First and foremost, President Mutharika’s order to arrest the hyena-man was unconstitutional and therefore unlawful (and should never have been allowed to pass for a lawful order) as it could not be supported by any dignified interpretation of the relevant sections or clauses of our Republican Constitution relied upon. I thought a President who (in an interview a few weeks ago) told Americans (and the whole world) he ‘authored the Malawi Constitution’ would know that! But come to think of it, I shudder to think of what a constitution authored by someone so unacquainted with constitutional matters as himself would have looked like.
The truth of the matter is our Republican Constitution was not authored by President Mutharika and from what I have gathered he was nowhere near the group and the process that cobbled together our Republican Constitution (not even as a resource person) but more importantly no constitution, in the spirit and purpose for which it is put together, can be authored by one individual! Nonetheless, by acting on an unlawful order, the police and the courts are flouting the law. The truly frightening question is how many other similarly unconstitutional orders do various government organs and functionaries carry out whether from President Mutharika or his likes? How many similarly undoubtedly unconstitutional orders has our Attorney General unbecomingly defended and allowed to pass for lawful orders? Release the hyena-man to unknot the shameful knot and please do not repeat this constitutional faux pas!
The BBC interview was so unbelievably unethical and unprofessional to pass for a sensational interview that it became! What happened to the age-old and tradition-honored practice of ensuring no harm (or anything untoward) comes to the individual(s) one solicits information from for ones feature story?—keeping the identity of the source concealed unless and until you can ascertain no harm (or anything untoward) will come to the individual(s)! Why did BBC not anticipate this eventuality and take the necessary precautions and why has BBC not taken any action to help the hyena-man who ingloriously incriminated himself for the BBC story? Of course the BBC has a professional obligation to help the hyena-man out of the legal conundrums he now finds himself in for giving the BBC such a scintillating interview (the cultural hyena-man sensational interview).
The various non-state actors (NSA’s) that have uncircumspect heaped praise on President Mutharika, the police and the courts for ‘nailing the hyena-man’ are mistaken in believing this action will do anything to stop culturally harmful practices (CHP’s) without lawfully or unlawfully ‘arresting culture’ itself. Before long, the Lhomwe will be parading bare-breasted girls in the name of our culture—this is barefaced abuse by any definition (maybe this time around we will see the Patron’s kindred paraded bare-breasted in the name of the culture he dearly loves or will he put a halt to the whole nauseating rubbish not to denigrate his hard-earned praises?). And a little later in the year, we will be ‘treated’ to the mass raping of girls as young as eight courtesy of chinamwali (or whatever initiation name it is given) and rounding up of girls for jando wa asikana (a mass clitoris removal orgy—female genital mutilation), again, in the name of culture and unashamedly sanctioned by the same government and the same people that have thrown the hyena-man in the dungeon for ‘contravening’ some hastily cobbled laws and not a murmur of uneasiness will be heard from either the BBC or the civil society. And maybe a little later, boys will be similarly rounded up for Jado wa anyamata rite (a penile foreskin removal orgy—male genital mutilation), again, in name of culture and, just as notably, on a daily basis hordes of young men are being enticed by government and health personnel to come forward for voluntary male circumscion (a penile foreskin removal orgy— male genital mutilation) in the name of fighting HIV/AIDS infection or transmission in-spite of the abundant evidence to the contrary! No, maybe we will hear a muffled murmur from them—that these girls who have been raped, permanently scarred and now sex-wise at age 8 will now be ‘bludgeoned’ and finished off with the ‘Marriage Age Act’ not to contemplate marriage until the age of 18 or 21!
The traditional chiefs as ‘the rightful custodians of our culture’ and the parents of the girls as subjects and partakers in the our cultural life so jealously sanctioned by our Republican Constitution, why have you not taken any rap in all this hullabaloo or why have you not come to the defense of the hyena-man for the ‘cultural services’ he availed you all to keep away ‘harmful’ cultural spirits (HCS) and keep alive the culture we proudly wrap our country in and sell to the world and pride ourselves in or do we? And you all who are captivated by our culture from a safe distance or are you?
Release the hyena-man from whatever dungeon you are keeping him or whatever legal encumbrances you have him in (he is a casualty of our sanctioned backward way of life just are his supposed victims and similar other captives of our culture), remove Section 26 of our Republican Constitution, lockup culture in an air- tight carafe so that it is never allowed to see the light of day (and to never bring this hubbub to the light of day) ever again!
Contribution by: Chisala, Maxwell, L.