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Anti-protests are enemies of democracy

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All is now set for Friday’s peaceful matches against bad governance by the Peter Mutharika administration.

Organisers of the protests match, the civil society organization leaders are already building a hype on the said demonstrations this morning.

However, it is disheartening to learn that there is a group, allegedly sponsored by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) set to disturb the peaceful demonstrations.

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This should not be condoned. These are real enemies of democracy who must be bundled in a police van and whisked away from our civilized society.

I have heard the police spokesperson, James Kadadzera saying the law enforcers are investigating these allegations.

I am not convinced they are. Past experiences show that the police always look the other way when the notorious DPP cadets are on their notorious mission.

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The July 20, 2011 successful peaceful demonstrations is a very good example.

Just a day before the demonstrations, the DPP cadets were up and down the City of Blantyre brandishing panga knives and other weapons to scare away the protesters but Malawians were not afraid, they took to the streets in their thousands to tell former president, late Bingu wa Mutharika enough is enough for his arrogance, political intolerance and dictatorship.

The police, instead of protecting the protesters, shot dead 20 of them, probably on orders from above.

I thought a reminder of this nasty episode seven years ago would help those in power realise that you can try to delay change but you cannot stop it.

The tactics used seven years to muzzle people from expressing their views and exercising their constitutional right to protest are the same tactics used today; same old chiefs press conferences and paraded on state radio and television called MBC, cabinet ministers same claims that the government is already doing something about the grievances, same DPP cadets wishing to disrupt the protests etc.

The actions by the DPP are the reason why Malawians should pour into the streets today in their large numbers.

People should not be threatened that there will be mass killings or whatsoever. The police who are going to abuse the state weapon should be punished, severely for that matter.

The DPP cadets and their masters are not living under a rock or outside the country to know that the country is going in a very bad direction; power black outs is normal now instead of being abnormal. When we ask Mutharika, our president, he has the audacity to tell us that his administration is not to blame for that, saying past leaders never invested in the energy sector.

What sort of leadership is that? A good leader acknowledges and owns past problems and mistakes because government is a continuity system.

Worse still, he sanctions DPP cronies to hire gen sets from South Africa, power gen sets that have no impact on the electricity grid.

This is amid speculation that millions of tax payer money went into individual DPP cronies involved in the hiring of the gen sets.

The president and his DPP should not bury their heads in the blue sand thinking these blues will just melt away in thin air.

These problems need strong leadership, Malawi is now at cross-roads, mired in assorted problems, problems coming after each other, probably every minute.

This is why Malawi needs a president who is in control of the situation not a president who leaves the solving of problems to those who surround him.

Fast, let us go the health sector. The situation is dire. Just go to Bwaila District Hospital in Lilongwe and one would appreciate that Malawi needs real brains to deal with the health sector problems.

Next, we move to the education sector, the situation is probably much worse. Just go to Mvama primary school in Area 49 where 300 learners sit under a tree with only one teacher, yet this is the Capital City of Malawi.

Therefore, it isd absurd for the minister of Information Nicholas Dausi and the DPP spokesperson to down play all these problems just because as cabinet ministers, they fly to South Africa for first class treatment when they are ill courtesy of the tax payer.

In addition, they cannot feel problems in public schools because their children go to expensive private schools for first class tuition, thanks to the tax payer.

Probably we should have a law that should compel the president, his aides, cabinet ministers and those in public office to go to public hospitals when they are sick, their children should go to public schools if other Malawian children.

This is possible. John Tembo had his son, John Tembo Junior at Polytechnic, I went to Malosa Secondary School in the 1980s with Juliana Lunguzi, daughter of the then powerful Inspector General of Police late MacWilliamLunguzi.

This practice enabled those in power to know quickly that things are not going on well in public hospitals and schools.

This is why I am endorsing today’s protest match.

This government has increasingly become arrogant, intolerant, the presidency is going slowly dictatorship, and therefore the demonstrations and the 10 point petition should be a wakeup call for them.

The British High Commissioner to Malawi MsTett, the US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer have time and again raised red flag on high levels of corruption in the country.

Actually, Malawi is on the verge of losing a US$350 Millennium Challenge Compact funding due to the corruption.

Yet, it seems, Mutharika and his DPP-led government are looking the other way, they do not want to act just because most of those involved are donors to the ruling party.

This is the reason why I think the demonstrations are necessary to put the government on its feet and listen to the grievances of the people.

Even if one person or two; Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence turns up for the demonstrations, I would still describe the protests a success for the simple reason that it is not the numbers that matter in such protests but rather the message.

In the UK, at parliament square where the Malawi flag flies high, there are protesters camping there for different causes.

Most of them are not even in groups, it is only one person with a powerful message.

Viva democracy!

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