“No one is more hated, than one who speaks the truth.” – Plato.
I haven’t really been following the Public Appointment Committees sittings because frankly speaking – after the constitutional court ruling – I don’t see their relevance. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not coming across excerpts of the hearings on social media.’
“Bishop Mary Nkosi is indeed a God fearing person. She loves Malawi”
“Yahaya Mmadi was a waste of time!”
“Mai Ntafu is too old”
“Linda Kunje is a demon!”
Feedback galore. Four different flavours. If I’ve learnt anything these past few years it is that if someone’s name is being dragged through the mud then it can only mean that they’ve said or acted in a way that doesn’t sit well with Malawi’s social and mainstream media ‘influencers’. We have online bullies who aren’t ashamed to praise those telling lies because it sits well with their evil agenda but get personal and spew the ugliest and most disgusting lies about those with a different opinion. You all know who I’m talking about. We all see screenshots of their posts full of verbal diarrhea.
The above reactions made me conclude that Commissioner Bishop Mary Nkosi threw Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Dr. Jane Ansah under the bus (this is a discussion for another day) just how these online bullies expected – hence praising her. She gave them what they wanted. On the other hand, Commissioner Linda Kunje didn’t behave how they would have liked her to; hence the personal attacks.
They’ve now gone into overdrive and are currently tearing this innocent lady apart. Left. Right. Center. And what exactly is her crime? Telling the truth. Linda Kunje was brave enough to tell the Members of Parliament what we (well, us level headed people anyway) all have been shocked by the selective ruling of this kangaroo court but are too scared to say it out loud for fear of being vilified by the bullies in the social and mainstream media. She said (paraphrased): “the same tippex and competence you are questioning here is the same one that got you elected.’’ This, in some people’s eyes, is disrespect. How dare she talks to our “Honourable Members” of Parliament like this? Cue the online abuse. The fact that some people have spent day and night trying to discredit her is proof that she struck a raw nerve. It’s like they have a script which everyone’s meant to follow; otherwise it’s off with your head.
You see, “when you believe a lie for too long, the truth doesn’t set you free. It tears you apart” – Takeshi Kovac (Altered Carbon). These bullies have, for the past eight months, believed all sorts of lies about MEC and the commissioners so much that any shred of truth sets them off. But just think about it, do you honestly believe that MEC would have somehow messed up the Presidential Election but get an A+ rating on the parliamentary and local government elections? This simply defies logic and common sense. All three elections were managed by THE SAME MEC, using THE SAME constituency tally centers, THE SAME returning officers, THE SAME tippex on THE SAME day. But here we have the commissioners’ competence being questioned by beneficiaries of THE SAME election. Something just isn’t adding up. This is what Commissioner Linda Kunje highlighted. This is what’s landed her in trouble.
I think it’s high time we had a serious national discussion about whether ‘civility’ should still play any part in the country that’s slowly being taken over by bullies. By conceit, these bullies are heartless, selfish, bigoted, cruel, greedy, toxic and poisonously unpatriotic. We are living in a democracy and people have a wide variety of reasons for believing what they do, and we don’t know those reasons unless we ask. I have friends with whom I differ politically. It’s vital to me, as it should be to all of us, that we can disagree and still like each other. For the purposes of public conversation (which we no longer conduct), we have lost touch with the fact that ad hominem attack is a logical fallacy. Slandering an advocate of an idea does not defeat it. In argument, you can’t win by shooting the messenger. This is what makes all the bullies look silly every time they turn personal against someone with an opposing view.
So dear Linda Kunje, on behalf of all sane and patriotic Malawians, what you did was brave – please ignore everyone that’s creating false stories about you to demean you because we know their aim is to intimidate anyone willing to stand for the truth in the face of a very unreasonable hostile and vocal minority. And to all future Linda Kunjes, don’t be afraid to tell the truth even if it means bruising the egos of some self-righteous bullies. THEY CAN GO HANG!