Lawyers rue Malawi’s ills
The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has rued the missed opportunities that were supposed to be the pillars of democratic Malawi in line with the ideals of the country’s Constitution.
Malawi continues being plagued by high levels of corruption—which President Peter Mutharika himself admits—merciless plunder of public resources without any consequence and tribalistic and regionalistic tendencies, among others.
In a note that MLS has released ahead of a dinner and dance event slated for next Friday in Lilongwe, the lawyers’ body has charged that those who were part of the country’s political transition between 1993 and 1994 were probably spurred on by the belief that the wealth of this country would work for the greatest number of citizens “and not be splurged on luxurious nonessentials or simply looted and plundered by the governors”.
The theme of the event is ‘Living our constitutional aspirations’. Prominent lawyer, Mordecai Msisha, who is a Senior Counsel (SC) and was intimately involved in the process of adopting Malawi’s current Constitution, is expected to be the event’s Guest of Honour.
MLS President, Khumbo Soko, said with such participation, Msisha can eloquently speak “to our fidelity or lack thereof to the aspirations of our Constitution”.
According to the theme’s motivational note made available to The Daily Times, the drafters of Malawi’s Constitution cast human development and the eradication of poverty as constitutional imperatives.
“They saw the freedoms and rights that the constitutional text guaranteed not only as an end in itself but as a process that would usher Malawians into a more dignified life where essential drugs in public hospitals would be procured and available all the time.
“They surely would not have been blind to the pernicious tribalism that had plagued the country for the preceding three decades. Is it a possibility, therefore, that they had hoped that the text of the Constitution would herald a post-tribal future for the country?” it queries.
The influential lawyers’ body has since warned that it is easy for hopelessness to set in when one considers the constitutional path Malawians have travelled this far.
“The gulf between the aspirations of our Constitution and the daily experiences of the masses of our people remains scandalously huge. Twenty-four months before the next election of the country’s governors would be apposite a time as any to reflect on how we can fully live our constitutional aspirations,” MLS adds.
According to the lawyers’ body, by calling attention to the fact that most of social ills that beset Malawi are a direct consequence of failure to effectuate constitutional ideals, this is a critical stage for course correction.
Among others, regionalism talk has gained currency of late following reports that governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General, Greselder Jeffrey, stated in a political speech that the Northern Region will never produce a president for this country.
Jeffrey has denied that she made the statement, saying she was just quoted out of context. This has, however, not stopped observers from warning that any regionalistic talk has the potential of creating unnecessary tension in the country.
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