Were the arrests political witch-hunting?

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel

Are we at that point where we are conflicted about what is right or not?

Is this another catch 22 scenario for Malawians?

Or, is Government intentionally and tactically dragging us into a dilemma of morality just to create more diversions?

Barely few days ago we saw Government going hard on some of the former regime’s masterminds and top brass.

Given the high profile nature of the individuals involved, there was an expected chain of mixed reactions over the arrests.

The operation as we know it was somehow pre-empted in parliament a week ago or so by the leader of Government who didn’t hide his government’s intentions to arrest anyone who stood in the way of progress as he put it.

To some this sounded more like the old MCP was coming back and was reverting back to its old standard operational antics of intimidation and dictatorship.

Isn’t parliament supposed to be a safe place where alternative views are supposed to be accommodated, while ideas have to be contrasted and debated?

In a very progressive nation, parliament is supposed be a springboard of intellectual midwifery for the people.

For so long there has been a general sentiment of dissatisfaction with how our opposition was weak and that there was hardly no any sign of life on the side of opposition.

The heightened languor and the despondency seemed to have had a crippling effect on the whole side of that divide.

Let’s remember that this government was voted on a promise that they would champion the strengthening of our democracy.

We expected Tonse to understand that it’s only an empowered opposition and informed citizenry that can put the necessary checks and balances to government.

Suffice to say, what seemed to have triggered this was the speech that was delivered by the leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa who in a scathing way laid out a case against the president’s failure to manage government resources and pointed out government’s failure to control inflation and the high cost of living that is affecting the livelihoods of many Malawians.

‘General Conjecture’

We know that the words that Hon Nankhumwa spoke in parliament were feeding right into the wave of the uprising led by one Bon Kalindo, and that maybe there was fear from the government side that if opposition starts speaking up now things could easily escalate more and catalyse a needed relevance for the opposition with the disgruntled voices on the ground.

The general theory or conjecture in some quarters, of course without any evidence has been that probably DPP is behind the funding of these demos that seem to be going nowhere and gaining momentum across the nation.

Well, they say that there are always two sides to every coin, there is always another side to every story.

Let me attempt to try putting the dots together purely based on implied assertions and speculative sentiments that I have gathered so far.

Please bare it with me as am simply landing at certain conclusions by a dose of inductive reasoning through the lens of basic logic.

Let’s begin by questioning whether the so called arrests were done with good intentions or if this was just another witch-hunt as they seem to have only targeted the top DPP leaders.

I am questioning this because this government for so long has been showing unwillingness to stop corruption. In fact some of the allegations of corruption happening now have deeply implicated some of the senior members of the president’s inner circle.

Even as am writing, corruption is happening right inside this Tonse government, and if we are to go by the deposition and some of the scandals like the Covid gate that took place under the watch of this government, we can not dismiss those who allege that this could simply be another diversion to take our focus from the real criminal activity that is still ongoing.

We still have the alleged biggest criminal syndicate boss Zuneth Sattar and his associates out there walking free.

By failing to arrest and prosecute those that are involved directly and indirectly to his cartel, and by only choosing yo only arrest members of the opposition, this government has been seen to abetting and encouraging corruption.

They have failed to set a national example and they have become complicit and accomplices to evil.

While we appreciate that the arrests of all corrupt individuals is a welcome idea, we are asking that justice should not be selective.

We are watching why our Justice system is not colour blind.

Why is it that the only cases that have to be expedited at a sonic speeds to the point that prosecutors do not even have enough time to prepare are the ones that involve indigenous Malawians?

We know that there is a laissez-faire attitude to let the few influential and rich Malawians of Asian origin to simply get away with impunity, while the indigenous Malawians are treated harshly.

Why are our Indian brothers given so much lenience when our system seem to be unfairly harsh to our own people?

So let me ask this question:

If this was not an attempt to find fault and punish or silence the opposition particularly the DPP because of their opinions and alternative views and honest questioning of how government is managing resources and failing to fulfill their promises, what was holding them all this time to only come out with guns blazing only days after the leader of opposition laid a scathing attack against the president for not being fit for the job?

Was this just an act of diversion to coverup for something even bigger and more sinister?

‘Popular uprising?’

The actions and warning shots of the purported arrests that came through the house of the people in such a rare and unprecedented move will always be seen by many as a highly calculated and well synergized maneuver to intimidate the opposition.

This seemed to be more of a retaliatory response than anything else after the opposition leader levelled a witheringly scornful attack on the president for failure of leadership.

I know and understand that It was a tall order for government to rebut on behalf of the president since the words used were his own words that he used against his predecessor in 2016, but government should have chosen another way of responding.

DPP fed right into the wave of a popular uprising that is being orchestrated by one Bon Kalindo, and maybe there was fear of the rising momentum, which would give the opposition a needed push to bounce back with more life.

It’s clear that Tonse government has lost control of the narrative and that the perception has shifted.

Of course , the general theory or conjecture in some quarters, of course this is without any evidence, still remains that probably DPP is behind the funding of these demos that seem to be doing well and going nowhere while gaining momentum across the nation.

For some of you who are quick to dismiss things, here is a quick reality check for you., the demos have already produced results by forcing government to cut the the toll fees in half and fulfilling campaign promise to reduce passport fees.

This is what a true people power movement looks like.

So instead of focusing on intimidating the opposition, government should begin focusing on fulfilling their promises.

Firstly the element of blackmail which is mainly employed to silence the other party by threatening to unseal the alibi or coverup of their wrong doing will always backfire at some point.

The unnecessary never ending investigations to keep the other camp on the edge always is very retrogressive.

On these cases of Kabambe, Phiri and Mwanamveka government had waited this long to arrest them despite the many calls that were being made by many citizens. The question is what was holding them back?

It’s a shame that the arrests were made and government showed up at the court unprepared with nothing, failing to substantiate their charges and instead asking for extra days to finish building their case.

This on its own is repugnant to the spirit of natural justice. They say that justice delayed is Justice denied.

Any legal redress that is not forthcoming in a timely fashion, becomes a travesty to justice and may end up being interpreted as a distorted representation of something that was supposed to be good in the first place.

When we look at these cases, timing is something that has been totally off.

We all agree that most of these DPP gurus are smeared with corruption and deserves a day in a court room, but why wait until they challenge the President and his government?

So what I am questioning here is the parody of justice. We can not allow our justice system to have two rules for one game.

Government should be able to exercise sound judgment and control when handling high profile cases like these.

The law should be applied equally to anyone. That means everyone should be presumed innocent until reasonable doubt has been reached and that they have been found guilty by a competent judge.

Government cannot be arresting people before carrying out full investigation of the cases.

In some instances it may cost the tax payer money to cover for lost cases.

Talking of equal justice, we know the only way this government has survived and managed to get away with so much garbage is by continuously exerting so much pressure on the opposition.

Well, just as you know they say that there are always two sides to every coin, there is always another side to every story.

Like I have always said many times, the biggest and the most unforgivable mistake that this Tonse Alliance is making is to actually make DPP a tough act to follow.

This is a bunch that was defeated and was not even supposed to have a moral standing ground.

Yet the corruption and careless conduct by this government is the only reason that has revived the dead DPP cadavers from their abyss and given them a reason to challenge the moral character of the president and his government.

As a parting shot let me leave you with these wise words that Ghandi once said: “Truth never damages a cause that is just.”


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1 year ago

well said

1 year ago

well written dpp lawyer

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