(Civil society members led by Benediki Kandaule and others have gone to the court, calling for the dismissal of the Minister of Sports Youth and Culture for advancing undemocratic principles)
Judge Mbadwa: Order! Order in this court! This is not a political podium where you spew vitriol at opponents anyhow neither is this an advocacy session. This is a court of law that ought to be accorded the utmost respect it deserves. If you want to be assisted in this court Mr Benediki Kandaule and your entourage, you better speak coherently and address the court not your opposite number.
Kandaule: Thank you my Lord. I could not help shouting at my colleague Mavuto Kumudzi, because I feel he is defending the indefensible. This is a guy, who just a few years ago, was shouting himself hoarse, defending the people’s right to exercise their freedom to demonstrate against any perceived injustice. Now that he is ill-advising Mapuya on NGOs and the civil society, he thinks we cannot have an independent mind. My Lord, his mumbo jumbo can partly be explained because his cheeks are failing to hold two scones he took from the government bowl.
Mbandwa: I have noted that you have had a field day Mr Kandaule. But this is not the reason you came to this court.
Kandaule: We came to this court, my Lord after being irked by statement the Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture Chisomo Kubama Kuuma made at some school in the North, calling upon the civil society to stop demonstrating against her DPP government. We thought the honourable minister went overboard in his proposition. My Lord, tell me which government prescribes to its people the number of protests to conduct against it? What happened to freedom of expression? Didn’t we Malawians espouse democracy and all its principles. Should a minister worth his name be allowed to get away with such an irresponsible statement? Nobody has condemned the minister for such utterances and sadly our friend Kumudzi is defending him.
My Lord, we feel this government has a phobia for demonstrations. We know how the first DPP government mishandled demonstrations because it doesn’t want to hear dissenting views. There is history there because 20 innocent lives were shed because of the administration’s propensity to apply brutal force on demonstrators. They were killed in cold blood by trigger-happy agents of the State. We are here my Lord because we are worried with that statement which, in our opinion, represents the position of the party on such matters.
Mbadwa: This is a straightforward case for me. The minister erred by stating that government has had enough of demonstrations. Protests are mostly a sign of governance system failure. In this case, if the administration thinks protests are being done at a high rate, then it means the DPP government is in the eyes of the people failing to govern properly. The only way you can stop dissent is by giving people what you promised them and what they want. I hereby declare that this court has powers to remove ministers who were appointed by the President. I give the minister seven days to withdraw the statement or face the wrath of being removed by the citizens because his conduct is ‘unministerial’. Thank you. n