Peacefulness not for exploitation

The much-awaited May 21 2019 elections have ended up in disarray. In the process, it has just created a lot of fear. People are worried about their future.

It is due to the poor performance of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government that people wanted change.

At the moment, there are court cases about the disputed election results of the presidential candidates. That aside, the recent revelations by UTM president Saulos Chilima about the conduct of Justice Jane Ansah, who is Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, has fuelled the anger of the majority of Malawians who are now baying for her resignation.

In the revelation, Chilima alleges that as people went to the polls, MEC had already decided that Peter Mutharika was to be the winner, no matter what. Therefore, the commission worked toward achieving that. It is claimed Ansah did not want Chakwera to win because of his running mate. Chilima, too, was not to win because it is alleged to be too ambitious.

If what is stated here is true, it will be difficult for people to trust her. Being MEC chairperson did not necessarily mean that she had the powers to handpick a presidential winner. If she thinks that she has those powers, then why ask people to vote?

Furthermore, the reasons for disliking Chakwera make no sense at all. In case she has forgotten, she needs to be reminded that both Peter Mutharika and his late brother Bingu were not known to Malawians during the fight for multiparty politics. They were introduced onto the political scene by former president Bakili Muluzi. So, why should Ansah find some people unacceptable when they are working with MCP?

As for Chilima, what is wrong for being ambitious? Malawi requires and ambitious leader to progress. Of late, in the world there is talk about having youthful leaders and Chilima suits the grade.

MEC’s malpractices were probably being done with the assumption that Malawians are not clever enough to query anything, including tippexed camouflages on tally sheets.

What Ansah and her colleagues should know is that Malawians might be peaceful, but not dull. They are capable of reacting decisively to matters that affect their lives. One can remember well that it was former president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda who emphasised on peace and calm. But when people got fed up with his one-party rule, they rose against it and achieved multiparty system of government, which the DPP-led administration want to systematically destroy. They are doing this by encouraging corruption and bribery while discrediting leaders of other parties as being ‘good for nothing’.

Meanwhile, further to various demonstrations about the fraudulent election, the President is appealing for peace. Obviously, what he means is for people to shut up and let his government exploit them politically and economically by getting personal fortunes from the public purse. This is in addition to his supporters continuing humiliating people while his administration thrives on segregation. Malawians are saying no to all this.

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