MARCH 10, 2012
Malawians will ultimately decide in 2014 whether to retain DPP to power or kick it out. But Malawians have never been stupid to keep in government a party that is so intoxicated and inebriated because of too much drink of power.
Unfortunately this is the reality in DPP. The intoxication runs through the whole structure, from President Bingu wa Mutharika to the lowest of the low, at least as events in the last two weeks have shown. There is a feeling in DPP that because it is in power, it is more Malawian than the rest of us hence has authority to do virtually anything.
If I were in opposition, I would aim to rise up and take the challenge to rule this country in 2014 because, without mincing words, Mutharika and his party have completely lost it.
What remains with them now are threats and intimidation of innocent Malawians.
But make no mistake, Malawians have never been intimidated and when it comes to the crunch in 2014, chickens will come home to roost. They will not vote with fear of the President. They will vote with their heads and reward or punish DPP based on its performance.
And my view, which I share with many Malawians, is that the DPP has in the last three years massively let this country down.
Almost everyday Mutharika and his DPP government say or do something that greatly upsets Malawians.
The radio airwaves have been jammed with a press release from the State House signed by Albert Mungomo. Using high diction and verbiage full of threats and intimidation, the press release forcefully asks the civil society organisations and media, to which I belong, to respect the President or else he will use an age old law, that even quotes a foreign currency as a penalty, to arrest them.
It is an archaic law that was promulgated many decades ago before I was even born during the brutal single-party era.
The press release uses words reminiscent of totalitarianism such as anarchy, forthwith and provocation among others. It presents Mutharika as a president who knows what he is doing and the best thing that ever happened to this country.
This whole sad episode for our country reminds me of what my late dad told me when I chauvinistically wanted to be treated like the prince of the family by my sisters and young brother.
My old man simply told me that respect is not forced on those you relate to but it is earned through your own actions to those around you. I was well deflated.
Sorry for my waywardness and nostalgia for my past but the President cannot force anybody in this country to respect him with threats of arrests and torture in police cells using archaic laws.
He has to earn our respect which he has failed to do in the years gone-by.
Between 2004 and 2009, Mutharika did not force anybody to respect him but he became â€œour princeâ€ and darling with his handling of State affairs that even in the face of a marauding and vengeful opposition, the majority of citizens in this country, including those from CSOs and media, stood with him to the bitter end. The same CSOs he is accusing of lack of respect conducted vigils in Lilongwe to force a senseless opposition to pass the budget in Parliament.
All culminated into a landslide victory for DPP in 2009 because as citizens we believed we had a good President who meant well and deserved to continue the good work without being over hindered by a petty and jealous opposition. How deadly wrong we were! Our boss keeps on laughing at me and Gracian Tukula for voting for the President. Our defence is we voted for him at that time based on the information we had and good performance. Privately we curse ourselves for we clearly goofed.
I can swear on my parentsâ€™ graves that if Bingu were to be on the ballot in 2014, he would not get my vote. I guess, God willing, I will punish Peter Mutharika for his brotherâ€™s â€œsinsâ€. This is also true for many Malawians that I speak to everyday.
And this behaviour of being drunk and high on power has even permeated the whole DPP apparatus. A mere director of youth in the party, Frank Mwenefumbo, had the guile to choose for over 120 000 civil servants what to read by telling a rally in Zomba that any of them reading Nation Publications Limited titles will be treated with contempt and suspicion, claiming they do not respect the President. How arrogant and insolent!
It is unbelievable to imagine that Mwenefumbo thinks that by the mere fact that Malawians bestowed on DPP in 2009 the honour of ruling this nation, it gives him a God given right, as its youth director, to choose for civil servants, starting from the lowest cleaner to Secretary to the President and Cabinet Bright Msaka, what to read and where to find it.
Minister of Information Patricia Kaliati put the icing on the cake by saying government spends so much on advertising and in return it expects fair coverage from the private media.
What fair coverage is this because news by its very nature is supposed to be fair and balanced. The issue is not about fair coverage. Rather, it is a government drunk on power and does not want to be accountable to the electorate but run affairs of State as if it were a private farm somewhere in Thyolo.
Anybody exercising freedom of expression as guaranteed in the Constitution is a mortal enemy who must be crushed with all the ruthlessness and brutality of force available. He/she should not even come near taxpayers money even though he has a service to offer to government. What an intoxication!
But fellow Malawians, let us take solace in the fact that the DPP is currently displaying all the characteristics of a party that is on its way out. Make no mistake, a day is coming when DPP will be held accountable for all this rule of the jungle we are witnessing today.
If it thinks I am lying, let it ask MCP and UDF. For MCP it took over 30 years, but a day of reckoning finally dawned. For the yellow camp, it was 10 years and it was held to account. Today both parties are in the wilderness, gnashing teeth out there in the cold with the rest of us.
Mutharika fits the bill of being among the kind of presidents American professor of government Jean Lipman-Blumen describes as â€œtoxic leadersâ€”those who leave their people worse off than they found them!â€
Through a combination of incompetence, arrogance, and stubbornness, Bingu will leave Malawi in 2014 as a pariah State with no friends to rescue us in the world.
So, it was a lie?
March 14 came and went and there was no coup with the DPP government still controlling the reins of power. It is sad that the DPP keeps on thinking that Malawians are so daft that they would not recognise bluffing meant to divert attention from real bread issues.
If it is the intelligence community that feeds the President wrong information and he uses it to scare Malawians, then God save our souls.
But a word of admonition to the DPP government. A coup is serious business and more often than not it means innocent people losing their lives because of the pandemonium that ensues.
No country in the world with a constitutional order like ours dreams of having a coup and any government with intelligence that some criminals are trying to topple it by unconstitutional means will do only one thingâ€”stop them by whatever power available to it.
Lies and accusing unnamed civil society leaders as well as donors of falsehoods that only can cause unnecessary panic will not help this country.