Much as they do not deserve praise considering their history of perpetrators of political violence, the restraint that supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have shown recently cannot go unnoticed.
The DPP supporters have stood by as the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) members of Parliament humiliated President Peter Mutharika on opening the 48th session last Friday.
The supporters did not act when the President was forced to tiptoe around the Capital City to get to his home. His own vice-President arrived at Area 12 under cover of darkness.
The events of the last four weeks have even left the President so confused that he has made outlandish claims of assassination attempts from, of all groups, Al Shabaab extremists.
Firstly, the outlandish claim that some militants from beyond the borders had planned to bomb Kamuzu Stadium at the swearing-in ceremony should be taken for the figment of the president’s and his advisors’ imagination.
As the DPP remained uncharacteristically silent and commendably so, it was misguided of the advisors to allow the President to cartoon himself in front of the whole country.
It must be humbling for the DPP to cower in this manner but it is an experience that Malawians should cherish while they can because if the Constitutional Court rules otherwise, this meowling cat will become a marauding lion.
The DPP silence could also be misconstrued as fear and there might be some truth to that.
The supporters could not have predicted the anger that MCP and UTM supporters in recent weeks, have displayed.
Not once did they anticipate the crowd that gathered at the demonstrations on June 21 and that must have been a shock that they are yet to recover from, going by the silence.
It could also be that DPP knows it is outnumbered in this fight, the party must have an inkling of the anger that has engulfed the masses who flooded the streets last week and would not want to infuriate them further.
In addition to that, the party leadership has come out to condemn the looting while respecting the right of all Malawians to demonstrate but in a peaceful manner.
The party’s publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi has never sounded as sober and accommodating as he did this week, refreshingly so.
Of course it would not be a DPP press conference without a mention of the opposition and it was expected that MCP and UTM would be blamed for standing by as the demonstration turned into looting shops and beating of innocent Police officers and citizens.
Dausi, flanked by some DPP gurus—who thankfully did not go further than self-introductions—blamed opposition leadership for fuelling violence urging them to wait for the court’s decision.
There are elements within the DPP who would like to think the demonstrations on the streets of the four main cities are an attack on their recent victory in the May 21 elections, there are those who would want to unleash terror but fortunately, the party leadership has reined in such sentiments.
If this continues, DPP will have rewritten the history books as a political party whose supporters inflict terror on its detractors to the extent that its leadership cannot control or condemn their actions.
If this is a short-lived reprieve, Malawians will want to see Dausi and other DPP gurus employ the same zeal, and hopefully urgency, to condemn the DPP supporters.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve you readers of My Diary for the past three years. Sadly, that time has come to an end.
On several occasions, I let the readers down and some made sure to let me know their disappointment.
Being a writer, I put myself in the path of critics who tended to tell me what I should think and how but to be able to write what I think of the politics of this country. I have enjoyed the emails and phone calls that I have received through the years—even the few that did not agree with my views.
I could go on but the prescribed number of words here will not allow me to do so save to say, thank you and goodbye.