I would like to humbly applaud the State President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for allowing citizens of this country to ask him questions on issues of national interest.
Having seen a promotional video clip on the program “Talk to The President” last week, I eagerly waited for days to watch my President respond to the questions people would raise.
Unfortunately, we had no power in our area due to the usual load shedding, so I had to listen to the program on radio.
Mr. President, I was happy to hear you say in that program with confidence that anywhere you have laid a foundation stone, there is construction taking place.
I and many Malawians can’t wait to see progress pictures of Mombera University and many other projects.
I was however disturbed to learn that Mr. President you still harbor deep bitterness against the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
In your own words, Mr. President, you said, “As long as Peter Mutharika is alive, Malawi Congress Party will NEVER rule this country, because it’s a party of darkness, a bunch of murderers and I will never let them rule this country again. I am very bitter about this.”
Mr. President, watching the promotional video clip, I could tell that indeed you are still very bitter about what happened to your family more than four decades ago.
Mr. President, I can relate as my own direct uncle, the late Hardwick Adam Kachaje spent years at the infamous Dzereka prison. He was one of the Members of Parliament who were detained without trial for years after the 1964 cabinet crisis. He was not as lucky as you to have escaped the country and lived in America.
But Mr. President, I am proud to say that few years ago, my uncle died peacefully and a very free person not only because he witnessed the coming in of Multiparty democracy in 1994, but because he believed in Jesus Christ whose teachings call on us to forgive those who trespass against us.
I believe that to forgive is to set the captive free and to realize you were actually the captive.
Mr. President, I had the privilege to visit Robben Island, the notorious prison where the legendary leader, Nelson Mandela spent more than two decades of his life. Walking through that prison changed my life. Mandela had every right to hold bitterness and anger towards the whites in South Africa.
However, Mandela resolved that he would not let anger hold him prisoner but led his country into a healing process. He will forever remain a hero to both blacks and whites because he chose to let go of bitterness and walked the path of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Ahmed Kathrada, a former prisoner at Robben Island for 18 years and a very close ally to Nelson Mandela said; “While we will not forget the brutality of apartheid, we will not want Robben Island to be a monument of our hardship and suffering.
We would want it to be a triumph of the human spirit against the forces of evil. A triumph of wisdom and largeness of spirit against small minds and pettiness.
A triumph of courage and determination over human frailty and weakness.” That is the spirit of great leaders, Mr. President. They do not let the past suffering become a monument, rather, a triumph of the human spirit against the forces of evil.
Six million Jews were mercilessly slaughtered in gas chambers in Germany and other countries such as Austria under the evil rule of Adolf Hitler. If there are people that can be allowed to hold bitterness on earth, it would be the Jews.
But they have chosen to move on and let the past be history. Today trade between Israel and German is booming. Israel exports to Germany are over US$1.5billion while its imports from Germany are nearly US$4billion.
They realize that the current leader of Germany is a lovely lady called Angela Merkel, not Adolf Hitler. Angela Merkel can no longer be said to represents a country of “darkness and murderers.”
Mr. President, during the 2014 tripartite elections, 1,904,399 Malawians wanted you to be their leader, while another 1,455,880 Malawians wanted the MCP you hate with passion to lead then under the new leadership of Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, a pastor who has spent decades preaching the gospel of love and forgiveness.
Mr. President, you are, therefore, not only a leader for the few Malawians who voted for you, but for everyone, including those who still love MCP and other political parties.
Mr. President, be a Statesman and lead our beautiful nation without bitterness. Don’t be the architect of hate speech.
Being a democratic nation, Mr. President, it is not up to you to decide whether MCP or any other party will rule this country again or not. That decision is the democratic right of the free Malawians, and not an executive decision of the President.
- Henry Kachaje is a socio-economic development commentator, economic rights activist and entrepreneurial life coach and trainer based in Malawi’s Commercial City, Blantyre.