It can safely be argued that the DPP led government is pursuing nine, very related issues which are: intimidation & arrests on trumped-up charges of all critics; Four Lecturers of the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College; Joyce Banda – the legitimate Vice President of our Country; Cultivating and nurturing insecurity for its people by, for example, keeping a visibly and palpably failing IG of Police in situ; Destruction of bilateral relations with other countries; Disregard and disrespect of international statutes to which we are signatories; Self aggrandizement of the people in good books with the party and the Big Kahuna; Divide and rule + Regionalism – & Tribalism and lastly, intolerance, brutality and impunity.
All these adding up to Bad Political Governance with a big, stinking rot on human rights, social, political and economic wellbeing and progress of the common Malawian – leaving us nowhere near an environment that can allow for expression of free will, pursuit of sustainable, of-quality livelihoods and livelihood outcomes. I mean, the health policies are failing, aren’t they? The educational policies are failing, not so? The internal security and policing policies are failing, is that not right? The Social Protection policies are failing, any disputation? Decentralization and Local Governance policies are failing, is that not clear to every well meaning Malawian?
Economic Planning and Development Policies are failing, can each one of us not see that? Energy policies are failing, well, do we have to argue about that? Environmental policies are failing! Foreign Policy is failing! Agricultural policies are stagnant! And, then, what happens? When Malawians want to talk back and demand accountability on all these things, they are met with what appears to be terrorism, brutalities, impunity – and of course, mediocrity with no chance of redress, legal or otherwise.
What looks very clear is that everything appears to be falling apart and nobody in government and the party seems willing to take responsibility for it in a responsible and statesmanly style, manner and fashion. It does not matter what others think but I think we have, in my view, a very incompetent leadership – a leadership that will not, in the foreseeable future, change the course and the path on which it has taken Malawi unto. They all appear to have lost all capability of leading Malawi in positive directions as a pack or as individuals. Seriously!
To all discerning minds – and critical ones for that matter – not necessarily the Mzati Nkolokosa type of critical thinking (we can reserve that for another day), what I write above seems to summarize the agenda of the DPP government. What appears to preoccupy the functional machinery of this government are issues that, by and large, are going to sink this country further into oblivion, isolation; and political, social and economic doldrums. There appears to be no agenda at all that is being pursued to improve the living standards, livelihoods and well being of the Malawian people – and their collective, positive relationships with other countries.
It would appear, at least to me, that the call for a referendum on whether or not this government still enjoys the trust and confidence of Malawians is a legitimate call and all Malawians, from all walks of life, including those that posses critical minds in the DPP and the Government circles, need to join this call so that we can decisively and with finality, bring to a halt the bad air blowing across our country with visible tragic consequences on our desired destiny of prosperity, rule of law and a democratic culture deeply entrenched in our way of life. I mean 18 years, and still counting, of what is meant to be a democratic dispensation are long enough for us, as a people, to have changed our ways of acting and doing politically.
The legitimacy, with which the DPP winged into power in May 2009 seems to have faltered, seems to have dwindled and we are left with a government that all it knows is arrogance, stubbornness and cluelessness on what to do next with the Malawian people – as they, Malawians, desire to pursue a life with cumulatively positive outcomes.
The time is now – or it never shall be!
*Issac Cheke Ziba is a Lecturer – Catholic University of Malawi (but writing in personal capacity).
Masters Degree in Social Development & Health