As every Malawian knows, the fight for democracy in 1992/93 was to have freedom, including freedom of choice by having multiparty democracy. As it were, in a multiparty political system people are free to participate in the affairs of their country and this includes being President of Malawi.
Even the Malawi Constitution allows this and does not say only people from a particular tribe, district or region have the monopoly to lead the country. But the most important thing is for the leader to show why he wants to lead. It is unfortunate that most leaders in this country come in to fulfill their own personal agendas and leave the people to struggle.
Having said the above, it comes as a total surprise to hear some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials tell their audiences at political meetings that it is only a DPP-led government which can bring development to the Northern Region. Such statements are totally misleading, to say the least. DPP should know better that before it came into power there were other governments which brought in a lot of development. For example, the development by the one-party rule under Dr. Kamuzu Banda cannot be compared to any other government both in size and quality. In fact, politicians should know better that any worthwhile government should have a national development plan for the whole country which must not be tribalistic or regionalistic. Therefore, the question of people looking for a particular party to bring development in their areas does not arise.
Recently, Honourable Jappie Mhango, Minister of Transport and Public Works, who is also legislator for Rumphi North, addressed a meeting in his constituency where he was alleged to have said that only DPP-led government can bring development to Rumphi and not Aford under Honourable Enock Chihana. With all due respect, political leaders who divert into such trivia show that they have run out of ideas and have nothing to tell people, especially when the so-called development is nowhere to be seen. The minister should have known better that former Aford president Chakufwa Chihana was in the forefront during the fight for democracy that Malawians are enjoying now. This was when DPP was nonexistent.
Meanwhile, it looks as if it is DPP policy to think that they have a monopoly of leading Malawi and, therefore, have to underrate other parties and their leaders. This is obviously not right in a multiparty system which gives people alternative governments by any party from any part of Malawi. It cannot be said enough that perceptions of some DPP leaders can be very divisive and create instability in the country. What comes to mind is what Honoirable Jeffrey wa Jeffrey, who is DPP secretary general was alleged to have said at a political meeting in Karonga recently. She was quoted as saying that no State President will ever come from the Northern Region and that northerners’ job will remain to be handclapping and cheering for Presidents from Central and Southern regions. Any sensible person knows that there are some things in life which are better not said. What Jeffrey wa Jeffrey said is one of them and if not checked and corrected could easily bring chaos.
DPP, as a party in power, and its leaders must be exemplary and totally refrain from thinking that they have been appointed to rule forever. They must find a better way of wooing supporters instead of wasting time downgrading their perceived opponents. Above all, the DPP-led government should not think that it has monopoly over Malawians.