on. Folks, it’s just 14 days before we bid adieu to 2021, but I am afraid many Malawians could cross over into 2022 without even realising it due to heightened euphoria over the too much goings-on in the country.
In the past fortnight, we have seen the fast-changing political drama that sparked heated debates among Malawians who are eagerly watching to see how things will unfold on the political front ahead of the next general election in 2025.
First, was the arrest of three former ruling Democratic Progressive [party (DPP) gurus Dalitso Kabambe—a former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor and two lawmakers and ex-Cabinet ministers Joseph Mwanamvekha and Ben Phiri.
The trio, currently out on bail, was nabbed by Fiscal Police and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) last week on charges of abuse of public office in relation to the sale of then government-owned Malawi Savings Bank and the tendering of ‘cooked-up’ figures to hoodwink the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Malawi was meeting its extended credit facility [ECF] conditions.
More arrests have since followed and the other victims include businesspersons and some senior public officers who are accused of scheming conspiracies to dupe the government, among others.
Hon. Folks, by the time of writing this piece on Thursday there was not much to say and I leave the rest to the courts to decide whether these and other lined up arrests are genuine or politically motivated as claimed by some opposition groups.
What remains true, however, is the fact that DPP has been the most bruised with these arrests because some of those on bail are canvassing to succeed party leader Peter Mutharika and context for the country’s presidency in 2025.
It is for this reason that I have chosen to weigh in on the political predicaments ensuing in the DPP because I am convinced that out of that there are one or two lessons that DPP is learning which must also teach those in the Tonse Alliance government that power is temporary.
I could not believe the other day when I watched a sorry-faced Mutharika and his DPP cronies crying victim on public television asking President Lazarus Chakwera to ‘stop arresting’ senior members of his party on what he termed “trumped-up charges”.
Mutharika said many things besides accusing Chakwera that he is presiding over “a corrupt and thievery” Tonse administration and is systematically silencing any critical voice through arrests.
Yes, many Malawians are frustrated with the way Chakwera and his team are running government affairs on their behalf, but somehow I feel Mutharika and his DPP officials were not the right people to utter some of the things they uttered last week during that presser in Blantyre.
They tackled the economy, shortage of drugs in hospitals, and rising fuel prices, among others.
Honourable folks, watching that press briefing I realised that we have people in the former ruling party who are living in panic mode and they are not sure what the next day will bring.
These are people who were in charge of a system that was heavily reviled by Malawians at the peak of its rule due to its arrogance, the heavy-handedness of free speech, violence, dictatorial tendencies and dishonesty, among others.
And we still remember those naughty youths who were fond of beating up anyone deemed to hold contrary views to what they believed in. They even beat people in full view of police and the leadership then paid a blind eye deliberately.
Now to come on television and act vulnerable while exaggerating its victimhood is something that few Malawians can take seriously.
Of course, DPP, being the main opposition party currently, needs to stand up against all perceived ills being perpetrated by this administration, but they should never attempt to put wool in the eyes of Malawians thinking people would take them for saints overnight.
Honourable folks, there is a lesson in what DPP is going through politically and that mustalso teach all in power today that authority is temporary and sooner or later you will account for decisions that happened under your watch.