Where is Malawi heading to?

The above question is asked by the majority of Malawians. No one, including the government, has the answer. The current situation in the country is bad.

As if suffering from abject poverty is not bad enough; people are living in constant fear of being attacked, robbed or killed by political party militias who are slowly, but surely gaining ground. This is not an imagined fear but a genuine one. It is against this back ground that the future looks bleak. Malawi is systematically being destroyed by leadership which does not care about the ordinary Malawians.

It is undeniable that Malawians are very poor and always struggling for their survival. The majority might have been thinking that their lives would improve by changing the government. Their hopes were on the May 21 2019 elections. Therefore, they voted with great expectations of bringing in a new government—the Peter Mutharika government had let them down with its poor administration. It is not a secret that taxpayers’ money has been abused to the extent of being converted into personal fortune by those in power. Corruption and total lack of accountability has been the order of the day.

Despite people’s enthusiasm to vote, little did they know that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and its leadership had an entirely different agenda about the elections. It is alleged that they had predetermined the outcome of the Presidential election. Hence, Malawians are claiming that their votes were stolen because they had voted for other candidates, and not the one MEC declared as the winner.

Meanwhile, it goes without saying that it is the poor performance of MEC that has brought a lot of political instability in the country. One cannot believe that there is a government in place. It seems the government is failing to find its feet as it is also busy fighting for its survival. Demonstrations for asking MEC chairperson Jane Ansah to resign are the order of the day while hate speeches from the President towards opposition leaders and critics are fuelling more demonstrations.

Meanwhile, Ansah is adamant, and not willing to stand down. Probably, she thinks she is only answerable to the appointing authority, who is the President.

As it were, the election case is still in court. The tag-of-war between the President and MEC on one side, and the majority of Malawians on the other side continues—the fight goes on. Of late, there has been a series of mysterious deaths of people connected to MEC. One wonders whether or not this is a way of destroying rigging evidence. One can only appeal to the government to investigate such mysterious deaths. It must be noted that violence begets violence.

It is needless to say that the country is facing political violence mostly because of party militia groups, some of whom appear to be free even to display their weapons, such as pangas, in public.

Honestly speaking, introducing a panga-wielding group of youths in a political party is a dangerous thing to do. Such youths act as mercenaries, depending on who has the money to pay them. They can easily turn against their founders if someone offers them more. This country needs another ‘Operation Bwezani’ to make sure that no one else is armed, except registered security agents, the army and police.

It is time government shows direction before Malawians get lost completely.

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