Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

There is no room for threats in democracy


Democracy, a term which has become synonymous with political progress in modern-day Malawi, is, unfortunately, more common on people’s lips than deeds.

And, if ever we needed evidence on this, recent threats directed at former first lady are a case in point. An unknown individual in an audio clip circulated by enemies of democracy has been spewing venom at her, to the extent of suggesting that the former first lady’s life could be terminated like that of a dog.

To say the truth, we are shocked that, in this day and era, we still have elements that believe that threats are the only means of cowing people into submission.


Surprisingly, the threats are being directed at a public figure who, under normal circumstances, should not be subjected to the threats and ridicule ordinary citizens are subjected to on daily basis. If a former first lady can be threatened, can we, Malawians, believe that we are safe in this country?

Surprisingly, all these things are happening when a party that is in power lays claim to democratic credentials. We are talking of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which has the sacred term ‘democratic’ as part of its name.

Let us remind those who believe in threatening others that the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, which is the supreme law of the land, provides for freedom of expression. Not only that, it also provides for the right to express an opinion on national issues.


Therefore, threats being issued against the former first lady defeat the spirit of the Constitution and cannot be tolerated. Already, threats of this kind have sent some well-meaning political analysts into hibernation and, yet, constructive criticism oils the wheels of democracy.

We will rest assured that the Executive is not party to those scheming against innocent citizens of this country if it unleashes law enforcers to bring whoever has recorded that voice to book.

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