The relevance of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s press briefing a week ago continue to be evident with continued feedback from the public.
It appears his message of preparing people for the pending Constitutional Court ruling has really captured the attention of various sectors of the society.
So far, almost all key political parties—mostly DPP, MCP, UDF, UTM, Aford and PP—have responded positively to Bushiri’s call, calling it timely and critical.
This, arguably, should be a clap on Bushiri’s back for raising a topic that, in all intents and purposes, does so much to advance everlasting peace in the country.
However, in this article, I want to respond to an opinion raised by veteran journalist Janet Karim in which she feels Bushiri’s press briefing left some people, like her, with more questions than answers.
In the article, Karim raises four questions which says Bushiri must clarify or explain further so that Malawians understand his message better.
The questions are:
1. Why did Bushiri had to wait for four months after elections to have the press briefing?
2. If you are to play a meaningful role as peace mediator in this election scandal, do you think you would be better served if you did not come out front and declare your support of the party that two million Malawians are angry about?
3. Why is unity of the two main opposition parties a prerequisite to get your support?
4. On the matter of your opinion on the demonstrators’ call for the resignation of the MEC chair, why were you evasive?
Well, as avid reader of Nyasa Times and, also, somebody who follows events in Malawi, I have compelled to respond to Karim’s article because I find her questions either redundant or misplaced.
One, on why Bushiri had to hold the press briefing four months after elections, I think Bushiri answered that question. He explained, and I agree with him, that his focus is on the Constitutional Court ruling. This, he underlined, does not suggest that other issues raging in the country are of little measure.
Rather, he said, he came in to alert the public of another danger that is not being given attention. In other words, he was saying, as we are busy discussing and handling other issues, the issue of the court ruling should also be given attention and that attention must start now. I don’t think the timing is an issue there.
Secondly, Karim takes issue with what Bushiri said 2 years ago that he would vote for DPP. To Karim, what Bushiri said 2 years mean he is compromised to speak on the current issues facing Malawi. That’s quite a sloppy thinking. Bushiri called on leaders to prepare people for the court outcome.
He didn’t do so by choosing a side—he made a neutral call. So are we saying our individual political choices discredits us to participate in national building ventures? I think the columnist must be honest with her arguments.
Thirdly, Bushiri called for MCP and UTM to continue working together. He even challenged that if the two had united before the elections, perhaps Malawi could have been saying something different. One wonders, what, really, is Karim saying on challenging Bushiri’s position there.
Fourth, Karim questions why did Bushiri not come out clear on Jane Ansah resignation call —does he support Ansah or not? On this Bushiri answered, reiterating that his focus is on the pending outcome of the court. He argued that the issue of Ansah is being handled already by several other stakeholders, as such, it’s a waste of time for the entire nation to invest all its time and resources in handling one issue when there are other critical issues.
In conclusion, it is clearly that Karim, deliberately or not, chose to ignore Bushiri’s main message and concentrate on other things.
Bushiri message was: let’s prepare our people for the pending court outcome. As a country we need to appreciate people like Bushiri raising critical issues at our disposal that some of us, despite having the medium, are not raising.
As a nation, we can’t just all put our energy on Jane Ansa—no. There are other issues, too, that needs redress and they must be given attention. Let’s divide roles!
Finally, I applaud Prophet Bushiri for kickstarting this discourse.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :