Demos in Malawi are now synonymous with looting and destruction of both public and private property. And at the end of each demo day we hear phrases like “the Malawi Police Service is weak”, “APM isn’t in control”, “MDF needs to take over” etc. Pangs of anger flash through my body as I watch and I thank God that I’m just a nobody because otherwise if I had an ounce of influence things would have spiraled out of control a while ago. Yes, I don’t have the restraint His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has. The following phrase goes through my mind every time I think of APM “ufumu umafunika kudekha ndi kuleza mtima” which loosely translates to “leadership requires a patient and tolerant person”.
People are afforded the democratic right to express their grievances in the form of holding demonstrations, but we must remember that your rights of freedom of expression only go so far until they begin to infringe on other citizens rights. I ask the leaders of the demos how long will they create the environment that is ripe for criminal elements to thrive and terrorise local businesses and entrepreneurs, I mean what makes this situation more sad is that thieves and vandals can carry out their brutal crimes with impunity, because if the police were to try and stop anyone causing mayhem during the demos with excessive force, then the opportunists would be given the chance to cry bloody murder and unleash an even more extreme form of civil disobedience.
What we are seeing now is the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (read: Malawi Congress Party) and United Transformation Movement trying so hard to provoke the Malawi Police Service to use deadly force so as to incite more anger and spin the country into total chaos. Inspector General of Police Rodney Jose recently told the nation that the MPS is using minimal force when dealing with violent demonstrators and looters. It is naive to think that MPS can fail to put an immediate end to the demos if they wanted to use deadly force. They’re capable of doing that in one blink but taking a cue from the Malawi leader they’re also exercising restraint even though they’re being attacked and humiliated every time there are demos.
APM is indeed the most tolerant President this nation has ever had. He’s arguably the most democratic President in the world. Anyone who says otherwise is nothing but a liar. And word to the wise, DO NOT mistake restraint for weakness. Let me conclude by reminding everyone that APM isn’t going anywhere, he’s ruling Malawi until 2024. But in the unlikely event that the opposition (MCP/ UTM) wins the next election in 2024 you will definitely remember this time when those whom you’re fighting for will squeeze you during their reign. Mark these words, you shall say that APM was a good leader and a true democrat… “we were able to demonstrate, loot & destroy property but no one got killed”. Chitsime chimawoneka kuya chikaphwa.
Masile Une Wawo,
Mdyomba Che Ambute.