“We will never rise to any position of importance in Africa until we learn to do things for ourselves,” Kamuzu Banda, Malawi’s founding president.
Your excellency President Peter Mutharika, watching the events for the past 10 days, I was reminded of many of William Shakespeare’s tragic heroes; at other times, it was like your tailor (aka advisers) gave you new clothes.
I watched you and other presidential candidates present nomination papers to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
Then on Friday, your excellency, the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the lower court judgement to nullify the May 21 2019 presidential election.
To cap it, the seven-judge panel of the Supreme Court stopped registration of new voters, an exercise which some quarters alleged involved the registration of minors.
As if this was not enough, some angry people stoned your convoy in Ndirande Township on the day you presented your nomination to MEC chairperson Jane Ansah.
While I do not condone any act of violence, particularly to a leader, Malawi should get its act together, especially in this time of Covid-19. This is because the slave ships are coming to Africa again.
As a country, Malawi is gifted with professional, patriotic and selfless judicial system that has given democracy successive wins in this debacle. It is an insult to your profession and wrong for your pundits to declare that Malawi is being ruled by judges because you and MEC lost the court cases.
Please, permit me to give you six germane tips on the essentials of leadership in Malawi.
First is for you to study the history of Malawi; learn every nook and cranny of places and events of Malawians. You will be served well if you read some of the former presidents’ speeches, especially Kamuzu Banda’s four-hour speeches. Through this, you will be inspired to achieve more.
Second is to avoid scolding religious leaders when they visit you. They command respect among people who may vote for you. Show them the respect they deserve.
Third is that when people are angry with you, the last place you want to go to is Ndirande Township. The residents in the township can go angry, at times. As children in 1959, we lined Kamuzu Highway and threw stones at vehicles, if the drivers were the British.
Fourth, Malawians are deeply saddened to learn about the alleged stealing of public funds and engaging in corrupt practices. Your supposedly lack of action on such malpractices is a breach of the social contract you entered with Malawians. History of Malawi will show you how Kamuzu dismissed ministers and members of Parliament at political rallies. This was cruel and undemocratic, but it was better than condoning corruption.
The fifth point is that you should respect the rule of law and democratic governance. If a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member breaks a law, a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member breaks a law, and a UTM Party member breaks a law, all should face the same justice. As a democracy, there are three arms of government. All three know how to do their job. Please, respect this.
Finally, the world is going through a pandemic. We are lucky this is happening in a digital era because information is flowing swiftly. And it is not pretty as the slave ships are coming back to Africa. This time there are motley Pandora’s boxes of diseases, medicines and vaccines. Therefore, you should defend Malawians from becoming guinea pigs. Long live genuine democracy!