Maybe it was a matter of coincidence or it might not have been a coincidence after all.
Maybe this is a perception or feeling of some Malawians that this government, the Democratic Progressive Party-led (DPP) government is the most difficult government to work with.
Well, that is what the quasi-religious organisation the Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has noted so far. Pac Publicity Secretary Father Peter Mulomole said last week that the government can be a thorn in the flesh, probably the most difficult government Pac has ever worked with.
The way I see it, Father Mulomole was simply being economic with words; the truth of the matter is President Peter Mutharika and his cabinet are arrogant. They seem not to know that this is the government of the people, for the people and by the people. Sorry for taking you back to your civics lesson days. I am not saying this because I hate our good old President and his cabinet, no, but there are reasons and good facts which compel me to think this government is as arrogant as former president Bingu wa Mutharika was in his second term as president.
Think of this. The High Court in Mzuzu suspended Agriculture Minister George Chaponda to pave the way for smooth investigations on Maizegate. Just days after this court order is issued, Chaponda goes to Germany on official duties, throwing away and trampling on the court order. This is the culture of impunity, signs of lawlessness, disregard for the rule of law and a clear indication that in Malawi, it is only the poor and weak who obey the laws of the country and respect the courts while the rich and powerful remain arrogant, untouched.
This is exactly what Pac has noted. I am told Charles Kajoloweka and three civil society organisations have filed contempt of court charges against Chaponda and all those who facilitated his trip so that he should be arrested and his property seized. Take it from me, Chaponda can never be arrested. He is very powerful in the DPP-led government. He is one of the cronies of Mutharika. It is ordinary people, the poor and the weak, without any political connections who risk arrest. He came back from Germany, alighted from the plane at Chileka International Airport in Blanytre and the same police who were supposed to arrest him gave him a salute.
That is how things work in Malawi. Things work out well for the few powerful and rich. The rest are harassed during elections just for their votes. Laws are made to protect the powerful and rich.
I am not saying Chaponda is guilty of any offence in the procurement of the maize from Zambia, no, but he needed to respect a court ruling. As a lawyer himself and a cabinet minister, he needed to set an example on the respect of the rule of law; whether he was in agreement with the order or not.
Think of this as well. In 2013, former president Joyce Banda appointed a commission of inquiry into the death of the then The Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa. The commission of inquiry, led by the now Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, came up with a detailed report. The report showed how Chasowa was killed, when he was exactly killed, why he was killed and who killed him. However, the government has punched holes in the report and says it wants to hire foreign experts to start the whole investigation process all over again. This clearly shows this government is indeed very difficult to work with.
The only way out was to take the suspects to court. After all, names of suspects are clearly published in the report, so why waste time and money on foreign investigators when we know very well that this government is broke; excuse me for using that word.
As I said earlier, we are in democracy; therefore, the government should be the government of the people, for the people and by the people. If the DPP-led government is doing things contrary to the wishes of the people, I mean ordinary Malawians not the Chapondas or Samuel Tembenus, that is courting trouble. I will not be surprised if the next two and half years, the remaining years for the term of office of Mutharika’s rule is marred by both violent and peaceful protests, court injunctions etc. This is simply because the DPP-led government is arrogant; its leadership thinks it is the best ever to have ruled Malawi, the most intelligent and the wisest.
To the contrary, some sections of Malawians think this government can do better though I am not suggesting this is the worst government to have ruled Malawi since independence. There are so many things the government can do to restore its lost glory. We all know that the economy is on deathbed, pushing the cost of living up. It is an undeniable fact that corruption is record high. Everyone knows very well that plunder of public resources has not stopped. We hear of Maizegate, tevetagate etc. This means the government can do well in working with other stakeholders, including Pac to deal with the problems rocking Malawi.
This perception that the DPP-led government is the most difficult to work with is not good; it is denting the already bad image of this administration. Mutharika, the cabinet and the DPP leadership should always remember Malawi first if we are to make the country great again if I am to borrow words of the US President Donald Trump. Instead of making Malawi great again, our leaders are engaged in senseless and fruitless political talk shows. The government should be the easiest to work with if we are to make Malawi great again.
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