BY GERALD VIOLA
It is a known fact that we are living in a democratic environment because others fought for this to happen. I always applaud the bold stand of the Catholic Bishops who contributed to putting a full stop to one party rule through Christian mobilization via their pastoral epistles released from 1992.
I am a Catholic Christian and with my family, Catholicism is in our DNA. Even with more pressure from the donors, international community and from the Public Affairs Committee, the Malawi Congress Party resisted change. It used to say “multiparty ndi nkhondo” in order to scare away advocates of change.
Prominent politicians who were on this change crusade were called in English by Dr Banda as multiparty dissidents while in Chichewa translation Hon John Tembo called them ‘a bongololo”.
I was there. On 16 August 1991 at Nchalo, when Dr Banda asked if Malawians wanted multiparty, Hon Tembo asked people of Shire Valley if we wanted Clement Khembo to be our President.
This was all disturbing and irresponsible translation of that time. I am saying all this just to bring you my reader knowledge on where we are coming from and where we are today. Many writers have told you what MCP was and is all about. Yes violence and hatred. I will not repeat that.
After Dr Banda then came Dr Bakili Muluzi. He had his good and bad times as a leader. This is normal and no one is perfect. I thank Dr Muluzi for mainly two things: the first is what he did to end the one party rule and the second is that he united the Southern Region. My writing today however is to tell my reader that Malawians will not change their leader Mutharika.
There are many reasons for this but a quick one which has made Mutharika outstanding among the leaders and prospective leaders is how he has handled the post election events. Being peaceful. Malawi is a peace loving nation. A violence free country. When all of us are looking up to peace, some power hungry zealots have terrorized Malawi. In the way he has handled the post-election situation, anywhere, he would have gone on to crack down on the demonstrators and be forced to abuse human rights in the name of maintaining peace.
Repercussions could have been dire. But Mutharika – always gentle, immensely tolerant, respectful of the rights of everyone – handled the situation calmly. Malawians have seen what a brilliant leader Mutharika is.
Now as we go to the elections, it is a mere wastage of time and resources to go for fresh elections when we already know the winner. Why not put your parties in order for the preparation of the next elections in 2024? Otherwise dont say I never warned you.
Malawians are not changing a leader. Mutharika is here to finish his 10-year rule.