Transcript of Mutharika's war cry

Note: This speech was made on Thursday the 25th of August, 2011, at the occasion of opening the 2011 Agricultural Trade Fair by the President of the Republic of Malawi, Mr Bingu wa Mutharika

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters singing Zivute zitani ife Amalawi tili pambuyo pa a Bingu (translation: Come hail or high waters we stand solidly behind Bingu). Then they break into a chant: Boma! Boma! Boma! Boma! (Translation: We’re in power! We’re in power!)

Bingu:                   Chala m’mwamba! Chala m’mwamba! Chala m’mwamba! (DPP slogan/symbol Raise your finger, raise your finger!) Malawi woyeee! (Translation: Viva Malawi!)

Mutharika: Let's fight

Supporters:        Woyeee!

Bingu:                   DPP woyee! (Translation: Viva DPP!)

Supporters:        Woyeee!

Bingu:                   Nanga ulimi woyeee! (Translation: And viva agriculture!)

Supporters:        Woyeee! Boma ilo! Boma ilo! Boma ilo! (Translation: Viva! Look, we’re in power!)

Bingu:                   (Speaking in Chichewa) Honourable Mr Chimunthu Banda MP, Speaker of the National Assembly; Honourable Mr Lovemore Munlo SC, Chief Justice; Honourable Mr Matthews Chikankheni, president of the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Honourable Mrs Erica Maganga, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security; Honourable councilors and principals of chambers of commerce and industry; all honourable MPs here today; honourable members of the diplomatic corps; all honourable business captains; honourable paramount chiefs, senior chiefs and other traditional leaders here today; all honourable exhibitors; I recognize Bingu’s Women in the DPP; Bingu’s Women in the civil service; DPP Cadets; Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

First and foremost I greet you all.

Supporters:        Thank you!

Bingu:                   How are you?

Supporters:        We’re fine and you!

Bingu:                   I’m fine.

Supporters:        Thank you.

Bingu:                   Let me start by thanking all of you for coming in such large numbers. I say this because there are some people who, when drunk, say that DPP is no more, the Government is no more (Supporters interject ‘They’re telling lies!’), so by coming in such large numbers you have demonstrated that what they are saying is nonsense. The Democratic Progressive Party is growing from strength to strength and the Government remains strong as ever. Don’t mistake the Government’s silence for ineptitude. All those insolent people I can arrest them if I so wish. I want you to know that. Government remains in control but I choose to be silent because I believe in democracy. But there are some who, when drunk, go yak-yak-yak; don’t think I can’t arrest you. (Switches to English) I want you to know that just because somebody outside [this country] says so I cannot arrest you. I can arrest you! Let this country go on fire if you want to.

Koma (But) what I want you to know . . . (Switches to Chichewa) Ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you enough is enough! I can’t stomach this insolence anymore.

Supporters:        Boma! Boma! Boma!

Bingu:                   DPP woyeee! DPP woyeee! A couple of days ago I was in that building over there. Somebody in there, complete with a clerical collar on his shirt front, there he was saying Bingu you’re the most stupid person Ndiwe Chindere ndiwenso chitsiru. With insults like these, would he have walked out of that building in the past? (Supporters: ‘Nooo!’) I want you to realize that I tolerate a lot; but some are mistaking this tolerance for stupidity. Please, that is wrong. When I stand up to fight back, you will see.

I am saying all this because we’ve done a lot in this country. I have taken this country from the poor position it was to the stellar position it now occupies.

In this country I have eradicated hunger.

In this country I have eradicated the AIDS pandemic.

In this country I have built roads.

In this country I have built hospitals.

In this country I have built schools.

But for all this somebody says (switches to English)‘it’s nothing.’ What is nothing?

(Switches to Chichewa) I have established the Presidential Contact Group on Dialogue. Some people are saying ‘no we don’t want this group.’ Tell me: what the hell do you want? (Switches to English) I have established a Presidential Contact and Dialogue group and you say you don’t want it. What the hell do you want? What the hell do you want?

I want you to know. (Switches to Chichewa) Malawians, I want you to ask yourselves. I have set up a contact and dialogue group yet these people say they don’t want it, what do they want? The Group is headed by no less a personage than the late . . . errr, retired Archbishop Dr Bernard Malango. He is a real doctorate holder by the way, not an ordinary person. Yet these people maintain that they don’t want. So what do you want?

Now, therefore, if you don’t want dialogue, tell me any day we can go to war, if that’s what you want (Supporters clap, whistle, ululate but some are heard saying Ayi bwana – ‘No Sir’).

All these things – these agricultural activities – will not progress with such spoilsports in our midst. Nothing will happen. Progress will lapse. Roads, schools, everything will be ruined. See, they already started with setting shops on fire. Now the same people who torched the shops are saying they are not the ones who did so, then who did it? They say it’s the vendors, who instructed the vendors to target the PTC shops?

I thus simply wanted you to know that in tolerating all this, I am not afraid, and neither am I stupid. If you continue speaking nonsense aimed at disturbing the peace and disrupting the progress we have made, you will face the music. Oh yes! I’ll deal with you. And I want you . . . Nation Publications, if the Nation Publications team is here, go and tell them that ‘Bingu is threatening you’ and I’m threatening them! Yes! So . . . (women supporters begin singing praise songs accompanied by the talking drum). Thank you. That was Nkhani za m’maboma (translation: that was ‘other news.’)

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