Open Letter To President Mutharika
6th June, 2020
26 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY, NO TURNIG BACK
Your Excellency Sir, we at the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) agree with you that the COVID-19 pandemic is real. CDEDI, just like all well-meaning Malawians, commends you for taking a leading role in the fight against the pandemic, most importantly you are leading by example by staying at home while the rest of the political party leaders are on a campaign trail! While observing social distance Your Excellence sir a lot of things are happening on the ground. Sir, we therefore thought of writing you this open letter.
The State of the Nation Address (SONA)
On Friday June 5, 2020 you addressed Malawians through the State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered virtually in the National Assembly. It was very refreshing to hear from you Sir, tackling a number of issues ranging from the economy to social issues.
CDEDI, and indeed all the peace-loving Malawians could not believe that the threatening sentiments from the pre-recorded address were indeed coming from you, Sir. Instead of inspiring the nation, the national address was surprisingly full of threats, aimed at scoring political points against your sworn enemy, in this case the judiciary whose crime only you know better.
Your Excellency, CDEDI has the impression that you want to turn Malawi into an experimental plot for your legal theories. We can now safely conclude that you want to take advantage of all the seemingly evident loopholes in the Constitution so that you should continue staying in power. You should be the first person to know, Mr. President, that all this is happening at the expense of poor Malawians.
Your Excellency, for 31 years Malawi was under autocratic rule and we at CDEDI can safely assure you that 26 years into multiparty democracy Malawi shall never slip back to iron fist rule. You are therefore better off keeping such threats to yourself. While you were enjoying democracy, complete with economic freedoms in the United States of America (USA), your kinsmen fought a Political Messiah who strongly believed could stay in power for as long as hewanted. At the end of it all, Malawians got what they wanted. By the way how far are we on the treason cases you were charged with in 2012 alongside Goodall Gondwe, Nicholas Dausi, Henry Musa, Symon Vuwa Kaunda and Patricia Kaliati?
The nullified 2019 Elections
The moment you presented your nomination papers, Your Excellency Sir, to Dr. Jane Ashah the then Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, you automatically accepted the Constitutional Court ruling which nullified the May 21 polls. The noble thing you can do Mr. President is to wake up and smell the coffee. Hit the ground running, canvassing votes, unlike wasting your time trying to throw some spanners in the wheels of justice, in a futile attempt to frustrate the Fresh Presidential Elections (FPE). By doing so Your Excellency Sir, it is as good as having a piece of cake you want to keep seeing, at the same time you want to eat it! You presented your nomination papers in respect of the court ruling, why then are you claiming something to the contrary? It does not require legal training that the moment the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the ConCourt ruling, there is no any other court in Malawi that can overturn such a decision. We would also like to remind you Mr. President, that according to the laws of the land, the power to govern rests on the people, and the one governing does so on trust! Who, therefore, can trust a person who keeps going back and forth in terms of their decision making?
We at CDEDI know pretty well that Your Excellency do not like the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and Opposition Political Parties. The good news, however, is that as a citizen of this country, you are entitled to hold your own opinion! The bad news though, is that the Constitution allows their existence and works! In fact, you owe the HRDC a token of appreciation for saving you after Malawians got mad at your decision to lock them up without clearly spelling out safety nets. That injunction saved Your Government Sir!
The COVID-19 pandemic
Your Excellency Sir, you may recall that the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) advised you sir to avoid politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic. But as expected, their voice landed on deaf ears! It would be interesting to ask you why you are you staying at home when your running mate Hon. Atupele Muluzi is on the road day and night campaigning and attracting huge crowds in the process? What’s the wisdom of addressing hundreds of thousands of people at Goliati and Bvumbwe and a few days later fail to address 193 Honorable members armed with masks and sanitizers? From the above questions who is playing double standards Sir?
Lessons from the past
You may wish to recall Your Excellency Sir that in 2014, you could not have ascended to the high office of the Presidency, if it wasn’t for the court’s interpretation delivered by Justice Kenyata Nyirenda for the electoral body to proceed and announce the 2014 Presidential Elections results which declared you a winner. Imagine what would have happened if the people in authority then decided never to respect the court’s decision, just like the way you are doing now? This is the same Justice Nyirenda that saved you from the insensitive lockdown but now turned an enemy! Are you insinuating that you can only respect the courts if they decide in your favour?
Malawi as a failed state
After all is said and done, you may wish to know, Your Excellency, that Malawi is showing all the signs of a failed state through people’s untold suffering and misery. The economy has been on a standstill for almost 1 year now since the May 21 nullified elections. The situation is contrary to how you perceive it from the State House, Mr. President, where everything is paid for by the taxpayers money.
The country’s citizens are following these events with very keen interest, as they unfold. They can ably make their own conclusions and interpretations. However, we at CDEDI have refused to join the bandwagon of bystanders. We have since belaboured ourselves to chronicle the issues for your own reflection and action. We refused to join those that have made their own conclusion for one simple reason that we believe you have the capacity to address the challenges. As they say the art of good dancing is to know when to leave the stage, we at CDEDI, are of the view that your mind should at this stage be preoccupied with thoughts of leaving good legacy you can be remembered with when you leave office.
With kindest regards,
ACTING CDEDI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR