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Nsanje Lalanje violence spectacle of dictatorship

Mdzukulu, our crop of leaders continues to be strong-armed by a blinding lack of vision for the country and its people by making decisions that least help the people they claim to best serve.

Perhaps, it is only a whole-system-cleansing by any constitutional means possible that can bring or add value to the seeds of democratic governance sown in 1993 and allow the citizenry to confront their ‘ghosts of impotence’ and regain their rightful place as their own watchdog of their affairs and destiny.

Mdzukulu, Malawi, in fact, has evolved a hodgepodge of public affairs management systems which fail to facilitate democracy and, instead, seem to entrench a culture of cautious authoritarianism.

Little wonder, compared to its immediate neighbours – Zambia to the west, Tanzania in the north and Mozambique in the south – Malawi can best be described as an island of spectacular failure in as far as the question of development is concerned; it remains a warm heart, smiling in the way of approaching ruthless poverty.

Come to think of it, the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) is on October 17 expected to conduct by-elections in three constituencies and three council wards in Lilongwe, Dedza, Blantyre and Nsanje, specifically Nsanje Lalanje Constituency.

As such, the country’s political parties have busied themselves with shuffling and strategising in readiness for the elections.

But, mdzukulu, as anticipated, there are reports that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is being accused of unleashing terror on Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters in the run-up to the polls.

It is reported that, on Tuesday, some people believed to be DPP sympathisers invaded Nsanje Lalanje Constituency and started removing MCP flags and harassing people thought to be MCP supporters.

Both parties have denied responsibility of the imprudent act.

But, mdzukulu, theorists, and you cannot blame them, can draw precedents that point to the ruling party as perpetrators of such diabolic acts.

Not so long ago, overzealous DPP political hoodlums attempted to block MCP supporters from welcoming their president Lazarus Chakwera at Comesa Hall in Blantyre during the body-viewing ceremony of late Hellen Singh.

The DPP rough-necks also threatened to deal with MCP parliamentary candidate Ulemu Msungama, who demanded a re-run in Lilongwe City South East Constituency which the Supreme Court of Appeal granted after a protracted legal battle.

Again, mdzukulu, DPP cadets chased Lilongwe City Deputy Mayor Juliana Kaduya from a State function presided over by President Peter Mutharika at Bingu International Conference Centre.

Obviously, Kaduya was being targeted for being deemed a sympathiser of MCP. The cadets threatened her with violent confrontation if she did not comply, saying they were acting on orders from above.

The list can go on.

However, in both incidents, the President let alone the party, has remained surprisingly silent.

Now, mdzukulu, suppose it were not DPP unleashing terror on innocent Malawians who are supposed to enjoy their rights as enshrined in the Republican Constitution, what could make Mutharika let it pass when he took an oath to protect the rights of the country’s citizens?

Notionally, the President’s silence in all these human rights concerns bespeaks his tacit decree of reign of terror in democratic Malawi. Actually, the President’s silence could prove a breeding ground for dictatorship.

Otherwise, if this assertion is not true, then the government and stakeholders must swiftly investigate and bring to book all those behind acts of terror and barbarism against government critics so that they have their day in a competent court of law..

Malawi is a democracy. And it is wrong to use party thugs as apparatus for shutting down civil space in the country.

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