Wherever Dr Lazarus Chakwera has been holding his political rallies they have been characterised with excitement and expectations that Malawians will soon achieve their real freedom. Meanwhile, the coming of Dr Saulos Chilima with his United Transformation Movement (UTM)signifies further that Malawians mean business.
It is appreciated that Malawians gained their various freedoms in 1993. However, some of the freedoms have been hijacked by leaderships with selfish agendas of depriving Malawians economically. They have stifled all ways and means that Malawians can use to be economically free. This has dragged the poor majority into never-ending abject poverty. The leadership does this with the full understanding that economic freedom is the bottom line of all freedoms.
The suffering of Malawians in the past four years, under President Peter Mutharika, is not a secret. However, the President and his government disagree that Malawians are suffering. In fact, the proliferation of political parties, such as UTM, has come with a lot of hype which is creating a lot of hope, even more so, that it is led by the Vice-President, who is likely to have seen all the mistakes by the government.
This is why Chilima has shown through his movement that change is necessary to save the people of Malawi. In fact, he might have tangible proof about the needed change. He has been the second in command and might have seen all the faults. Above all, he experienced a government and leadership which does not listen to alternative voice; hence the failed government.
So far, the government does not readily accept its failures. Instead, they brag about improved economy which, unfortunately, has yet to have a positive reflection on people’s lives. However, President Peter Mutharika continues to promise progress of a better life once re-elected in 2019. If the President is serious, he must prove why this time around people should believe his promises. The President should know better as Michelle Obama said that the presidency does not change who you are, but it reveals who you are. It is time for politicians to realise that Malawians are well jacked up and cannot accept to be cheated. With this in mind, any political leader who thinks they can rig the 2019 elections are cheating themselves.
At one of his UTM rallies Chilima alleged that a rigging machine has been bought. Though he did not mention who bought it, probably he meant the government. Meanwhile, media reports said the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) wanted the Vice-President to tell them where the rigging machine is.
The MEC request does not make much sense because they seem to be challenging the VP. It would be more sensible to take the VP as a whistle-blower. There are so many security agents in the country who can be engaged in looking for the rigging machine. Challenging the whistle-blower is like taking to task a person who says has seen robbers at some property. Police should just rush to where the robbers were seen, instead of wasting time interrogating the reporter.
What the President and other presidential aspirants should know is that Malawians will not tolerate any form of rigging. They are wide awake and want to fight for genuine freedom. Cheating people that economic freedom is here while political leaders are busy sharing taxpayers’ money is unacceptable. Currently, Malawi has very active human right defenders and other activists. Political thieves should take care lest they be embarrassed. The journey for real freedom goes on.