Information Minister Nicholas Dausi can sometimes be a funny character, acting more or less like a comedian.
He woke up on Tuesday, went to state-controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation to issue threats to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Lazarus Chakwera. He warned him to s top ‘provoking’ President Peter Mutharika or else he would spill the beans of underworld activities in the MCP.
This is funny because it is Dausi and other officials who made up the old MCP blamed for the atrocities inflicted on Malawians. This chapter was long closed after Kamuzu Banda asked for forgiveness.
We forgave Kamuzu and the MCP although we never forgot. So, for Dausi to come and use the state radio and television to say he would spill the beans unless Chakwera stops criticising Mutharika and his government is pure blackmail, which is criminal.
This type of intimidation has no place in democratic Malawi. Chakwera is doing his job as Leader of Opposition in Parliament. After all, he is right to say Mutharika has failed Malawians.
The expectations of Malawians were extremely high when Mutharika took power but all hopes are now dashed, leaving Malawians hopeless and helpless. Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is failing to resurrect the economy, two-and-ahalf years since the President took power. Corruption is record high; we can cover the whole newspaper with corrupt scandals at Admarc, Escom, Lilongwe Water Board etc.
The cost of living is record high and the government seems not to know how to deal with it. Electricity blackouts and water shortages persist despite assurances that things would normalise with the onset of the rains. Public services, especially in health and education, continue to dwindle rapidly despite huge sums of money passed in Parliament for these being sectors.
I would have been surprised, therefore, if Chakwera remained mute with these and other problems rocking Malawi. I know that Dausi has a job to protect the government as its spokesperson but his job is not to intimidate and gag the Leader of Opposition.
Poor we are, yes, but we walk with our shoulders high because our democracy is robust. We are a shining star in the region because of our democracy though it is young. It is Chakwera who makes our democracy strong and robust because he criticises the government without fear and favour.
Our democracy is the envy of others because of Times Group and other vibrant private media houses that are doing a wonderful job in ensuring checks and balances and acting effectively and efficiently as whistle-blowers.
The Leader of Opposition and the media are there to remind the government of its obligation to the people of Malawi. The opposition and the media have an obligation to blow the whistle when the public coffers are being ransacked willy-nilly when the people, the taxpayers, are living below the poverty line.
So, Dausi should be reminded that the MCP chapter he is talking about is closed. People’s attention on the current issues should not be diverted. After all, the leadership running the MCP is very new, and not associated with the MCP of blood and darkness.
If anything, the new leadership should be made to account for the new atrocities if there are any. As I said elsewhere, the MCP remains very strong, no wonder Chakwera came second in the 2014 presidential election, with 28 percent after Mutharika’s 36 percent.
The DPP scooped just two legislators more than the MCP. This is a clear indication that Malawians forgave the MCP; Malawians decided that life must go on. I am sure the DPP is not as clean as Dausi wants us to believe. I do not hate the DPP if I remind it of the brutal murder of The Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa and the 2011merciless gunning down of 20 innocent protesters whose crime was to protest against former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s increasing intolerance and dictatorial leadership and the increasing cost of life.
As I am writing this column, MP for Mzuzu Leonard Njikho and Lilongwe deputy mayor Juliana Kaduya are in hiding. DPP cadets are everywhere looking for them. Their crime is simply that they allegedly made a People’s Party member win the Mzuzu mayoral elections and an MCP member win Lilongwe mayoral elections respectively. This is not the democracy Malawians voted for in 1993.
The DPP can do much better in improving the lives of Malawians than engaging in silly political battles with the opposition. The situation on the ground is so dire that it could help if Dausi, his Cabinet colleagues and the whole government joined hands to improve the situation. Picking up a political fight with Chakwera and the opposition would not help matters at all. I do not expect the DPP and MCP to treat each other with love or as wife and husband but I expect the two to treat each other with mutual respect!
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