Lawlessness is defined as a state of disorder due to a disregard of the law. Lawlessness is not rocket science. It is about behaviours that develop and go unchecked. Lawlessness is also not unique to certain countries or certain people; it can happen to anyone, anywhere.
Malawi, as a country, has experienced a wave on unrest since the elections took place in May. Protests over the elections seem to have resulted in a domino effect of organised chaos across the country. How much more of this can we afford?
A glimpse of recent news headliners “Classes at Thyolo Secondary School have been suspended indefinitely after some irate students set ablaze a number of school structures on Wednesday night. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education Lindiwe Chide says the suspension is to pave way for investigations on what triggered the arson. According to police in Thyolo, administration block, hostels and two teachers’ houses were torched by the angry students.”
“One Malawian has died and another seriously injured after being set ablaze by an angry mob after being caught stealing in a Mozambican village bordering Ntcheu District. Ntcheu Police publicist, Hastings Chigalu has confirmed that the two are suspected to have been caught stealing in Mozambique near Biriwiri in the district.”
“The court in Lilongwe has granted bail to 12 people that were charged with an offence of endangering the safety of the people on the road at Msundwe recently. The 12 were arrested following a fracas that took place in the area and resulted into the death of a police officer.”
“Police in Nkhata Bay have arrested three men in connection with the alleged murder of a businessman whose death led to the fracas between two villages which has seen four people getting killed and 21 houses at Msakanene Village razed to ground.”
“The High Court in Lilongwe has reserved its ruling on an application by the Attorney General to vacate an injunction restraining Parliament from confirming Duncan Mwapasa as Inspector General of Police.”
“Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court has granted bail to the 20 suspects arrested during running battles between police and angry villagers on 8 October, 2019 at Mpingu Trading Centre in Lilongwe.”
“The Malawi Police Service has begun distributing security alarm gadgets to people with albinism in some districts in the central region as a way of enhancing their security.”
“The Human Rights Defenders Coalition says it will continue with mass demonstrations pushing for the stepping down of Mec chair Jane Ansah despite attacks on some of its leaders.”
Some issues have been aggravated by the state of the country where people are left in limbo feeling vulnerable and stagnant.
Most of the countries that have ongoing unrest or conflict or war did not start with one event that set off everything to a point of no return; they started off with sparks of violence and lawlessness that go unchecked over time. This usually happens when there is a leadership vacuum, when people are serving their own interests instead of that of the country and when corruption is the way of the land.
The country has seen too much unrest in recent months that is flowing to our grassroots communities and our schools and our children are witnessing this way of life and adjusting to it as the acceptable way to live in a democracy. We are sending a message across the country that violence and defiance of the law are the answers to whatever grievance (sometimes mere preference) anyone has.
We cannot afford what we perpetrating in this country. The shocks are already being felt painfully. We have taken so long to make some development strides already and now we are destroying them. The funny thing is people with powers to change things only demand a fair situation when they are the victim of lawlessness but when it is done to their benefit, the tune changes or they relinquish responsibility.
The genesis of destruction of our country is nigh and we seem to be oblivious to it; who are we waiting for to set things right? The United Nations? The angels? We can only be helped when we help ourselves first.
Malawi’s selling point has always been that of peace hence being easily dubbed the Warm Heart of Africa, are we still the warm heart of Africa with the above headliners?
I rest my case.