By Mdyomba Che Ambute
June 4rd, 2019 is a day many civil servants,based at the seat of the executive arm of government Capital Hill, shall surely never forget. At around 12 pm, when many government workers were preparing to go out for their lunch break panic erupted on the hill when word spread that opposition supporters led by officials from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) had made their way into the compound and were forcing people out of their offices with the intent of shutting down government operations.
Their argument being that the government is an illegally elected one therefore the civil servants were carrying out their duties with an illegal mandate, and capital hill should shut down until the President steps down. Za mkutu! This is just surely absurd and lacks any real logic as anyone with basic cognitive capabilities knows that the executive arm of government is in no way affiliated to politics and civil servants are obligated to carry out their duties regardless of which political party is at the helm.
The losing parties have filed cases in the courts contesting the results of the May 20 Tripartite elections and this is the only lawful way to have their grievances heard. The civil service’s core function is to undertake roles and responsibilities that enable the nation to operate accordingly day to day and also work done on Capital Hill assists in the implementation and success of development projects. The work done by government workers is for the benefit of all citizens of Malawi and anyone who can go to the extent of having government operations shut down is not truly sincere when they say they have the best interest and well being of Malawians at heart and is more likely to be power hungry.
If government offices such as the Treasury and Accountant General are allowed to close for an indefinite period of time, the Government will not be able to make crucial payments such as medicines and supplies for hospitals, salaries for public workers, and other essential goods and services that ensure the nation’s basic needs are provided for and the common man’s life is not made anymore unpleasant as it already is.
Furthermore, we all are aware that government is also the biggest customer for many private businesses that supply it’s various Ministries and Departments with goods and services such as office stationery, airtime, cleaning and security services. Most of these are small to medium businesses which depend on almost all their income on the Government and if their payments are delayed indefinitely, their cash flows will suffer thereby being unable to meet their financial obligations, such as paying their staff, paying rentals and utility bills putting the survival of these businesses in the balance and people’s livelihoods at stake.
Every citizen of this nation who believes that they have been wronged in line with the laws of the constitution is afforded the avenues to have their grievances heard, and seeking justice for oneself would not lead to barbaric and irresponsible behaviors that infringe on the rights of others and disrupt the crucial operations of the nation causing hardships and inconvenience to the average law abiding citizen. Those of you close to MCP leaders please pump some sense into them, they’re actually eroding the little sympathy some people had for their party.
Masile Une Wawo,
Mdyomba Che Ambute.