The Secretary of State of the United States of America, Michael Pompeo, has endorsed Malawi’s recent Election as “successful” — just at the time when the Opposition is campaigning to create a state of chaos using the same Elections as their reason.
As Secretary of State, Pompeo is the third most powerful man in the US Government and speaks the policy position of the Government.
His carefully worded but concise and very precise statement is an implied backing of President Peter Mutharika’s re-election despite the Opposition claiming that the Elections were flawed.
Speaking in a press statement on Malawi’s Independence Day which fell on 6 July, Pompeo said “Malawi’s recent successful national elections underscore the nation’s commitment to our shared democratic principles.”
The US Secretary of State continues that “These values form the basis of our strong partnership and we look forward to continuing, and building upon, the positive relationship between Malawi and the United States.”
This unequivocal backing coming from the world’s superpower, the US, is read as a strong warning to the Opposition which has waged a campaign of violence to “create a state of lawlessness” using the same Elections as an excuse, according to President Peter Mutharika.
Led by Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima, the Opposition has staged the worst violent and most damaging demonstrations in the history of the country. Ironically, Chilima wrote a statement on 24 May conceding defeat and appealing for peace but never released the statement.
President Mutharika has told the nation in his address at Independence Day that “The violence you see is calculated to turn Malawi into a lawless state. That is why they want to undermine every democratic institution that ensures law and order in the country.”
Mutharika has displayed rare patience and restraint against violent attacks against him and party as he endeavours to keep Malawi peaceful and calm and save the country from those who are fighting to push it into a state of lawlessness.
Mutharika has consistently campaigned for peace and unity to create an environment that moves his country out of poverty.
On Saturday, Mutharika delivered a unifying and peace speech that has struck a quiet chord of peace loving Malawians.
He said, “We may have differences but we are not enemies. There is no Malawian who must regard a fellow Malawian as an enemy.
“We may vote for different parties. That does not mean we are enemies. We may come from different parts of the country, that does mean we are enemies. We are all Malawians. We are one people.”
The Elections which Chakwera and Chilima are disputing were virtually endorsed by all international and local independent bodies as free, fair, peaceful and credible Elections.
But the Opposition filed a complaint and sought to have the whole Election ignored. To the surprise of everyone, the same Opposition is waging a campaign of violence without due respect of the Court to do its job first. This approach has made the Opposition unpopular.
In this controversy, the endorsement of the US Government is understood as a clear warning to the Opposition groups who want to distabilise the country.