Government hides the truth

If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that's something, but the people in power can live with that. What they can't live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organisations that keep doing things, people that keep learning lessons from the last time and doing it better the next time.
Noam Chomsky

Power is a drug on which the politicians are hooked. They buy it from the voters, using the voters' own money.
Peter Newman


The Mhlako Triumvirate

Monday, February 14, 2011


President Mutharika's statement at his party's recent Valentine Fundraising dinner illustrates why he is no longer our Valentine. The 2004 election was our engagement and all was sweet. 2009 was the wedding. Like many love-affairs it could not survive the marriage!
After two weeks of silence while the people and the economy of Malawi suffered due to the most severe shortage of fuel in the country's recent history, all that he could say - and that in direct contradiction of what his own minister had told us - was that it was due to congestion at all of the ports serving Malawi. These are the ports that we have been using for decades. Of course, the President has not done anything to make things sweet between us and our neighbours.  They are rather tired of being blamed for all our woes knowing full well that our Government is trying to shift the blame for its incompetence and broken policies.
It seems that he was stung into belated action by the news that Malawi's main Human Rights organisations plan to march on parliament in Lilongwe today, Valentine's Day. Instead of making a balanced assessment of the problem and stating what he and his government were doing to rectify things, as one would expect of a 'Professor' (albeit an honorary one) he set out to lecture Mavuto Bamusi, the principal co-ordinator of the protest. He also made unsubstantiated allegations against Bamusi in person stating that he was acting only to please the donors in order to obtain funding. It would have been better for his image had he maintained his protracted silence.
Mr. President, let me remind you once again that without the actions of the NGOs Bakili Muluzi would have become President for Life and you would have been a public nonentity. But power and position swell heads. It is obvious that you have lost touch with reality. Continue to live in your cloud cuckoo land where your every wish becomes a reality - in your dreams. All around us we see that your much lauded 'success' has been based on lies fed to you by sycophantic politicians and senior civil servants. For the sake of the future of this nation, and I say this as one old man to another, let us bequeath something better to our progeny. Wake up to reality and get on with the job that we elected you to do! Admit your mistakes. Llisten to your people.
It is 7 a.m., one hour before the demonstration is due to start in Lilongwe. I hear that the City Council have 'forbidden' the march. The City Council has no such power. Furthermore, they are illegitimate having been appointed and not elected as our Constitution demands.
Our Constitution gives us the right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully and unarmed. The High Court has frequently upheld this right. I hope that the demonstrators are prepared to march even though, I guess, that THE PRESIDENT'S Police FORCE (not our Police Service) will do all in its power to prevent it.

1 comment:

  1. SO despite the fuel, electricity, water, forex and other myriad challenges the country is experiencing, you mean Bingu and his cronies go ahead and organize a fundraising dinner dance? How little these politicians learn from the past, even the immediate past. Bingu, as you point out, is a direct beneficiary of civil society activism. It is thus odd that he appears to be taking a leaf from Muluzi's book of misrule by choosing to single out individuals to detract attention for his government's incompetence...