The Public Affairs Committee’s (PAC) 6th All-Inclusive National Stakeholders Conference has come to an end and once again it has shaken the confidence of the ruling party even when what was under discussion was really nothing new.
But this year’s meeting will go down in history as one in which politics and greed reared its ugly head in an organisation that Malawians have respected for decades for its impeccable standing as a representative of the oppressed and marginalised.
Not once did Malawians imagine that any individual or ruling party could finally manage to break PAC. Not even the late Bingu wa Mutharika at his executive arrogance peak with water levels reaching his neck could shake its foundation.
But the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has managed to do just that. It is an episode that no amount of false bravado on the part of Reverend Felix Chingota will boost its tattered reputation.
His trusted members have gone rogue and PAC’s reputation as an unpenetrable institution by the malice and propaganda shenanigans of a ruling political party has been severely shaken.
There can be no going back to the business as usual approach that PAC has adopted in the last all-inclusive meetings. The snake is in their bedroom.
It will not be PAC’s intention to fold their hands after this incident and it will take more than rhetoric to recover from the impact of the actions of the ‘children of darkness’ as Rev Chingota described the wayward members.
Certainly, after Thursday’s recommendations which will as always put the ever suspicious DPP on edge and put into overdrive its ridiculous propaganda machine, PAC will certainly not remain PAC.
This is why is it ironic that one of the presentations at the all-inclusive (dubbed so because conference includes the ruling party supposedly), Professor Garton Kamchedzera talked at length about the culture of accepting things as they are and watching things unfold and taking little action. The ‘its okay culture’, as he called it.
It would be folly for the remaining PAC members to just pray and believe that things will be well, eventually.
Of course, Kamchedzera’s remarks were in reference to Malawians’ attitude to suffering as he titled his presentation ‘Sufferance and a government we can trust.’
The last time Malawians acted when they were suffering was July 20, 2011 and the government’s forceful reaction to that action was bloodshed and the death of 20 citizens and injuries to hundreds.
Is it any wonder that the ‘its okay culture’ has manifested itself in every aspect of people’s lives, in government and even in the political parties themselves? Is it any wonder that people have become helpless and completely disregarded their own clout to shake the government they themselves put in power?
It takes more than mere talk and pointless calls for the government to resign to shake any administration into action. It had to take divine intervention in 2012 but Malawians noted the almighty’s sense of humour when cashgate reigned not long after the reprieve.
Most Malawians agree that corruption exists. They know who is stealing, be it at that village development committee or the council.
As Proffessor Wiseman Chijere Chirwa said this week, this country is only stable politically because its citizens have chosen to persevere even in the worst of circumstances but its alright.
But ‘its okay’ as long as the Malawian has food on his table. The fact that the political party they put in power is enriching itself at the expense of their suffering is of no consequence as long as the harvest is good, and when it is not, donors will distribute maize and beans and their stomachs will be full until the next election rolls around. n