Some sectionof Malawians are describing as bogus, useless and irrelevant a world peace award an India-based youth organization is to give to President Peter Mutharika.
Presidential press secretary and spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani said on Tuesday evening that Mutharika has accepted to receive the award the International Youth Committee will give to the Malawi leader.
“According to the IYC, the prize is awarded periodically to individuals of high caliber who have contributed to world peace by preventing country, regional conflict or world war through peaceful settlement of political, diplomatic and economic disputes,” says Kalilani.
Kalilani says Mutharika has been recognized and nominated due to his exemplary leadership, inn promoting peace and inter-religious understanding in the world.
But writer and political, economic and social commentator Onjezani Kenani, writing on his Facebook wall, has said the award, described as prestigious, is bogus.
Mervin Banda, also on his social media post, described as ill-timed and irrelevant the giving of the award to the President taking into account that the country is going through serious political impasse.
Since President Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the May 21 tripartite elections, the opposition, particularly the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the UTM Party, have been up in arms. They are disputing the election, claiming it was rigged; they have even gone to the courts to seek redress and are asking the courts to nullify the results.
Some commentators argue that President Mutharika has demonstrated that he is a peace advocate when opposition members been behaving like wild dogs and have taken the law into their own hands, staging some rampage demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction with the elections.
They have looted other people’s shops and damaged property worth hundreds of millions of Kwacha belonging to government and innocent individuals.
The MCP supporters even took to the headquarters of government in Malawi – the Capital Hill – apparently to chase and flush out all civil servants who were reporting for work so that they must not ‘work for Peter Mutharika’s government.’
Mutharika government has remained admirably cool, calm and collective under the circumstances. Examples abound of how the same context of politics played out within the SADC region in not so distant past. The late Morgan Tsvangirai was constantly in and out of the hospital for his so many countless battles with Zimbabwean Police under Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai can easily go down in history as perhaps the most beaten opposition leader in this part of Africa in a country that calls itself a democracy.
His successor, Nelson Chamisa has also not been spared the vent of government even under a different President. Just after the elections last year, Chamisa was furiously clobbered by security forces when he tried to take a flight at Harare International Airport for a trip outside the country.
In Zambia opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema (HH)can also go down in history as one of the most arrested individuals in the country’s history for showing signs of insubordination and for instigating lawlessness against an elected government. At one point HH was clobbered by security forces for not giving way to a presidential convoy to pass, apparently because he did not recognize the President of that country as an elected individual.
In Malawi, however, the government of President Mutharika has remained calm under the circumstances, despite the blatant provocation and lawlessness that is being displayed by opposition leaders and their supporters.
Mutharika is expected to get the award in December.
But the IYC peace prize is however not the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the person who had done most for “fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :