By Lord Denning QB
For centuries, it has been an article of faith that, in moments of sharp civic discontent, you and I and everyone we know can take to the streets, demanding change.
There is a public discontent over how the 2019 presidential elections were handled by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and since then, almost nine months down the line, there have been civil protests, in form of public street demonstrations and presentations of petitions demanding the exit of Jane Ansah from the chairpersonship of the MEC.
She has remained adamant and still assuming duties of the office as we speak.
The adamancy with which she has defied these demonstrations has left many people wondering if she, at all, has the basic human attributes of conscience and feelings.
At the end of that wondering, many have concluded that perhaps she is some beast or a matron of some occult empire practicing highest level of witchcraft.
Yet some, to whose advantage her adamant is accruing, have decorated her as an iron lady and unequalled woman of stamina.
From where I am standing, my view is that Jane Ansah’s adamancy is not of her own.
She is just a vessel holding the adamancy and arrogance of Peter Mutharika who is temporarily holding the State power. It is more than likely that Mutharika told Jane Ansah that “as long as I am the president of this country, you will be protected and you are not going anywhere.”
This is the most likely kickback from Mutharika considering that the transgressions for which Ansah is vilified and wished away were procured in furtherance of Mutharika’s undue benefit. “Nzako akati konzu nawenso umati konzu” so they say.
Now, after almost nine months of unsuccessful protests demanding her to vacate the office, does the public have any options left to secure success?
In the light of the forthcoming elections, the process of which the general public does not want her and her fellow Commissioners to manage, yet she (and her fellow Commissioners) is hell-bent to impose herself on the process, is there a way to drive her out? YES THERE IS A WAY!
“The people, united, will never be defeated!” the old street chant goes. The demonstrations that have been endured by Ansah have been fronted by one civic force – the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
This time around, with the uniting of UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) forces, there is need to frantically join hands with the HRDC and execute the demand with a dynamic and decisive strategy.
The conventional way of starting the from point A (say LL Community Ground) to point B (say DC’s office) and present a Petition has to be abandoned or pushed aside.
After all, more than enough petitions have been submitted regarding the same issue and no single response has come forth, worse still, the cause has not been met.
The presentations of these petitions only leaves Mutharika with the misguiding feeling that we still look up to him as the final determinant of fate.
But that should not be the case – the final determinant should be the law of which positioning, no human being is above regardless which leadership rob they may wear.
What needs to be done this time around is to marshal a strategy, resilience and resources that would see demonstrators mounting vigils at strategic Government institutions where daily critical Government business occur.
These demonstrations can involve an allocation of some hours to march into the streets and revert to the vigil stations until the individual who is given the authority to fire Jane Ansah does so.
What is happening in Malawi is a scenario whereby Jane Ansah and Peter Mutharika are literally attacking the laws that they took an oath to uphold.
They have little to no respect for the decisions of the National Assembly. They have little to no respect to the findings and orders of the Court.
They are considering the stamps that they are holding to be supreme to the other branches of Government.
They are literally raping the Constitution and other legislative laws.
Look at what is happening at MEC on the procurement of legal services from abroad at expenditures that are so unrealistic and suspicious and doing so without proper authority after sidelining the enabling procurement Act.
Now, the MDF is one of the institutions that is giving us hope. We need to remind the MDF that what these people are doing is literally attacking on the people, the democracy and the very fabric of the sovereignty of this country.
As an institution that exists to defend the sovereignty of this nation, they need to side with the Constitution and assist the civilian population in reclaiming its sovereignty from the attack that is emanating from within.
Those who are hell-bent to attack the rule of law of orderliness of this country are using the police as their tool.
But with the MDF on the side of the Constitution, untold calamities have been averted.
We equally believe that with their continued support on the Constitutional cause of the people, the change that we need in inevitable. Jane Ansah, Peter Mutharika and their cohorts are no bigger than the law. They must be buried under it!
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post