Malawi Former Presidents

We at The Maravi Post sincerely applaud the action that was widely reported in the media on Monday, that former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi has called for an urgent meeting with Mr. Timothy Mtambo, who heads the human rights organization coordinating the anti-MEC Chair Dr. Jane Ansah.

The former president cites his deep concern on the volatile situation in Malawi following the May 21, 2019 elections. He states that he is duty-bound to pursue “a civil solution to curtail the prevailing situation” (the continuing spate of violent clashes between the opposition the DPP.

Ironically, in a democracy, being president is a lifetime role. Once elected to this office, one is in the service of, as well as cared for by the country’s taxpayers – the citizens. This role is there until the expiry of one’s life.

Malawi currently has two former presidents, and five former vice presidents. These high-profiled persons enjoy, through the Republican Constitution, a salary, security detail and other benefits. In numerous other democracies these eminent men and women are called upon to serve the state or private functions; in some cases, they are even sent as envoys or election monitors on behalf of their countries.

Malawi held its Tripartite elections two months ago, shortly after the Malawi Electoral Commission announced the results, declaring incumbent President Peter Mutharika, the winner. The announcement was made even as mounting evidence of tally sheets surfacing that had white correction fluid (Tippex) marks and re-written figures.

We remind our readers, that such anomaly has caused a major nation-wide upheaval whereby Malawians have relentlessly poured out onto the streets to protest MEC call when there were 147 unresolved complaints lodged. There have been daily protests in almost every district in Malawi.

We also remind readers that there is a Constitutional Court case in session, with the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the United Transformation Movement (UTM) jointly dragged the Democratic Progressive Party along with the Malawi Electoral Commission.

In recent weeks, readers will also recall that reports are daily appearing of persons involved in the election monitoring and other tasks, have lost their lives – killed in cold blood – who allegedly were feared to have held information on the anomalies of the elections.

A massive sigh of relief could be felt throughout the country as the headlines of the former president’s intervention in the post-election violent melee. The Maravi Post salutes former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi’s intervention as a great show of statesmanship and rising above party politics.

However, we cautionary part with our former head of state and his efforts to intervene in the tussle for the country’s leadership.  This is on two scores.

On the first score, if readers will indulge us, we ask the former president: “Mjomba waji kwa mwe? Tusosileje kupikana malowe gawo liso.” (Translation: Big man, where have you been? We needed your words yesterday).

On this score, we at The Maravi Post wish to inform Dr. Muluzi that Malawians have marched in demonstrations; they are young, old, men, women (many with babies on their backs); and they have come from all parts of the country. Court cases have commenced at presidential and parliamentary levels. The people have screamed, others written songs and poems about the unacceptable election results. Regrettably, some people have died, allegedly murdered to silence the information they held.

Malawi is indeed, in deep distress and in great need of an intervention.

The second score for Dr. Muluzi is on his targeted intervention. As much as we respect the role played by the human rights bodies in the post-election protests, they are a small spoke on the wheels of disgruntled Malawians. The demonstrators are members of the MCP, UTM, UDF, PP, and AFORD political parties. The Maravi Post herein underscores the importance of including leaders of these parties to the discussions.

The people are out on the streets because they believe one of their leaders, should have been declared the president. The two leading concerned protagonists, dr. Lazarus Chakwera and Dr. Saulos Chilima, are the aggrieved. Their supporters are the people that flood the streets of Malawi in protest, in seeking the resignation of the MEC Chair, and relentless to the point of seeking a re-run of the elections.

We appreciate the human rights bodies have finely orchestrated the country-wide protests, giving the clarion call a unified touch; but they are working with members of the two main opposition political parties.

If former president Dr. Muluzi aspires to arise to the relevant position, that is his constitutional entitlement, this should be as an all encompassing intermediary. The mediation must connect with all the aggrieved parties, namely the MCP, UTM, UDF, PP, AFORD, DPP, MEC, and the human rights organizations.

Dr. Muluzi would be a great boon to Malawi, if he could hold a separate joint discussion with Malawi’s security personnel at the Police Service and the Malawi Defense Force.

To Dr. Muluzi, The Maravi Post says: “Salute!”