Written by Patseni Mauka
The news that a police officer shot one of the MCP supporters with a teargas canister when the supporters were demonstrating at Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) offices where campaign materials for the party are being held is extremely sad. Police officers are trained to use their equipment to bring order not to harm people. The officer should have done his job professionally.
However, the demonstrations were illegal and unnecessary. Therefore, MCP leadership should share the blame for organizing the demonstrations that led to the unnecessary life-threatening injuries on one of their own supporters. MCP leaders who organized these demonstrations should hang their heads in shame.
When goods are held at MRA, all you must do is clear them by paying the necessary taxes and not conduct demonstrations. Even though there are some bad apples at MRA who use their greed for money and political colors to slow down clearing of goods for fellow Malawians, MCP should have exhausted all available channels.
MCP could have used our independent courts to intervene. The belief that all problems with the state should be solved with demonstrations is wrong. It shows MCP leadership is not matured and knowledgeable enough to realize that Malawi has a functioning court system which is independent. Problems like tax disputes can be easily handled by the courts.
This country has laws which should always be followed. A party that is campaigning on the promise for change should not be taking matters into its own hands. It should be leading by example and show the maturity that Malawi desperately needs.
It’s obvious that such a demonstration could not have happened without the approval of MCP President, Lazarus Chakwera. Chakwera is a directionless leader who just nods to anything his close advisers say. He does not know the appropriate things to do at a time.
It is not the first time his leadership has put MCP in an awkward, embarrassing and shameful position. In the famous 4 billion Kwacha constituency funding scandal, the government and opposition decided to share money which the Minister of Finance was caught trying to distribute to constituencies for Members of Parliament who voted against a bill on implementing the much-needed electoral reforms.
At that time, Chakwera was the leader on the opposition side. He helped pass the bill and then went into the streets to demonstrate against the same bill that he voted for! Pure mickey mouse leadership that Malawi does not need.
MCP should stop putting people’s lives in danger for things that can be handled without physical display of anger. Party supporters should also not allow themselves to be used for matters that can easily be settled without volatile demonstrations. Don’t get carried away with politics.
Party supporters refuse to be used by clueless leaders like Chakwera who will never bring back your life if you die at the hands of police. If you are going to die demonstrating, it should be on a burning issue which future generations will remember you for, not demonstrating for a release of a container of t-shirts.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post