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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Jappie must slow down

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Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) National Campaign Director, Jappie Mhango, is doing more harm than good to his party. He is actually alienating the DPP from voters, instead of wooing them, because of his failure to manage his tongue.

Of late, Mhango has been in the news for all the wrong reasons and the DPP must be worried. The danger is that Mhango’s utterances are going directly against provisions of the Republican Constitution.

Just two weeks ago, Mhango breached the very soul of our Constitution—the Bill of Rights—when he called politician Sidik Mia a white man and urged voters not to vote for the Malawi Congress Party because it accommodates what he called white people including Mia.

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Need we remind Mhango that Mia is a Malawian and has served the DPP, under its founding leader the late Bingu wa Mutharika, in different ministerial positions?

Ironically, the DPP has people of other races in its rank and file. Section 20(1) of the Constitution states: “Discrimination of persons in any form is prohibited and all persons are, under any law, guaranteed equal and effective protection against discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality, ethnic or social origin, disability, property, birth or other status”.

Come Saturday, Mhango was at it again. This time around, he breached a number of Constitutional provisions and chief on the list was Section 34 which stipulates: “Every person shall have the right to freedom of opinion, including the right to hold opinions without interference, to hold, receive and impart opinions”.

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But Mhango, who is also a lawmaker and Minister of Transport, lashed out at the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. The Synod’s sin was that it rated President Peter Mutharika’s administration lowly in terms of deliverance.

Mhango criticised the synod and labelled it political for imparting its opinion which is different from his and that of his party.

We find Mhango’s reasoning and utterances unconstitutional and misplaced in an open and democratic society such as Malawi. We expect Mhango, being a Cabinet Minister, to be exemplary in his conduct and utterances.

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