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

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I despise our President, the same man that I so trustingly and unwisely voted for in 2009. I am committing no crime. My scorn is a measure of my opinion that the Constitution defends.
I do not despise the poor. I do not despise the uneducated. I do not despise the ignorant or the frail or the old. I do not despise them because I do not consider that I am any better than them. Their ideas, their wishes, their dreams are as valid as mine. In a democratic world we have to understand and respect each other’s right to diversity.
 I despise this President because he despises me. Lack of respect is to despise. He respects no-one; respects no law. He despises his fellow Malawians. He cares nothing for our opinions. He despises our laws and the Constitution that he swore on solemn oath to uphold.
If that puts me in danger of the DPP zealots who may take up the President’s challenge to deal with those who despise him, then I am waiting for them. I despised Dr. Banda for his cruelty to his own people. I despised Bakili Muluzi when he thought that he would intimidate us into accepting another Life Presidency. In those times I spoke out and became active in the process of change. In present times I am again speaking out and am prepared, when the time comes, to be an active protector of our hard-won freedoms and rights.
At the stadium in Blantyre on Sunday Bingu quite clearly stated that he was not concerned whether what he was advocating was lawful or unlawful. He was the ‘ruler’ and his word is law. The problem with this stance is that it is an invitation not only to party zealots but also to the rest of the populace to disregard the law. Lawlessness can lead to revolution. Much public comment now quite clearly says that Bingu must go. We cannot, as a nation, afford to leave a man like him in charge until the next election in 2014. If so much damage has been done in the two years since 2009, just think how much worse things could become in the next three years.
Of course, he made a terrible gaffe when he displayed his true colours spurred on by the red of ego-fuelled rage instead of being calmned under the influence of the cool blue of his party’s colours. Those who surround him – his Ministers, party leaders, official spokespersons, regular loud mouths – now realise the amount of damage that has been done. Bingu’s hero image has been irreparably damaged and their own period of comfortable tenancy in Wadson Bin Deleza’s ‘mipando wonona’ (comfortable chairs) is in danger of termination. The spin begins!
Last night, Monday, the team was in action on Capital Radio’s Straight Talk show. The three most likely candidates were there – Patricia Kaliati whose machine-gun verbal fussilades are familiar to us all, Hetherwick Ntaba whose honeyed mouth can sweeten even the bitterest of pills, and my old friend Nicholas Dausi who was with me some years ago organising street protests against Bakili’s Third Term bid . They were reinforced by the presence of Cabinet Minister Doctor Kanyumba.
And what was the theme from these hired mouths? Damage control - the media had misrepresented the President’s words and intent.
I have lived through Dr. Banda’s despotism and his use of violent repression, enforced party membership, nyakura and detention without trial. I have lived through Bakili’s second term and the violence of his Young Democrats. Commanding the DPP youth to protect and citing these examples cannot be dressed up as anything else but a promise of return to violent oppression.
Say what you will, you party hacks, everyone I have spoken to is in no doubt as to the nature of the threat of physical violence promised by the President. No-one misunderstood his intent. Furthermore, Bingu quite clearly condoned attempts to harm Undule Mwakasungula. What other example is needed when interpreting his intentions.
Mr. President, you cannot demand respect. You have to earn it. Now you have lost it, is it a crime if we despise you?
A President who encourages his people to break the law; who states that he does not respect the law, does not deserve our respect. Such a man is not capable any longer of developing this nation for the benefit of all.
There are four ways to end a Presidency:
1.       Resignation – the only honourable way Sec (84)
2.       Impeachment by Parliament – a threat that was narrowly averted during Bingu’s first term. Sec 86 (1)
3.       Incapacity Sec (87)
4.       Overthrow/revolution – un-constitutional!
(1) a voluntary act that, given Bingu’s proven character, is unlikely. (2) and (3) require the full participation of Parliament which, with its present make-up, is equally unlikely. That leaves the illegal route (4) of revolutionary overthrow which I do not advocate but could well condone. Those who feel so secure in their comfortable seats should reflect on how discontent so easily becomes revolt.
Should we have expected something like this? Yes. Bingu’s documented disastrous history as head of the COMESA Secretariat should have been a warning to us all. He was fired from his job there.
The Report of the Special Committee of Eminent Persons on the operations of COMESA, 1992 To-Date (1997) which was presented to the [COMESA] Council of Ministers on March 4th, 1997, at Lusaka in Zambia as a result of which Mutharika was fired as COMESA's Secretary General, in its final paragraph finds:
....... in view of the management style pursued by the Secretary General, his inability to mould and motivate a dedicated management team, his flagrant and frequent breaches of the provisions of the Treaty, the Staff and Financial Rules and Regulations, his misuse of funds and office and in view of the spite demonstrated to the decisions of the Council and the breach of the conditions of the compulsory leave, the Committee recommends that the services of the Secretary General be terminated forthwith as he lacks vision to take COMESA in the next century.
Many of the character traits which the report highlighted are clearly discernible in the man today. It is highly unlikely that his inability to lead a regional body would turn into an ability to lead Malawi in the 21st Century. He belongs to another, older and darker era of African leaders.
For those who would like to read in greater detail here are a few links that a kind reader provided me with:
Finally, a reminder of the oath of office. The reader can judge on how many counts the oath has been broken:
“I, Bingu wa Mutharika do solemnly swear that I will well and truly perform the functions of the high office of President of the Republic of Malawi, and that I will preserve and defend the Constitution, and that I will do right to all manner of people according to the laws without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. So help me God.”

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