For 31 years, Malawians were under one-party rule of the Malawi Congress Party, before Kamuzu Banda agreed to a referendum in 1992 where we opted for multiparty.
We are in our sixth round of elections to usher in what could be our sixth president. We should be proud as Malawians of the peaceful transition of power, with little or no civil unrest in handing over of power.
However, the information highlighted below found its way into my Inbox; and loving my country the way that I do, I share it, in the hope that none may act zealously in support of a party and that none may be lost as a result of that zealotry.
‘I am told that in rural areas, lighting equipment may deliberately be made to malfunction so verifying or identifying who has voted for who, may be difficult.
To mitigate this, monitors must ensure they have fully charged phones by the time it is night so they can use the cell phone light to carry out their monitoring jobs.’
This shows desperate times we have entered in our young democracy. But this is not on. I share with you other goings on that I do not find OK in a democracy. I borrow United States Representative Adam Schiff’s style.
It may be OK for some people to cause motor vehicle or other accident to eliminate your political opponent, but I do not think it is OK.
It may be OK for some people to kill persons with albinism or kill and remove organs of your fellow human being, for you to win in the elections, I don’t think it’s OK. In fact, I find it reprehensible. All people have a right to life and are protected by our Constitution.
It may be OK for some people, especially in the governing party with the strong arm of the Malawi Police Service, to eliminate whistle-blowers through cooked-up prison scrimmages.
It may be OK for them. But I don’t think this is OK, it goes against our freedom of speech.
Some people, again those in the governing political party, think it is OK to use public finances or resources for campaign purposes; thereby draining millions of kwacha that could be used to buy medicines in hospitals or pay better salaries to medical, teaching, and military staff.
There are some people who think this act of pilfering from government accounts is OK; but I don’t.
There are political party heavyweights who think it is perfectly OK for young boys to paint themselves with colours of their parties at campaign rallies.
I don’t think it’s OK. It is dangerous and could lead to cancer and other skin diseases.
Some political party strategists might think it is OK to train their operatives to capture data and forward it to data banks, with intent to misconstrue the true nature of the polling. I don’t think this is OK. It defeats the purpose of democratic elections.
The same political party strategists might think it is OK to train their operatives to serve poisonous food to monitors or supporters of other political parties. I don’t think it’s OK.
In any competition, there is always the winner, and there is the loser. As my former maestro Morrison (Chubby) Phuka used to belt it out at Hotel Chisakalime Zosiyirana!. It is all a game of some in and some out. Malawi will forever have only one so-called life president; and even he left the hot seat to Muluzi.
The governing political parties have since 1994 held that it is OK for them to selfishly use the public broadcaster, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), like some personal company. In the 25 years of our democratic governing system, all governing parties have thought it is OK to control our minds by feeding the MBC with party-strained information, using money from our taxes. Some may think that is OK. But I don’t think it’s OK because this public utility is not financed by political parties.
Lastly, some may think it’s OK to continue creating discrepancies in earnings between the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary. Perpetuating the crude differences between the President and ministers, the Speaker and parliamentarians, and the Chief Justices and the judges is a travesty of justice.
I don’t think this is OK, because it creates unequal divisions of government and endows more powers to the two high-earning divisions of out three-tiered democratic governing structures.
You might think this is OK. But I don’t think it’s OK. It’s not democratic.
Long live genuine democracy!