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Unrealistic entreaty

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Alliance partners Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM addressed the press in Lilongwe on Tuesday where they expressed their displeasure at Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) commissioners’ insistence to remain in their offices when it is all clear that their positions are no longer tenable.

Mdzukulu, Mec Chairperson Jane Ansah had the previous day scoffed at those charging that her team should not come anywhere near the forthcoming presidential election after the Constitutional Court declared them incompetent in its landmark judgment early February.

Even the Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of Parliament found the commissioners incapable of properly managing another election after an enquiry into their competence.

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There is rage out there. UTM and MCP supporters are justified to have reservations towards the current Mec handling any election.

But Ansah does not care. In fact, she indicated recently that since President Peter Mutharika refused to fire her team, they legally remain in their positions. They prefer the legality of matters over morality— that ability to manifest high principles for proper conduct in line with generally acceptable views.

And MCP and UTM have vowed to pursue various courses of action to push Ansah and company far from any election Malawi will be having.

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They wish to return to court to seek its direction on how the commissioners can be placed in their right spot in line with “their incompetence”.

It is the ‘day of rage’ arrangement which is so unrealistic. Mdzukulu, MCP and UTM are urging those who subscribe to their ideals in the current political climate to stay away from work tomorrow.

This, they say, should send a message to Mutharika that there are those who are not happy with his decision to reject the amended electoral reform bills and his refusal to fire Ansah and her colleagues after recommendations by Pac.

Mdzukulu, the truth is that ours is a very volatile work and economic environment where employees always strive to be relevant.

No one will stay away from work because any political party has urged them to do so in a bid to force some authorities to make decisions.

While those who are against the presence of Ansah and other commissioners at Mec could have other ways of expressing their displeasure, staying away from work is obviously not one of them.

They have contracts with their employers, whether in the public and private sector, and they will not stay away from work on the plea of any political entity that is not their employer.

In any case, employees have their unions which lead them in any matter that may require that they stay away from work. The unions are apolitical entities and lose their legitimacy the moment they show their affiliations to any political entity.

So, MCP and UTM are being very unrealistic to expect that anyone will stay away from work because they are frustrated with the insistence by Ansah and company to remain in their untenable positions.

No employee will stay away from their workplace to show that they are not happy with Mutharika’s several decisions which MCP and UTM argue are synonymous with a leader who will go to every length to remain in power.

We are already in difficult economic times and losing one’s job is the last thing any employee will want to go through. So, there will be no ‘day of rage’ tomorrow or any other day in this country.

Mdzukulu, I know that due to the coronavirus scare, vigils or street demonstrations are not possible. That is why staying home could be an ideal way for any frustrated soul to send across their message.

But there are jobs to protect. In fact, employers who do not support the ideals of MCP and UTM will not hesitate to pounce on anyone who stays away from work because they have been advised so by the alliance.

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