Malawi is no longer the same

It is undeniable that the majority of Malawians have been crying for change in leadership. The main reason is probably that the current leadership of President Peter Mutharika seems clueless about solutions to the unprecedented levels of suffering that people of Malawi have been going through for some years. The desire for immediate change was shown as political parties campaigned for the May 2019 elections.

While the ruling DPP was campaigning for Mutharika’s second-term, opposition parties were all out for change for new leadership. The campaign was indeed hot and so many Malawians willingly registered to vote. All the presidential candidates showed that they were ready to take the reigns of power. All stakeholders for the election were ready with the exception of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as it was to be known later in the process.

According to MEC, the 2029 elections were just business as usual. There was total lack of seriousness. It seemed MEC took itself as more important than the voters. Therefore, the commissioners seemed to be calling the shots. Any complaints from the voters as well as candidates were taken as a waste of time as the commissioners had to follow the law which says the election results had to be announced within eight days from voting day.

What they were forgetting is that laws can be changed whenever necessary. Therefore, there was no need for them to behave like robots.

When presidential results were announced most voters were surprised and disappointed when they learnt that President Mutharika had won his second-term. Naturally, voters for the opposition candidates cried foul and concluded that their votes were stolen by MEC.

Worse still, some voters were of the opinion that MEC had a target to meet and that was to declare Mutharika as a winner at all cost.

Meanwhile, the opposition leaders— Saulos Chilima of UTM and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) decided to take the matter of their loss to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt). This case brought a lot of interest and expectations throughout the country. Whether one likes it or not, this case will go down in the history of Malawi as a turning point. The February 3 2020 ConCourt judgement was indeed the king on the Malawi cake of wind of change.

The judgement nullified the 2019 presidential election, mostly because of irregularities by MEC. Honestly speaking, the five judges who tried the case are real heroes in this country, especially if allegations of bribery are anything to go by.

These judges are their kind throughout Africa and other countries abroad. Indeed, they need to be honoured. In fact, to nullify an election when the presidential candidate is already sworn-in is unheard of. This is a lesson to lawmakers, that a President-elect must not be quickly sworn-in before all queries have been sorted out. But here, due to dishonesty, the President-elect is swiftly sworn-in so as to get immunity and run away from arrests and other problems.

At the Concourt, MEC lawyers tried to split hairs in their effort that MEC did a good job. No one could buy this. Meanwhile, the Public Appointments Committee (PAC)of Parliament recently interviewed MEC commissioners and they proved their inefficiency and recommended their dismissal, so that a new team can come in to manage the fresh presidential election.

From last year to date so many things have happened, including the February 3 2020 landmark ruling every sensible person should know that Malawi is no longer the same. The wind of change is blowing across the country and will not stop till change comes.

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