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

Friday, March 4, 2011


I may have missed the announcement of a state of war between  Malawi and the Norway. The announcement by Davy Chingwalu, Police Southern Region spokesman, that the Royal Norwegian Embassy had breached the terms of the Geneva Convention by being present at and having funded the apparently ‘subversive’ Freedom March organised for the third year running by Nandzikambe Performing Arts to mark Martyr’s Day, if true, would indicate that we are at war.
According to my Macmillan Enyclopedia the Geneva Conventions are for the protection of non-combatants and wounded troops IN WARTIME. It is not surprising that we have heard no announcement of war apart from this intimation. Our Constitution does not specify how or when we should go to war. It only tells us what we can do in times of war – such as declaring a state of emergency. Obviously the drafters of the Constitution could not envisage a time when Malawi would wish to pick a fight with anyone, let alone its friends!
Are we reacting to a declaration of war by our friends, the people of Norway, on this helpless little land? Or does Chingwalu’s statement broadcast on Capital Radio this morning, 4th March, indicate that the Police are as ignorant of international law as they are of our own laws? Perhaps it’s our dear ‘Father Leader”, seemingly yet to read the Constitution, who has given himself more power and has indeed told his troops that we are at war with that Nordic nation.
Here’s another strange thing. When a nation goes to war it calls upon the professionals – the Defence Forces – to prosecute the war or come to the defence of the nation. But, in this case, the first line troops, are the usual ‘culprits’ – our totally politicised and compromised Police Force. Thankfully, the Army remains in its barracks.
Nandzikambe Arts went through all the correct procedures. They even arranged and paid for a Police escort. On the eve of the march the Police called to forbid it because of a breach of the Geneva Conventions. According to reports from the organisers, as if to reinforce the talk of war, armed police arrived at the premises to ensure that the enemy forces could not carry out their warlike intentions. There have been no reported casualties in the war to-date – except, that is, the Constitution of Malawi that has been under constant attack for years now by government forces.
Many of us now believe that this government has declared war on its own people, the same people who so trustingly gave Bingu the mandate to govern. When members of society follow legal procedures and even go beyond to satisfy the Police and then find themselves deliberately frustrated by those who should be helping to maintain our freedoms, Government should not be surprised when the people decide to take matters into their own hands and ignore the law which they will correctly perceive as not working for them but acts only as an instrument of oppression..
The Police continue to be the lawbreakers. One of the duties of the Constitution is that the Defence Forces shall “.. uphold and protect the constitutional order in the Republic and assist the civil authorities in the proper exercise of their functions under this Constitution.” When the civil authorities and the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces (the President) continually rape the Constitution, what will be the duty of these forces when the Police find themselves unable to stem the demonstrations of the populace when they cry:

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