It is sometimes said that the Catholics lead the way in Malawian politics.
On 8th May, 1992 (the first Sunday of Lent) Living our faith, a Pastoral letter from Catholic Bishops in Malawi was read in every Catholic Church and paved way for the birth of political pluralism.
Now it is the Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace (CCJP), they want Malawi Parliament to pass a Presidential transition law.
What is this Presidential transition law? Simply put, it is the transfer of power from one administration to the next. The transition law provides a framework for the political transfer of power from one democratically elected president to another.
In most democratic countries a newly elected leader enjoys a transitional period that he is able to announce the policies he intends to pursue and whom he has selected to implement them. For this to take place, the new leader needs good hand over notes from the out going administration.
CCJP are of the opinion that Malawi needs a Presidential transition law to ensure smooth continuation of socio-economic development after elections.
CCJP’s argument is illustrated with reference to lack of Presidential transition act in Malawi and this has resulted into all leaders since the attainment of multiparty democracy in 1994 singing the same chorus of “I found empty coffers”
This noble thinking cannot be left to be solved by CCJP alone. Malawians have to come together and make a strong fight for the good of mother Malawi.
When he came into office, former head of state, Bakili Muluzi, claimed that the MCP administration had left government coffers empty.
Bingu Wamtharika did the same “scream” when he took over from Bakili Muluzi.
Now, Joyce Banda not only complained of empty coffers but also stopped all projects Bingu Wamtharika initiated.
The one other annoying thing in our leaders is the vengeance attitude. Every leader arrests his/her predecessor. Bakili arrested Kamuzu, Bingu arrested Bakili, and now, Joyce Banda has arrested Peter Mutharika and many senior officials who worked with Bingu.
Questions to CCJP
The country has benefited nothing from these actions from our leaders. The cases they create on each other just drain taxpayers’ money.
Much as the catholic Christians have raised a “ righteous point” it, in itself, needs some buff up.
We feel that first; CCJP should put into prayers the people who hold the office of the President. Why do they always hate each other?
Politicians should not view each other as enemies; they should know that it’s a game of winners and losers.
How will they give each other hand over notes if they feel there is enmity amongst them? CCJP has to solve this problem foremost and then introduce their topic.
Have CCJP put in much flesh in their skeleton plan? They only have December to put the “flesh” together as they want it to pass in parliament by January?
Our hurriedly done constitution leaves a lot to be desired. It is not only confusing but also useless. Every section of the constitution is unimpressive.
This “dead” constitution is being used to express legal authority and to subvert legal authority hence Malawians do not want the new Presidential transition law to follow the same route.
Prime examples of Malawi’s pathetic constitution are, the office of the vice President, section on the media, how much powers it gives to the President and the list goes on.
So, CCJP have to take extra caution before they deliver their document to parliament.
Out of excitement as it looks so juicy, parliament may just pass it and we, Malawians, will be at the receiving end again as it is with this “dead” constitution.
In conclusion, we, The Timau Crew, find this to be a great move forward in our political history only if the law is well implemented, after all, Ghana did it and it is working.
This will help the new leadership in government to have the essential background knowledge to undertake their functions.
This will also see projects started by the previous government being continued rather than left to die natural deaths.
The Catholics are at it yet again, is this a new charter in Malawi’s political life?