Open letter to Malawi President Mutharika

On Saturday after your address to the nation on the global pandemic, you promised that you would address the nation again. Thus, it was welcomed the news that you would address Malawians on Tuesday. It was, however, very depressing to hear you underscore the divided nature of our beautiful Malawi. This was indeed a misplaced speech.

Mutharika: The whole country is in absolute agreement with you that Malawians must work together.

You said you would speak to us again, and all ears are eager to hear your word on the statement you had on Saturday: the issue of the coronavirus that has so far killed over one million people globally. There are nine confirmed cases of COVID 19 cases in Malawi and one death. To be precise, all Malawians are on edge and want to know are to know what the government is doing and what they should do to protect themselves from the virus, which has no cure.

Malawi is going through very difficult times with the coronavirus because of a lack of leadership and a lack of concerted collective strategizing on the matter. Ministers sitting around a conference table, stacking up sitting allowances, will not protect 18 million Malawians from this disease spreading like a forest fire, this is what lack of concerted strategies and early action does. Watch America and watch Britain. And then watch China, and watch Japan, and South Korea. Early action, saves lives, and halts the spread of the virus.

It is true that health care workers are to be thanked for their sacrifice on caring for COVID 19 patients, however, please stop being dramatic. Malawi has registered 9 cases. This number can stay this low or increase less dramatically, should you sincerely desire it in your heart and do something about this, other than set a MK300,000 per sitting allowanced cabinet committee.

Malawi can only win this war if it chooses to work together. The whole country is in absolute agreement with you that Malawians must work together. This “together” must include people like the private sector, parliamentarians, councilors, and members of the opposition parties in the country. I am confident that we will win this war. (Your confidence to win the COVID 19 war sadly can be short-lived, due to the strategies you have adopted; Malawi could nose-dive into the business as usual trap, where innocent Malawians are at risk of losing their lives.

All because you chose to use this pandemic for your political gain.

On the issue of the May election and rumors of bloodsuckers in some communities, if you can recall, anytime Malawi approaches elections, there are always rumours of bloodsuckers. It is pathetic and all previous governments have used this gimmick, and it is bent on regionalism, that can only come to a stop with an honest table talk among all political parties in all the regions. It is unconstitutional and undemocratic to wage war on voters’ psychological statuses, just so they are suppressed from getting out to vote for their chosen candidate.

Frankly speaking, on the accusation that the DPP government was selling bones of people with albinism, the time for your words on this issue, is long gone. Many lovely innocent Malawians lost their lives, and it took the United Nations to send a special envoy to arrest the situation. People with albinism in Malawi needed to hear from you every day, with your sworn oath to protect their lives.

There are two issues that must be addressed about the Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) registration for the forthcoming Presidential election These are as flows:

  1. Why is MEC needing to re-register all Malawians? It would be a less costly, more efficient, and credible exercise if registration was only for those people that have recently turned 18 years of age; and
  2. The reason we are having fresh elections in the country is due to the February 3, 2020 Constitutional Court decision ordered for a re-run, and in doing so, the Court labeled the MEC as inept and incompetent. Why in Malawi’s democratic dispensation are citizens being forced to continue with an incompetent and fraudulent voter management personnel? Even during Kamuzu Banda’s rule, when it came to his attention that Malawians were discontent with an official, he had them removed. Why are you failing to remove this lot at the MEC? Is it because you are expecting them to perform the same act they played in May 2019? The MEC in its current configuration must go; it must go before the 2020 Court-ordered elections.

The issue of suppressing people from registering, it is common knowledge that the MCP President held the press conference last week to address this matter. From listeners to the presser, Dr. Chakwera advised his followers not to surrender their voter registration or national ID cards. He also informed them about the coronavirus, how to protect themselves and others and preventative measures such as washing hands and covering mouth when coughing.

