DPP secretary general Greselder Jeffrey wa Jeffrey this week wrote President Lazarus Chakwera to stop arresting her party’s cadres calling it witch hunting. I have heard similar bouts of anger from my longtime acquaintance DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi. Someone please tell them they are barking the wrong tree.
There is no denying there has been a spate of arrests this past week. Those arrested include Jomo Osman aka Mtopwa One, former Commissioner of Police Evalista Chisale and 12 other police officers. Others are former president Peter Mutharika’s head of security Norman Chisale, former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) deputy commissioner general Roza Mbilizi and two people in Mzuzu. They are answering various charges. Maybe by the time you are reading this article more people would have been arrested.
But let’s get this right. It is the Malawi Police Service (MPS) that has made arrests and not Chakwera. For a government that respects rule of law, there is a big difference between the Presidency and the MPS. In a rule of law, the President does not interfere with the operations of governance and law enforcement agencies. These include the MPS, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Ombudsman, the Legal Aid Directorate and the Judiciary. They work independently guided by the law.
As of now, the Police have been told to reform and do their work professionally and without fear or favour. And that is what they are doing. The arrests are part of law enforcement. The law enforcement agencies act on tips from members of the public. They also have records of crimes some of which have been gathering dust for years. The cases could not have been prosecuted earlier because the police were in the armpits of the ruling party.
So someone should tell Jeffrey and Dausi that rule of law has not changed its meaning. It remains ensuring that law breakers are expeditiously prosecuted and tried in courts of law. Those being arrested need not worry because they will prove their innocence in court.
But Jeffrey and Dausi’s rants and frothing on the recent arrests may be derived from their perverted understanding of rule of law and governance. They come from a compromised background where there was a very thin line between the ruling party and government affairs. A background where ruling party hoodlums would be maiming, molesting and roughing up innocent citizens in full view of the police but the law enforcers would just be looking on or away. A background where a crime was prosecutable only when it was committed by the opposition and not members and sympathizers of the ruling party.
A background where criminals would be flaunting their colours, challenging no one would come for them, because they are Ana Adad. And true to their boasting, Adad would protect them. Adad would smile at them even as they brazenly trampled on the law. But sorry Jeffrey and Dausi and all your cronies, those days when Ana Adad were untouchable, a profane and illegitimate entitlement for committing all manner of atrocities with impunity are over. This is the new Malawi for all. The State President is President for all of us—the 18.6 million Malawians—and not just a few lucky ones who belong to his political party. This is the new Malawi for all of us to live in and enjoy its freedoms and resources.
When the Police are allowed to discharge their duties in an environment that is devoid of political patronage, they protect the country from bloodthirsty vultures lustfully seething to pounce on its resources. They protect taxpayers’ money. They safeguard law and order and justice flows like a river.
But all is not lost for Jeffrey and Dausi and those who are refusing to move on. Others still seething with anger are Atupele Muluzi and Foster Fundi. But someone tell them this: In the June 23 court sanctioned fresh elections, a whopping 2.6 million Malawians handed the mandate of leading this country to Lazarus Chakwera and his Vice Saulos Chilima and under the Tonse Alliance. This was against 1.7 million people who wanted former president Peter Mutharika to continue ruling. That is how democracy works. Majority rule. But unfortunately, it is taking too long for some people to accept the June 23 verdict at the polls.
My advice is that they cannot continue like this for five long years. Anger is highly toxic. It is certainly eating them away. They should come over their egos and move on. n