Yes, they must be accountable

March 11, 2013

In all probability, and for intents and purposes, even the most retarded or most fanatical supporters of DPP should accept that their party completely mismanaged the death of Bingu wa Mutharika and the constitutional transition that had to be carried out at all costs to fill the power vacuum created.

Malawians knew that any living person is mortal and put in place constitutional mechanisms to avoid a power vacuum in case their President dies. It is very clear in the Constitution, even to my 100-plus year-old grandmother in Kasungu, that as soon as the President breathes his last, the Vice-President takes over.

There is no room for negotiations or holding a party caucus. The only reason DPP top “dogs” were trying to manoeuvre their way out despite a clear checkmate: greed for power.

Well, greed is a natural phenomenon and all human beings are prone to it. But for the DPP, their craving for power, after April 5, 2012 was endangering the stability and security of all of us—13 million Malawians.

As a human being, I am inclined to find the arrests of the DPP top brass this week regrettable and a strain on their families but this is not personal. The crimes that the 11 are thought to have committed were against Malawi and its well-being. The suspects will have their day in court. And I look forward to it when they will account for their actions to the people of Malawi.

If the court will find them not guilty, so let it be; but at least they will have explained to Malawians why they did what they are accused of doing—that is, endangering our lives to satisfy their insatiable thirst to retain power when their time was clearly up.

The crime of treason is a serious one and that is why it is punishable by death. I do not wish any of the suspects to suffer such a fate, but DPP cannot play the victim today because they perfected the art of politically-motivated arrests they are accusing others today of yet they hold the record of not successfully prosecuting any.

Instead the taxpayers have ended up picking the tab to compensate people accused wrongly of treason. Where are treason cases against former president Bakili Muluzi, Cassim Chilumpha, Yusuf Matumula, Rashid Nembo and the list can go on until the cows come home.

The DPP is tasting a dosage of its own medicine. But when all is done and dusted, this party must admit that they messed up the death of Mutharika. Can Peter Mutharika, for example, claim to be proud in the way he handled the death of his brother? Letting him rot for 18 hours before his body was put under refrigeration, all because the DPP did not want Malawians to know about the death so that President Joyce Banda should not take over? Why should that happen? People who die at Lilongwe Central Hospital are immediately wheeled into the morgue. Why did this not happen to our president? We must be a laughing stock in the world.

A mere illiterate village head in any part of the country would have handled that death better and would have let Mutharika go with his honour and dignity.

In fact, if my father were alive, as a village head, he would have punished the whole DPP and its minions, if they were his subjects, for completely mismanaging that death and funeral.

It was completely not Malawian. But at the end of the day, this must be a lesson to politicians that they will one day account for their actions no matter how long it takes. But more importantly, this is another lesson to ruling parties not to underestimate the power which Malawians bestowed on their Vice-President.

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