George Mhango asks Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Nicholas Dausi to shed more light on some of the issues his party has recently commented on.
Is Dausi, who was one of the Midnight Six, the best person to criticise government?
When you are a Cabinet minister and there is a Cabinet consultative meeting, every decision that arises at that [meeting] is a collective decision. There is no single personal opinion and, in the Cabinet, there is oath of secrecy and allegiance. I donâ€™t know what you mean when you say we are not the right people to say anything. I believe that a Cabinet collective decision is a Cabinet decision, not a one-man decision. It is a government decision, it has to be a government decision.
It is now just three months since Her Excellency Joyce Banda took over presidency, is the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) saying the Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) government has done nothing?
We have not said so unless you want to put words into our mouth. You are asking me questions that are completely out of the equation. Can you come out clearly and ask me something that will assist the country and people to understand correctly? Can you please ask me fair questions that when people read your newspaper, they will understand that this question was asked in good faith? Donâ€™t ask me questions that have no basis, questions from the blue?
Do you, as DPP, agree that the presidential jet should be sold?
We are not in government and we are not making decisions, can you ask the government such questions? Not us, we are not in government. Other people are ruling, why donâ€™t you ask them? Why ask DPP? We are not in government, we lost the president and we have been mourning the State president and we are not ruling. Ask those who are ruling, not us.
What is DPPâ€™s stand on the arrest of suspects in the Chasowa/July 20 murders? Should suspects go scot-free because DPP is not happy with arrests?
Laws do not allow anybody to answer or talk about anything that is before a court of law because doing so is against judicial norms and unjudiciary. So, I am not going to be involved in such kind of debate.
Some of the suspects arrested in the two cases belong to DPP. What does this say about the party? Shouldnâ€™t DPP be supportive of governmentâ€™s efforts to find out the truth and prosecute suspects?
Again, laws do not allow anybody to talk about anything that is before a court of law. So, I donâ€™t want to be accused of breaking the law. I am not answering that one.
DPP has recently gone to town criticising government on security. Do you support the shoot-to-kill policy legally, philosophically?
There was no shoot-to-kill policy. Every trained security person is trained on situational basis that you must read the situation by supervision, execution. And that means a police officer is trained. He cannot be told by a politician. We donâ€™t give orders to security people on the radio, they are trained to do their job, let them do their professional job. [They cannot be told what to do from] a political podium; it is wrong, unprofessional and maladministration. People are now being [attacked and their private parts removed], is that what you want?
Now that the DPP is no longer in power, what is the partyâ€™s ideology as we approach 2014 general elections?
We donâ€™t [get elected into] government because we have an ideology. A party wins an election because it has programmes, policies, vision and a manifesto. These are things that we have to sell to the public after we have listened to the concerns of the people on the ground. In short, as DPP, we are conservatives. We are not going to allow gay marriages. We are prolife people. We subscribe to the biblical and ecclesiastical teachings of the Church that a man and woman should form a marriage and not otherwise.
What is it that people have to know about DPP?
People also know what Bingu left: food security, five universities, presidential villas, Karonga-Chitipa Road, and security in the country. There was security in the country. People were not being molested as it is happening now. We in DPP believe that people deserve good policies. You cannot ask people to choose between fertiliser subsidy and ARVs. So, we will continue with some of the programmes. People might say whatever they want, but Bingu was a visionary leader, an academic, a scholar, a noble. The Nsanje World Inland Port shows how visionary his leadership was.
When is DPP going to hold a convention?
We will tell you when time is right.
You have argued against failure by the Speaker of Parliament to invoke Section 65 of the Constitution but the same approach by the DPP affected MCP, UDF and other parties between 2004 and 2009. What is your comment on this?
Go and read the Constitution whether Section 65 is there or not. If the Constitution is there, what do you expect Malawians to do? Is it right for people to have no law and that we live in a jungle [where there are no laws]? Is that what you want us to be doing?