Friday, March 15, 2013


It scares me to note that we might have a lot of violence in this country as we head towards the 2014 Tripartite Elections. 

I am not speaking from a blank perspective. Events surrounding members of the former ruling party, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) continue to worry me.

Since the party was pushed to the opposition bloc things haven’t been the same on the peace front.
One time the party’s supporters roughed up Peoples Party members when President Joyce Banda was attending a function in Thyolo. And only this week we have witnessed some ugly scenes both in Blantyre and Lilongwe following the arrests of some of the party’s top gurus including interim leader, Peter Mutharika.

Peter is not the first politician to be arrested so the violence cannot be justified in any way
Several stakeholders that include Public Affairs Committe (PAC), Judge Ivy Kamanga, the media and government have all voiced concern over this conduct as it defeats the trust that people must have in their Judiciary.
By committing the case to the court of law, government displayed total regard for the independence of the Judiciary.  It is therefore wrong for DPP supporters to resort to violence within the court premises when the case was going through normal procedures.   

It has been argued time and again by our friends from the blue side of the political divide that those that made their party intolerant have moved out to other political establishments. However, the realities on the ground display a contrasting situation.

Is it a big deal for a party leader or any politician to be arrested? Cassim Chilumpha, Brown Mpinganjira, Atupele Muluzi, John Tembo, Gwanda Chakuamba, Kamlepo Kalua and Bakili Muluzi have been under police custody before. So Peter is no exception; if he crosses paths with the law then he must be answerable through the legal processes.
THE ARRESTED PETER MUTHARIKA LEAVING BT FOR LL: The reformed Police should give other politicians a lesson on how best to run the country
I remember some five years; former President Bakili Muluzi was arrested in connection to corruption allegations. The first day Muluzi voluntarily went to Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) offices opposite Old Blantyre Magistrate Court, the place was filled with his sympathizers who braved hours of waiting to see him going in and coming out.

When the court case commenced at the High Court, hundreds of his supporters were always loitering on the court grounds opposite the Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds. 

Everytime the court session finished they used to escort him all the way to his BCA home, a distance of some 5 kilometers. And with the excitement accompanying the escort, Muluzi’s car travelled at a snail’s pace such that the journey would take 3 to four hours.

RECENT VIOLENCE: DPP needs some serious re-branding as they always resort to violence when under duress
In all this, never (and I mean never) did Muluzi’s supporters cause violence or engage in running battles with the law enforcers. This is not crediting UDF for a no-violence attitude but I think they handled Muluzi cases very well.

Why then do our DPP friends always run a highly charged political game like this, causing damage to property at will? Now look at how the tide has shifted; five of their supporters have been arrested and they have to answer their own share of charges. For them, there will be no media spotlight, no public sympathy and no crowds at court. This is where life gets tight for party followers. 

In the midst of all this are we wrong to conclude that DPP has not changed in their conduct? Are we still dealing with a party that is reminiscent of panga-wielding youths on January 19, 2011 in a bid to scare us away when we said enough is enough against Bingu wa Mutharika’s arrogance?

JULY 19, 2011: Do Malawians need another version of this conduct?
Are we still dealing with a party that was connected to the merciless butchering of Polytechnic Engineering student, Robert Chasowa, in 2011?
Why then should Malawians have the audacity to vote back this party into power next year? Are we going to be safe under them anymore? They terrorized us while in government and they continue to do so while in opposition.

The political trend does not give DPP an outright chance to unseat the PP government in 2014 and I turn to wonder how they will take defeat? Instead of using the courts they might resort to violence which has become their main characteristic over the years.
VICTIM OF DPP REGIME: The country cannot afford to lose bright young men as Robert Chasowa due to political thuggery
My plea to DPP leaders and supporters is to accept that this political game must be played without traits of terrorism. There is no slot for violence in 21st Century politics. We cannot avoid the 2014 elections but whatever happens, Malawi must continue to exist as a peace loving country.

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