God detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.Proverbs 11:1
South African based Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, on October 3 2019, ferried a group of Malawi media house journalists across the great Limpompo River for an hour-long press conference. As reported in the news, the purpose of the conference was to add his voice on the ongoing impasse, court case and ceaseless mass demonstrations following the May 21, 2019 Tripartite Elections.
The man of God told journalists from Capital Radio, Nation newspaper, Times TV, Rainbow RV, Zodiac Broadcasting and Capital Radio that he was concerned about Malawi and wanted there to be peace. In dialoguing with the media, Prophet Bushiri calls on the stakeholders (political parties, civil society organizations, corporate entities) to prepare their supporters, members, and employees for the outcome of the determination of the Constitutional Court.
This is a grand and welcomed move by this internationally acclaimed son of the Malawi soil. There are four areas of concern that have evolved from his tête-à-tête with the media that Malawians want the Prophet to respond.
QUESTION ONE: It has been four months since the fateful day when the Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson announced the DPP candidate, incumbent president Peter Mutharika as the winner, despite over 147 anomalies. As former President Muluzi was asked on this same column, where have you been? People have died, others suffered attacks, crowds tear-gassed, and property damaged. Would it be correct to say the DPP cadets are the new Malawi Young Pioneers?
While your commentary was mostly attacking the opposition parties, the DPP government, on its part has been complicit and silent on attacks the police made on the Malawi Congress Party headquarters, DPP cadets make on ordinary Malawians that are not DPP members, and sending villains to attack human rights defenders like HRDC chair. In fact, the President in a radio broadcast from Chikoko Bay, ordered the police to shoot demonstrators.
Is it wise, development-thinking, for the DPP government under president Mutharika, to spend billions of Kwacha in keeping the MEC Chairperson? Could such moneys have been better directed to buy maize for the starving Malawians you referred to during the Press Conference?
QUESTION TWO: If you are to play a meaningful role as peace mediator in this election scandal, do you think you would be better served if you did not come out front and declare your support of the party that two million Malawians are angry about?
QUESTION THREE: Malawi is a democracy. Why is unity of the two main opposition parties a prerequisite to get your support? The unity that is prevalent now among the MCP and UTM, is because both were attacked when the tally sheets were Tippexed (this is a term that was not used during the press conference but is on every Malawian angered by the results). It was the Court that brought the two cases (of MCP and UTM against the MEC and DPP).
QUESTION FOUR: On the matter of your opinion on the demonstrators’ call for the resignation of the MEC chair, why were you evasive? For people that may not be aware, in Malawi’s election history, former Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa is about the only MEC Chair that has never attracted the indignation of the voting public. She was stern and tough about her calling as Commission Chair. She rose above all the candidates, including the mighty invincible Kamuzu Banda.
But previous MEC chairs and CEOs in the likes of William Hanjahanja, Patrick Winga, James Kalaile, and the late Maxon Mbendera (who announced the 2014 election results amid tears) all got the ire of the voters.
Since the announcement of the May 2019 elections, two million Malawians have poured onto the streets to express their anger; their songs are songs of anger, not violence; no one is enticing them. They all see the correction fluid marks all over their votes.
It is not rocket science; the consequence of the MEC chair resigning would compel fresh elections (the re-run). This is what happens in normal, unforced, and democratic elections.
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