There is a tendency by politicians to blow issues out of proportion which in turn the public does not take seriously even when they utter matters of national interest. This is why President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s bombshell dropped this week must be treated with the seriousness it deserves.
When he was a presidential candidate, the President was hunted like a criminal and five attempts were made on his life.
It should be emphasised that when Mutharika was being hunted like a criminal, this hate and attempts at ending his life were happening when he was one of 12 presidential candidates. We cannot really be sure that other candidates did not face similar dangers.
Overzealous political machinations and utterances aside, this is a very serious matter that should not be taken lightly. The individuals who instilled fear in the presidential candidates, who during the campaign scoured the length and breadth of this country canvassing for votes, must be punished severely.
The illegally instituted National Intelligence Service (NIS) should have been hard at work and producing results by now. Heads should have rolled and being in a position of power now, heads must roll and these individuals should be in jail facing a possible life sentence on attempted murder charges.
Of course, this revelation begs the question, why did APM not seek police protection the way a mere opposition party presidential hopeful Felix Jumbe did when little known Malawi Congress Party (MCP) youth leaguers wanted to beat him up.
When APM was a presidential hopeful, he failed to attend the first ever presidential debate in 2014, could it be that his security was not assured at the venue?
It should also be noted that when he was a candidate on the campaign trail, Mutharika was facing allegations of attempting to take over government through illegal means, but he was a free man attending court sessions and seeking votes.
One lesson every Malawian should take away from the revelation made in Mzuzu this week is that no one is safe.
The security agencies then, and possibly now, are failing us all, whether you are a presidential candidate or a minister or just man on the street, you are not safe! We should all be afraid that if institutions like NIS can let five attempts on a presidential candidate’s life slip through, then who will protect an ordinary Malawian?
We should ask difficult the questions of politicians who make such utterances long after the fact. We should question the reasoning behind making such a disclosure. What does the president want us to take away from knowing that his life was in danger?
Much as the hate and envy that is prevalent in Malawian society, the consecration of a bishop is not the best time and place for a president to make such remarks. You certainly cannot make such disclosures at such a time. Who are these individuals who wanted to kill him? Why have these attempts on Mutharika’s life not been investigated once he came into power and appointed his cronies to security bodies like NIS and police?
I would expect the government machinery to take decisive action after a first assassination attempt. Just as I now expect action by the police to investigate and prosecute if indeed individuals with nefarious intentions dared try to kill APM a whole five times.
There must be action lest we think the utterances were mere paranoid hallucinations.n