawi.
Time and again Mutharika has highly spoken of cracking down (smoking out) on NGOS and CSOs leaders. His boys (on party and government tickets) have successfully started implementing this project which unfortunately Malawians have very little to do in order to stop it.
But do we have any other choice? Yes, the only democratic option open to us, at least for now, is perhaps some well organised street protests. Continue from where we left on July 20th 2011. Though, this could be a risky strategy as witnessed by the live ammo using police service last year but it is truly feasible as just observed in North Africa where ‘untouchable’ empires collapsed in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.
We need to get as much international support and publicity as we can if every Malawian is to sing and dance the triumph song at the end of the day. Malawi is for every Malawian and every Malawian has to take a portion of the cake being enjoyed by the few.
In about four months’ time, Malawi will be hosting the African Union Summit in Lilongwe. This offers a wonderful opportunity. There will be a lot of international press considering that the world is already watching Malawi at that moment.
That could be the moment of truth, and the moment every thoughtful Malawian can make a lifetime difference. If Mutharika wants to have the eyes of the world on Malawi, let us demonstrate openly to the world what state the country is in, and how we, the citizenry, feel about the present political leadership.
Malawians demonstrate and demonstrate in large numbers. The international press will offer the protection we all need. The last thing Mutharika needs now is images of his police (and maybe even the army) killing unarmed civilians who do nothing other than exercise their democratic right to assembly and free expression.
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