By Falles Kamanga
Following the arrest of the UTM party Director of Youth and lawmaker Bon Kalindo, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera saw it fit to come out in support for the lawlessness by Kalindo and the UTM.
A brief background for those who do not know. Kalindo is under arrest on a charge of “Disorderly conduct at a Police Station contrary to section 153(1) of Police Act, and breach of peace”.
The charge followed the events on the 6th of January. Vice President Saulosi Chilima’s aides, Kushi Unyolo and Joshua Valera were seen behaving suspiciously at the Chiwanja Cha a Yao cultural festival. When the security personnel paid attention to the two, the duo fled from the Festival scene. A police chase ensued, leading to them getting arrested at the roadblock some kilometres far from the event, taken to Balaka police station.
Chilima stormed the police station demanding the immediate release of the duo. This instruction the police rejected based on its lawlessness.
UTM put together an illegal gathering of crowds right outside the police station. It was a further tactic to intimidate the police. Bon Kalindo addressed the crowds. In his address, he hurled insults against the President, and the government – and incited violence.
The background above is very important for the public. It shows the type of anarchy and lawlessness that Chakwera is supporting in his “Fellow Malawians” letter. He wrote the letter on the 11th of January – demanding an immediate release of Kalindo.
In the letter, Chakwera says, “The issue is that this idea of arresting any Malawian, not to say anything of one who is a parliamentarian, for merely expressing how they feel about the illogical conduct of Mutharika’s failed government, is primitive, unacceptable, and stupid.”
Chakwera continues, “In fact, whatever unjust law is cited to empower such a ludicrous idea is equally primitive, unacceptable, and stupid, and will thus be repealed by my government.”
The above statements by Chakwera should raise the alarm for all Malawians. Firstly, Kalindo is not arrested for “for expressing how [he] feels about the illogical conduct of Mutharika…” as Chakwera claims. Kalindo is under arrest for “disorderly conduct and breach of peace”, inciting violence. The police have cited the relevant prescripts of Law violated in the charge sheet.
Chakwera is lying to Malawians!
This is the same Chakwera who is autocratically and brutally repressing and purging MCP members who oppose him from his own party. If Chakwera was Head of State, can you insult Chakwera the same way people are insulting Mutharika and live?
What is even more strange is that a lawmaker such as Chakwera supports people who deliberately break Malawian laws.
Chakwera further claims that “whatever unjust law is cited to empower such a ludicrous idea is equally primitive, unacceptable, and stupid, and will thus be repealed by my government.”
The MCP has been in parliament as an opposition party for the past 25 years. There is no record of them using the law-making institution such as the Parliament to change or repeal the laws that he calls stupid today.
Chakwera’s statement that the law will be “repealed by my government” shows that he is not only arrogant but dictatorial.
In his letter, Malawians need to remembers that Chakwera did not condemn the lawless conduct by Chilima. Especially when the VP stormed the police station to intimidate the police. Chakwera went on to show public support for lawlessness and anarchy. More expedient for him, than protecting the law enforcement institution.
Chakwera did not condemn Kalindo and the UTM for holding an illegal gathering. Chakwera did not condemn Kalindo for lawlessness, inciting violence and breaking laws of our land. Instead, he is demanding an immediate release of this anarchist. Due legal processes are disregarded in Chakwera’s world. Our courts have no role in Chakwera’s world!
Ironically, two of the MCP’s “High 5s” are “RULE OF LAW”, and “UNITING MALAWI”. Chakwera has proven that their high five slogans are nothing but empty political rhetoric.
Chilima, Kalindo, and UTM’s conduct at the Balaka Police station was NOT about withholding the rule of law – but breaking it. Inciting violence and insults against the President is not “UNITING MALAWI” – but polarising and dividing them. Chakwera chose to support hooligans. Typical hypocrite!
In his usual style of cheap populism, Chakwera chose political expediency at the expense of upholding Malawi’s laws. To him, it is about opposing President Mutharika at all costs. Even if it means supporting lawlessness.
History has no blank pages.
After the voters reject the political amateur that he is on the 21st of May, we will remember Chakwera as nothing but the worst hypocrite and a political chameleon to ever walk on our land.
Chakwera chose anarchy over upholding the rule of law!
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post