Lilongwe, January 1, 2020
MISSED OPPORTUNITY- FOCUS ON PEACE AND NATIONAL UNITY
Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has learnt with regret the opportunity that has been missed by the leaders of political parties in their New Year messages to Malawians in general, and to party followers in particular.
CDEDI monitored the messages with keen interest since they were coming at a time when every well-meaning Malawian was expecting nothing short but peace and reconciliation in both wording and tone. It was the expectation of many that these party leaders, specifically President Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP); Dr. Lazarous Chakwera of the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP); and Dr. Saulosi Chilima of the UTM party would cease the opportunity to extend an olive branch to all Malawians including their opponents, only to realise that they have all smartly and deliberately avoided mentioning the need to accept and unite especially after the landmark ruling on the Constitutional Court case on the May 21 presidential elections case is delivered.
Much as we appreciate that these political party leaders are entitled to their opinions especially on how things are in this country, we would like to remind them that they need to take cognizance of the fact that we have a court ruling a head of us where the citizens ought to be prepared to accept and move on as one nation.
In particular, CDEDI is of the view that President Mutharika’s insinuations on Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) is unwarranted and uncalled for, especially at this time when every peace loving Malawian is looking forward to having a united Malawi, and not a divided one.
We would therefore, like to categorically condemn the president for such remarks. We would like to remind him that the Supreme Law of the land allows the existence and defense of human rights at all cost, and the existence and wok of the HRDC is not an exception.
CDEDI also noted with great concern that the President went on to make pronouncements that were aimed at discrediting the credibility of the disputed presidential polls. We find such pronouncements as an attempt to defeat the notion that the case would fall either way. This was regrettable and unfortunate considering the fact that the President himself is a learned lawyer.
We would like to challenge the president, and indeed all the political party leaders that the CDEDI will stop at nothing but to critique them every time they go out of bounds and make irresponsible sentiments that risk plunging the country into chaos, especially at this time when the country needs peace more than anarchy.
Lastly, but not the least we would like to once again appeal to the concerned political party leaders that are involved in the presidential elections case to rise above partisan interests and take a leading role in fostering peace and national unity.
CDEDI is non-partisan, nongovernmental organization that was established with a goal to have a well-informed and organized citizenry that can ably demand their social and economic rights at the same time hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
Among many others CDEDI aims at sensitizing the masses on matters of national importance, inculcate the spirit of a peaceful coexistence among people of different ethnic, political and religious affiliations; provide civic education on people’s rights and responsibilities in economic independence and contribution towards national development and lobbying for the electoral law reforms.
We wish all peace loving Malawians a Prosperous New year!
(CDEDI INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR)
For any clarifications: 0993462700