This article is in reference to the press statement made by the Minister of Information, Communications Technology and civic education Patricia Kaliati pertaining to the close-door meeting involving the University of Malawi Students Union (UMSU) leaders and the State president Peter Mutharika.
In her effort to praise the president for slashing the fees, Madam Kaliati went further attacking the organisers of the 4th August demonstrations saying they missed a point. She also unashamedly gave credit to Malawians who did not attend the demos. I find her statement very unfortunate, retrogressive, misleading and politically disingenuous.
Hounorable Kaliati, if at all there is any honourable in her, must know that the Civil Society Organisations were exercising their right which is well enshrined in our constitution. Further to that, these patriotic Malawians were fighting for ordinary Malawians who have no platform to present their grievances.
Indeed, such insidious remarks, Hon Kaliati, do not only jeopardize the considerable progress that our nation has made against undemocratic tendencies by the government of the day, it is a serious violation of the tenets of our transparent democracy – a fundamental practice that promotes the principles of good governance. How can a top government official sink so low praising citizens for not taking part in a peaceful demonstration? Madam Kaliati, you were supposed to give credit to the organisers for being peaceful in their exercising of the constitutional right.
Your remarks further discredit your moral and political standing to millions of patriotic thinking Malawians. In the statement you said “Government is aware that the organisers of the miserable demonstrations wanted to use University fees as an excuse to pursue a desperate agenda of mobilising a national political revolt. This has not worked. The movement has collapsed because Malawians are reasonable.”
Madam, these are unpatriotic and reckless comments not fit in a democratic dispensation. This is a travesty to all those who believe in freedom of expressions as the cornerstone to a sustainable democratic future for Malawi.
Hon. Kaliati, your summative analysis of the “Fees Must Fall” demonstrations typically exposes the arrogance of power by your government, its lack of strategic foresight in handling public debates and your outdated self-centered doctrines of offensive propaganda in the national media.
Madam Kaliati, it’s high time you stopped turning the government position into a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mouthpiece. As a minister of information, there are more significant duties you can focus on rather than wasting time writing trash in the name of press release aimed at attacking patriotic Malawians.
And again praising the president for slashing fees is an insult to the president himself. It’s the same as telling the public that the president has achieved nothing since his assumption of power in 2014 hence wasting resources and energy giving him much applause for mere “MK50, 000” fees reduction.
Madam, your position is a serious one, so try as much as possible to treat it as such otherwise Malawians with well frame of mind will continue questioning the integrity of the president for settling for you to take that sensitive government role. Stop outbursts! We need tangible statements and not propagandas.