Good people, Big Brother is watching you.
Big Brother is not your TV reality show, but a dictator like the tyrant of Oceania in George Orwell’s political satire 1984 where “the party” seems to have the highest command over people.
Governments keep placing you under a yoke of fear. Forget the countless billboards with President Peter Mutharika’s portrait strategically airbrushed to communicate messages better conveyed by apolitically attractive models and human faces with lived realities.
Ignore an overload of Mutharika’s party on the State-funded MBC which obscure voices that require no subtitles on international channels.
Some of the sights are so contrived that eyes follow you about when you move, according to Orwell.
However, this week’s quick-fire arrests of opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) fans following a phone-based chat are worse than the big posters captioned: BIG BOTHER IS WATCHING YOU.
Government has subtly declared war on your constitutional right to privacy and using your phone to discuss things around you, including the worsening hunger, declining healthcare service delivery, endangered freedom of expression and other cracks of a falling nation seems to be high treason.
The recent exhumation of treason and sedition laws based on this State-sponsored intrusion into a WhatsApp group reignite memories of the reign of terror former exile Archibald Kapote Mwakasungula and Canadian Doug Miller have aptly immortalised as The Lost Years in their recently released book.
It is not 1964-1994, when detentions without trial, expulsions, killings and disappearances were part of MCP autocrats’ crackdown on free speech.
Mothers and fathers of democratic Malawi wanted draconian laws repealed forthwith when they overwhelmingly chose the lamp of democracy in 1993. MCP made a bed of thorns and must lie on it, some may say. This only glorifies and rehabilitates the evils of yesteryears, including the jailing of Nobody’s Friend author Sam Mpasu, Of Chameleons and Gods poet Jack Mapanje and many more.
Continued use of bad laws have no place in creation of the desired Malawi. When Malawians hit the road chanting “we want change”, they were sick and tired of seeing one person in Mutharika’s seat running the nation like a bully.
They wanted a say on State affairs affecting them, even the follies of elected officials. They wanted freedom to sing their songs of agony and epics of happiness without looking over their shoulders, to cry in the manner they want and even to demand resignation of presidents who neglect their aspirations.
The emerging calls for Mutharika to resign due to failure to contain the prevailing food and economic crises are no Overthrow like fallen reggae star Evison Matafale asking Babylon to step down because she is old and ill.
Neither is it treasonous nor seditious. It epitomises the freedom Malawians would be enjoy if Mutharika lived up to his promise not to arrest anyone on trumped up charges.
Freedom from propaganda and detentions compelling citizens to follow what a dictatorial-hearted, overly-controlling government, wants them to do because it spies on them all the time is a needless gag. People will always find a way to say what they will.