The trial of the Malawi’s 2019 elections case at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in Lilongwe is almost over. Malawians are now anxiously waiting for the judgment.
The majority of Malawians are expressing worry about what is going to happen after the judgment. The sensitivity and importance of the case cannot be over-emphasised.
Meanwhile, political leaders, churches, rights groups and other well-wishers have been appealing to Malawians, regardless of affiliations, to remain peaceful and calm after the judgment. It can be said that this is easier said than done.
Indeed, peace in Malawi is very necessary, but at the same time it is not automatic. It definitely needs a conducive environment, which is missing in Malawi at the moment. To start with, there is need for President Peter Mutharika and his government to be at the forefront in promoting peace. They must be seen to be serious about creating a peaceful Malawi. Then, the other groups of people should emulate what the President and his government are doing. Unfortunately, there is none of this at the moment.
Even at world level, experience has shown that peace-keeping has not been successful because there has been no peace to keep. The United Nations peace-keeping soldiers are usually between warring factions which are not willing to have peace.
In Malawi, the environment which is full of suspicions and rumour-mongering cannot suddenly be peaceful. To say the truth, Malawi has never been so divided in the past as it is at the moment. With all due respect, President Mutharika’s leadership seems to be based on divide- and-rule; hence, he is allegedly being blamed for practising nepotism, tribalism as well as regionalism.
A typical example of what is stated here can be the fact that since he started his second-term, some seven months ago, he has never set foot to the Northern Region. He might have reasons for that, but people in the North might be feeling segregated.
During the Mutharika administration, people have experiences all-manner of violent acts. The country has degenerated into a violent State whereby petrol-bomb attacks are not new. Worse still, people go as far as disarming the police. Guns and other weapons have ended up in communities.
As if what is stated here is not bad enough, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has armed cadets who make people freeze at their sight. The President should know better that the whole exercise of ‘Operation Bwezani’ in 1993 was to make sure that only security agents such as the police and the army must be armed, and not every Jim and Jack. In fact, there is need for another ‘Operation Bwezani’ to regain lost peace in the country.
The other thing which has destroyed peace in Malawi are the hate political speeches. The President was once quoted as saying over his dead body would Lazarus Chakwera, president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), be a President of Malawi. There is no need of saying this because this country had a referendum in which people chose multiparty democracy, which means any party leader who has joined the elections has a chance of being President of this country. Therefore, it is not up to another party presidential candidate to declare who can be the next President of Malawi, but the voters. Hate speeches just promote disunity.
With the current situation in the country, people will just react to the judgment of the elections case according to their feelings. One can only appeal to armed forces to be vigilant in putting the situation under control.