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Haunting silhouette

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The racial slurs Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Members of Parliament pelted on Lilongwe City Central MP, David Bisnowaty, may have passed like some minor offence on someone’s sensibilities. But, to the contrary, those insults have revealed the rottenness and sad attitude of some party members.

The indelible and immutable fact that some MCP members vainly want to delete or mute is that under the first MCP’s thirty-year rule, Malawi was under one of the most stomach-churning totalitarian regime in recorded time. Then, noticing or— at worst— revealing that the country was staggering with hunger or anything was a cardinal transgression that called for some of the most brutal punishments. Under the old MCP regime, let us be honest, Malawians were muffled. They were even forced to be socially blind so that the party could continue with its despicable shenanigans.

So, Bisnowaty was not in the wrong when he stood on a point of order in Parliament to correct MCP Member of Parliament, Maxwell Thyolera, who wanted to tantalise us with that blatant lie that hunger was never an issue during the purported glorious MCP’s thirty years of governance. Whether Bisnowaty is a political tourist or whatever derogatory term MCP members would wish to call him, the truth remains that MCP did not give us paradise as it wants to lure us into believing.

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MCP, to be honest, needs a powerful political detergent to remove the sticky and gory stains of their thirty-year rule, and having members that have nothing better to do than rain racial slurs on others will not help them a bit. Clearly, the only party that people are building their hope on as an alternative government that can replace this out-of-sorts DPP government is the MCP. But the MCP looks to be on a serious mission to convince people against voting for it come 2019.

It is understandable that sometimes people may react capriciously once offended, and the MCP Members of Parliament might have acted on the spur. But in politics, whereby everyone is poised to capitalise on another’s blooper, the MCP surely acted silly in Parliament.

What will make people like me grow goose pimples is the mere thought that if MCP MPs are behaving like some mad dagga-puffing gang members while they are less powerful, what will become of them when they are given all the powers that come with being in government?

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Ironically, MCP is believed to be built on the cornerstones of unity, loyalty, obedience and discipline yet the recent act by their members of parliament shows the code of a gang that knows nothing about racial unity, a grouping that thinks loyalty is a term that long fell out of the lexicon, a mob that believes obedience is old fashioned and that discipline is only for the monastery.

Lazarus Chakwera, as expected from a man of culture and decorum, did well to accept the mess his boys created. But he should go further to chastise his lieutenants and give them some important lessons in decency and civility; otherwise he will waste his energies on giving apologies.

Chakwera’s allegory of a son reacting after his father has been insulted is not the best if you are well versed with this country’s immediate history, particularly during the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s atrocious rule. Bingu, if you remember, commissioned his bloody cadets to deal with anyone who dared criticise him and he also used the same allegory as Chakwera’s. Of course, the parson might have a different meaning but history is dangerous and has a cruel way of determining what happens next.

These days, the MCP should know, people no longer get fascinated by politics of intimidation. The MCP needs quick and serious rebranding before it finds itself with too much political rubble to remove from its backyard.

In all fairness, the old MCP rule was sort of a mixed-bag with bad and good things. In thirty years, the MCP left us a legacy that we even are proud of. In fact, most of the notable developments that dot the country came into being during the old MCP. We are now famed for our love for peace because of the four cornerstones the MCP built this nation on.

But the MCP must not think that politicians will stand up to praise it and the party must accept that the mystery of the mind is that it is always ready to remember bad things other than good things.

The MCP should, like Chakwera said, accept the wrongs it deed in the past and from that forge forward with repentance and determination of a new party.

Time has evolved but it seems some MCP members are stuck in the mire of totalitarian rule whereby no one is allowed to point at any glaring flaw. The MCP needs to rebrand, otherwise their dark past will continue following them like a haunting silhouette.

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