Protecting political power amid suffering

As 2019, the year of elections in Malawi draws near, political campaigns are heating up as people realign themselves on positions of their choice.  However, President Peter Mutharika and his government should be reminded that apart from the campaigning, they still have a job to do—running this country.  Therefore, they should not just spend more time in protecting their positions as seems to be the case at the moment.

Currently, Malawi has countless issues which need urgent attention by the President and his government.  The most urgent issues are the life-threatening alleged terrorism by DPP cadets and the next urgent issue is the strong rumoured blood suckers in Mulanje, Thyolo and other areas in the Southern Region.

Now, looking at violence by DPP cadets, it is now common knowledge through the media, that DPP cadets raised hell in Rumphi at the Tumbuka Cultural heritage.  They chased away invited dignatories from opposition parties.  They threw stones randomly that some people had to run away from the venue even before the function had started.  In the end, so many people were hurt with blood gushing wounds.  It was so scaring to say the least.  It was so disgraceful that the cadets had no respect for the chief and the Minister present.  The anomaly of the fracas by the cadets is that the President was busy in America trying to woo investors to come and do business in a peaceful Malawi, his own cadets were busy destroying the peace he proudly talked about.  Which investors can dare to come here where youths roam around with pangas and stones ready to strike?

The boat on armed cadets was missed during Bingu wa Mutharika’s era, when cadets went round the streets of Blantyre warning people about how lethal they can be.  If they had been rebuked that time, they would have been tamed by now.  If DPP does not correct the violent nature of the cadets, people might even conclude that their behaviour is a party policy.

The danger of not checking the cadets is that it can lead to non-stop skirmishes when cadets face their equal as it once happened in Karonga where 18 cadets were reportedly beaten and some were hospitalised.

Political leaders must be reminded that Malawians want to live in peace and that violence does not pay.  Most Malawians can remember well that during the debate about Bakili Muluzi getting a third/open term, there was so much violence by UDF young democrats (YDs) against those who were against extended term for Muluzi.  Despite the violence, Muluzi failed to get additional terms.  It is unfortunate that DPP cadets want to change the way of life of Malawians and start living in fear.

Meanwhile, as if the recent terror by cadets is not bad enough, there are reports about bloodsuckers in parts of Southern Region.  Whether this is a mere rumour, what is evidently clear is that it has brought a lot of fear and that people no longer sleep in their houses.  Worse still, those people alleged to be accomplices of bloodsuckers are reportedly being attacked and their property destroyed by people in the community.  There is no stability in the area.  Malawi is already losing out since the American Ambassador Virginia Palmer has said American volunteers will not be posted to the area because of bloodsuckers.

Finally, it must be mentioned that protecting political power aside, President Mutharika must find immediate solution to what is stated above in order to bring sanity and peace in the country.  He should not leave the job to so-called task forces which might not find solutions at all.

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