It is uncomfortable and embarrassing for us, especially we, the “future leaders” writes The Express political desk, to keep listening to how our leaders continue to fail to separate the business of their parties from that of the government.
WHEN will Malawian politicians wake up to the fact we now live in a democracy and that we are no longer in a one-party state?
Officials of the governing Democratic Progressive Party, DPP, delivered the kind of speeches at the 2018 Malawi International Trade Fair, that would have produced tears of joy on the faces of leaders of the communist-era and Africa’s long-departed dictators.
It was uncomfortable and embarrassing, however, for many of this country’s future leaders to listen to how our leaders continue to fail to separate the business of their party from that of the government.
This is unfortunately a trend that has been practiced by successive parties since 1993.
We elected the current DPP administration to government in 2014 on its promise that it would promote the democracy that Malawians had been demanding after 30 years of single-party dictatorship and after being let down over undemocratic practices by successive administrations.
Listening to the speeches at this year’s trade fair opening in Blantyre, however, one could detect a definite continued slide from democracy by a party that is desperate to cling on to power.
The DPP has chosen to ignore the importance of separating party business from that of government by even roping in some journalists to do its work.
The use of once-trusted journalists to carry out political propaganda is obviously aimed at corrupting our news media.
Thank goodness that the majority of journalists and media houses in Malawi reject and condemn such attempts.
Take for example the role of one, Hope Chisanu, who was once a promising reporter and radio and TV presenter.
He has sadly been reduced to a showman of the DPP. At the event, he took the leading role to call on DPP supporters to chant songs of praise for President Peter Mutharika.
Chisanu is ironically, an employee of the state controlled broadcaster, MBC, which only a few days ago was begging from parliamentarians not to cut off the generous subvention it receives from tax payers, because of its biased reporting and unashamed propagandistic programmes against the opposition parties, their leaders and followers.
Such blatant propaganda is instead, now leaving the impression, especially upon those of us who have been looking to a better future, that officials in this government are desperate over the thought of being made accountable for corruption and that they will use every available opportunity to politicize it.
This trend, it is clear for everyone to see, is that our government is increasingly becoming less effective. People’s trust in it is dwindling at an extremely alarming rate.
Picking up the cue, the DPP’s regional governor for the south, Charles Mchacha waded into an attack against Vice President Saulos Chilima, 45, who has been touted by some within the DPP as a better prospect for the party than the ageing Peter Mutharika, 79, in the presidential election in just under a year’s time.
His speech, judging from the body language and guarded reactions of captains of industry who attended the event, was embarrassing and another indictment of the failure by the government to deal with the evil triplets of electricity crisis, corruption and state capture by crooked businessmen and rogue elements within the DPP.
It’s not too late for the DPP leadership to change its tact and demonstrate its ability to separate party business from matters of state.
It should begin with President Mutharika. He needs to rise above the occasion, take charge and clean up the image of the DPP – even if it means firing some of the top officials who are tarnishing his image and that of the party.
This needs to be done now and not later. This advice also goes out to those who genuinely want to see a better Malawi.
If they choose instead to continue to propagandise the DPP and mix its affairs with matters of state, should not be surprised by what might happen in the 2019 elections.