A nation taken hostage


With less than 48 hours before 2018 and if Malawians needed a take home message from 2017, it is that a few connected cabal of elites have taken hostage the whole nation and we are all watching as they toy with it as they please, which might end in destruction.
Anything that the country needed to do is being tailored in their image.
So, if we needed to reform the laws, it was their voice that mattered. If we did not have enough electricity, then they wanted to make sure that they benefit first from it, before we could have the electricity. If the country did not have enough maize, whether imaginary or real, then they procured it their way, the bad way, with a view to benefit from it.
We have now become a country that is run on corrupt principles and nothing else.
State institutions have identified a problem in our electoral laws. A special Law
Commission is set up to polish the laws so that they are aligned with the aspirations of Malawians.
The commission does a good job and produces a thick report, which makes so many recommendations, including the provision that for somebody to be elected president, they must have a national appeal and be elected by 50 plus one percent of the vote.
Despite its candidate in 2014, who now happens to be President Peter Mutharika, making a commitment to facilitate this reform, the DPP decides that it does not like the proposed law anymore because it still believes in tribalism and regionalism and hope to benefit from the two evils, come 2019.
And so the party goes to work and decides that it will use the entire arsenal at its disposal, by hook or crook, to torpedo the reforms.
It turns out that the DPP eventually does it, through blatant corruption and this includes a visit of Opposition
MPs to the State House, without the blessings of their party presidents.
There they meet the President and receive golden handshakes, just to twist their minds so that they vote no to the reforms, in line with the wishes of the DPP.
The DPP dribbling past Malawians against the electoral laws included taking PAC, an otherwise respected quasi religious body championing the electoral reforms, for a ride.
With a mere promise of tabling the bills, PAC capitulated against holding the demonstrations to force government to enact the electoral reforms.
Few days later, PAC conceded it was cheated but with that went all the political capital and goodwill the body had built, brick by brick, stone by stone over the years.
At the end of the day, Malawians who wish this country well are left helpless.
They can see through each and every decision their MPs (especially from the opposition) in Parliament took and why, especially on the electoral reforms.
The people know what pushed such MPs is not their conscience or love of their constituents but something else that came about as a result of their visit to the State House where they met President Peter Mutharika.
In some instances, the constituents have risen up to demand accountability, as is the case with Mzimba East constituency where the people on the ground have refused to be taken for a ride but decided to quiz their MP Olipa Muyaba on why she voted no to the reforms.
She has since apologized but, at the end of the day, it is a case of crying over water spilled on a rock.
The reality is that the sorry will not bring back the vote.
The reality is that a band of connected elite is driving our country and our democracy.
Their action and behavior has been consistent on any proposed laws. They want them tailored in their image and likeness.
It does not matter which law it is. It could be Access to Information or even simple ones on mundane matters such as Aids and HIV. They would want it tailored in their name.
It could even be the very same things they promised Malawians such as devolution of presidential powers on appointment for key positions such as director of the Anti Corruption Bureau.
They have rejected them in broad daylight and spat at Malawians, who reminded them of the promises they made in their own manifesto.
But they have money and power so their project is to recreate our country in their own image and likeness, while the rest of us are languishing in perpetual poverty and deprivation as we slave to make the tax they use to line their pockets.
They control everything; be it reforms, contracts in government and who to give and who not to give.
They have formed a clique and they call anybody outside this clique as siwathu because they believe they are more Malawian than the rest of us, by virtue of their power and money.
We are in a country held hostage. Have a prosperous 2018

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