On the voter fraud scheme, Dr. Chakwera informed Malawians of the trickery some unscrupulous people, criminals that are going around in the MCP and UTM stronghold in Central and Northern regions, and lying to Malawians that if they surrender their Voter Registration cards or National IDs, then the government will give them business loans. This is widespread news, but you do not speak to it, except to use it as a weapon to castigate your opponent and wrongly represent his motives. This is a sly and minister trick of incumbency. Shame on you.

Your talk of a “collective war against the coronavirus,” is regrettably, mere words. If the war was a collective battle, then all hands would be on deck. By this, Malawians should be witnessing a togetherness at the top echelons of powers in the country.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in February 2020 told his nation of the agreement between his ANC party and 14 opposition political parties leaders: “We all agree that this is an unprecedented moment,” he said. “We have not seen anything as serious as this confronting the entire nation. But we agreed that regardless of our political persuasions, our political differences, all of us share a common desire to keep our people safe, but also to mitigate the impact of this virus on the lives of our people.”

His bitterest political opponent, sharp-talking Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters said: “As the EFF, we fully support the initiative of government and we call upon all South Africans to listen to the leadership of our government and follow exactly as we are told.”

This is what fighting the coronavirus collectively, together looks like. In deed not just in words.

It is laudable, and all can agree with you that “every life is precious.” However, a lot of Malawians listened to Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s press conference. As you are a man who respects the rule of law, that is built on truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God, Dr. Chakwera did not order “some of his followers to catch and kill innocent people who are rumoured to be collecting National IDs.”

In fact, Dr. Chakwera said (sic) “the culprits that are doing this (buying people’s National ID cards in the central and northern regions) must be reported to the authorities.” The Police was ruled out in his advice because of the boisterous, unrestrained politicization the Police Service has undergone under your leadership since 2014.

By the way, during the 2019 Tripartite Elections campaign period, the DPP Secretary-General claimed to be a witch at one of your rallies. It was disconcerting to note that you neither censored her nor took any action on this bizarre and startling claim. You are President of 18 million Malawians, and as the recipient of a salary and upkeep paid for by this group, it is incumbent upon you to love and respect the lives and views of all persons in this population (18 million; not more and not less, opposition and supporters).

Thus, the threat to members of your political party, cannot and must not be more pertinent, than the threat to your political opponents and their supporters.

Your direction to the “Malawi Defense Force to work with the Malawi Police Service to intensify patrols to ensure that Malawi remains a country of order and peace,” is coming way too late in this game into which you have propelled Malawians. The military, although under your command and purview as its commander in chief, does not need you now to tell it to work with the police in protecting Malawi and our border.

Under the previous commander, the military converged onto Malawi streets and have been protecting Malawians (all Malawians) from harm; this has been especially so in the aftermath of the debacle of the 2019 election result announcement. The military did this because it saw the Malawi Police lacking in its mandate to protect Malawian citizens, as the DPP cadets unleashed violent acts against demonstrating Malawians.

The military did this because the Police either sat phwiiii (idle, lethargic, listless), or they hauled tear gas at innocent peace-loving Malawians.

In another one of your purviews, you direct that criminals must face the law; this is a grand rule of law mantra. But this must apply to all criminals of all political persuasions, not just criminals from the opposition side. This must also apply to criminals in blue colors. It was bad and vile acts of barbarism, that cannot be condoned to burn Police structures.

However, it must be underscored that a politicized Police corps, is a disservice to Malawi’s democratic culture that is likely to bring harm and the much deplorable mob justice. The police must reclaim its place in the Malawi community as a professional organ of government that serves the right to protection of all Malawians, irrespective of their political leanings.

On this, Mr. President, the Homeland Minister has a big task at hand to de-politicize the Police.

You recently made appointments to the army, complete with people that are perceived to be those with leanings toward the DPP and from the south.

It is unfortunate that this aim to politicize the country’s military appears to be an attempt to elevate yourself into a dictator. Since February, you have in a sense, dismantled or unraveled the three arms of government, into one arm of government. You have defied court order challenging the court. This is the judiciary. You defied the parliament by refusing to sign the four bills that would be in line with the court decision. This is the legislature. This has left Malawi with one arm of government, the executive, with no one overseeing or checking your actions or decisions.

