Sunday, December 12, 2010

Malawi:- Cowardly DPP’s tyranny meets its match

WE find ourselves not having much to say about what happened Saturday within Malawi’s governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) when its vice president was dismissed from the party.  Scratch that.  We do have something to say.
This is not about Vice President Joyce Banda, the person, or that of education minister, Peter, Pres Bingu wa Mutharika’s younger brother.  It’s about principle. The Maravi Post‘s position has been about the adulterated process used in giving an unfair advantage to the vice president’s rival; the raping of democracy by those who falsely claim to be fair, open or liberal and progressive—the Democratic Progressive Party. DPP's actions, some of them sexist, attest to the fact that there's nothing democratic and progressive about it.
For some time now, it has been established that the party prefers to deal ruthlessly with members it finds disobedient. Apart from Banda, the party also got rid of Khumbo Kachali, the man it sent to suspend three legislators who disagreed with use of quotas in selecting students to public colleges earlier this year. Kachali, a cabinet minister and DPP’s deputy whip in the national assembly at the time, was adamant, telling the three MPs that they had misbehaved by going against party diktat. There many others in the party who have been ostracized for associating with Joyce Banda.
Discipline is one thing and tyranny is another. In societies where democracy is yet to take root, there’s always fear about leaders not ceding power when it's time came to pack up and go. Ivory Coast, where the loser didn’t want to leave office, is the latest example as we saw last week. Ironically, Malawi’s Mutharika, who is the current chair of the African Union, led the push to allow the winner to take the stage.
But as Mutharika made the statement, at home the president and his party were manipulating the system to have the president’s younger brother succeed him in 2014. There’s more than one theory why Bingu wants Peter to be the next president but that’s a discussion for another day.
Party membership is voluntary. We aren’t trying to redefine the DPP here. As it has been well documented by this publication, the party is Machiavellian and cares less about how it achieves its objectives. The ends justify the means. Banda has been forced out for refusing to endorse Peter Mutharika although the party had to come up with another reason to justify their cowardly act which leaves the president serving with an “independent” vice president.
Banda's expulsion from the party had long been expected but, like death, we were shocked when it happened.
As the DPP presses its luck, the following is some of what we know: Contrary to statements by some party members, the DPP still thinks the vice president’s office is important because it didn't, it could have used its huge majority in parliament to rewrite the Constitution and abolish the office; the DPP and the president’s brother (despite an excellent resume) are afraid of free and fair competition therefore cowards;  DPP likes arm-twisting and its members are hardly democrats and progressives as they would have us believe; Khumbo Kachali believes in something but we are yet to put a finger on it;  and Joyce Banda, by putting up a resistance against the tyranny of the DPP, is testimony to the fact that some democrats still exist outside the DPP. That we find to be good  for our democracy.

Decision Points
Politiker (Malawi): Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Bingu Wa Mutharika, Bakili Muluzi, Etta Banda, John Tembo 
(German Edition)
Malawian Christians: Malawian Anglicans, Malawian Christian Missionaries, Malawian Roman Catholics, Bingu Wa Mutharika, George Chaponda
Naissance Au Malawi: Elvis Kafoteka, Bingu Wa Mutharika, Tamandani Wazayo Phillip Nsaliwa, Esau Kanyenda, Chiukepo Msowoya, Peter Mponda (French Edition)

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