It is the same old script. Government abusing its agencies by forcing them to pounce on political opponents or holding dissenting views. It is the reason our democracy will take time to mature.
You can actually predict the trend of events especially as we approach the Tripartite Elections. It is also indicative of the level or depth of rottenness in government.
Someone sent me a WhatsApp message this other day. He was enquiring if Vice-President Saulos Chilima will stand as a presidential candidate. I was not surprised to get such a question. I get many such questions. But for God’s sake, how was I supposed to know?
According to the inquirer, I was supposed to know if Chilima is standing as a presidential candidate as if he confides in me on such issues. I told him I had no idea. He must have been disappointed with my response. But he soon came back with his view. He said government will squeeze him. This I also knew like I know the palm of my hand. So predictable!
Not surprisingly two days later, the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) invaded the residence of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of Youth Louis Ngalande. MRA also targeted other pro-Chilima supporters. My inquirer’s prophetic statement coming to pass! If you hold critical or dissenting views from those of the government, the ruling party will use government agencies to squeeze you. It is so predictable indeed. This is pathetic, to say the least. In a democracy we cannot all toe the same line. This is gutter politics. When are we going to graduate out of the dirty tricks and practice civilised politics? Clean politics does not mean abusing government resources and institutions to punish or traumatise political opponents?
Just come to think about it. It becomes so obvious that it is all political witch-hunting. If the people it is targeting have genuine cases to answer such as evading tax, this is not the right time to go for them. It means that a majority of the people in government have cases to answer. But they are only not being targeted because they are politically right.
I am not here to defend or sympathise with anybody. But it has been the habit of this government to target government critics to either embarrass or harass them into silence. I can say without fear of contradiction that government will continue to target more people who have and are openly supporting not only Chilima but other people as well.
When Rumphi East legislator Kamlepo Kalua was vocal about the seven ministers alleged to have been mentioned in the K236 billion Cashgate which is yet to see its logical conclusion, MRA went for him.
When Salima South Member of Parliament Uladi Mussa was acting People’s Party president, and was vocal against government, it (government) went for him. Now that he has joined the ruling party I can guarantee that the case—whether genuine or cooked up—is as dead as a dodo.
Media houses have also been targeted for speaking out against the rottenness in government. But they are only doing their job. It is the same old script; but it comes with collateral damage.
This gutter politics also exposes the rot and malfeasance in government. It shows how corrupt government and ruling party officials are. Government and the DPP should know that there is collateral damage in such dirty tactics. As you harass political opponents, with cooked up or genuine cases, because the timing is wrong, your image also suffers or gets tainted. The impression created is that the whole pack is laden with rotten fish which are only not attracting green flies because they are sporting the right political perfume. n