You, Sir, are spewing graffiti all over our impeccable Constitution, of which I was proud to be a delegate at its 1996 drafting and recall that you were the Chair.

You began your speech expressing your concern that Malawi is “faced with the national threat of coronavirus,” but only spent two lines on this threat.

Malawi does not have the luxury or resources to dilly-dally, play politics, throw mud pies at rivals in the face of the Coronavirus. Everybody around the world is fighting its own battles, using up all their money on country needs, and there is no time to lose. Messages from all voices must go out to Malawians on preventative measures that will stop the spread of the virus in Malawi. Lastly, resource allocation must start in-country.

Please stop the spew, if ever there was a time for you to be president of a country, this is it; if ever there was the need to unite a country by your words and actions, this is it; and if ever there was a need to bury the hatchet so you can hold hands with your opponents, this is it.

God bless Malawi, God bless our leaders, each and every one.

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Last Witness
Last Witness
1 year ago

A John Ungapake Tembo ali kuti? Iwo munthu osamva amamutcha dzin Loti Puludzu. Time is gone for Malawi to think that we can deal with the problem of Coronavirus. Our leaders did and do not use “prevention” , our only tool. It’s funny Malawian can actually report: Such and such a person entered Malawi on such a day! Why didn’t put him /her on quarantine before allowing him or her into Malawi? Why allow Malawians who are in other countries come here when we have embassies where they are? The best a leader could do is to allocate money for… Read more »

Felix Amigo
Felix Amigo
1 year ago

The big challenge we have on the fight on COVID-19 in Malawi is that we want to apply political solution on a public health problem. How do you explain the absence of national technical committee on COVID-19? The continued use of this cabinet committee is putting malawians at risk. What I know and what is happening in other countries, the national technical committee which is composed of multifaceted technocrats especially medical specialist is on the fore front. The cabinet committee is there to make political and policy decision not as the brain behind the actual fight itself. But as usual,… Read more »

Kondwani namwini
Kondwani namwini
1 year ago

Guys amalawi ndife oipa same person kunena kut virus yalowa wina kukana now zasimikizika still blaming him eish Malawi

Zio ine
Zio ine
1 year ago

Karim articles are too long for online media. May be the editor should summarise for some of us who don’t have time to read such long articles.

Ulemu Banda
Ulemu Banda
1 year ago
Reply to  Zio ine

I think you are lazy. I bet you don’t even read books lol.

Tizanka
Tizanka
1 year ago

Mufa ndi BP, you can’t hold such hatred for one individual for so long

President Chisokonezo
President Chisokonezo
1 year ago

Which statistics? Corona has not killed millions but has affected millions. I

Merai
Merai
1 year ago

I salute you Janet. Well spoken in your bravery. Those that are benefiting from this government with ill gotten money will say all sorts of insults to you because the truth hurts and they know it. Let’s take heart that time is the best answer to all of this. When a man plays around with Gods people, he is a man of no wisdom. If gadaffi fell, mutharika definitely will. And the Bible has promised that God Will not let one man continue to oppress his people. Pharaoh was more powerful than the president and he also fell under Gods… Read more »

Chriss
Chriss
1 year ago

President Peter Munthalika is a Civil Servant number one, his retirement age is past that of of the limit.. Please retire..

Bob Finye
Bob Finye
1 year ago
Reply to  Chriss

You don’t ELECT, but appoint a civil servant. You understand?

Bwana Wa Ulesi
Bwana Wa Ulesi
1 year ago

Karim Opepela iwe

Mtete
Mtete
1 year ago
Reply to  Bwana Wa Ulesi

How, if I may ask?

Yobe Saikonde
Yobe Saikonde
1 year ago

Sasamba opanda mano galu achoke

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