A Malawian commentator who is based in Canada visited Malawi recently. The predicament Malawians find themselves in has prompted him to call another round of protests
ATLANTA, US—‘Let’s not sugarcoat this, Malawi is broken. Her back has snapped under the dual weight of poor governance and economic mismanagement. Her recovery will be slow, difficult and painful; and shows no signs of starting,” says Ambuje Che Tom Likambale, an astute observer of Malawi politics, in an article published by MaraPost on Monday.
In July last year, Malawians took to the streets to protest against what Likambale has just stated. Nineteen people were killed after police opened fire. The Mutharika administration has since named a commission of inquiry to probe the events and there’s presidential committee on dialogue to try and address some of the concerns that led to the protests.
But, says Likambale, with no end in sight to the country’s economic woes, “commissions of inquiry and presidential committees on dialogue are not a replacements for the public's right to peacefully show its displeasure and call for remedial action from government.”
What should Malawians do? Likambale has a suggestion.
“The time has come for Malawians to, once again, rise and pour onto the streets to peacefully let it be known that we cannot take fuel shortages any longer while government fat cats have plenty of it. That we are tired of being told lies about the real causes of the fuel shortage.
“That we cannot take power outages any longer while government fat cats are bathing in light at night. That we cannot take 50% increments in the price of our staple food any longer, while we also feed our leaders who do not pay for their own food.
“That we cannot take water outages in urban areas any longer while they build Olympic sized swimming pools with public money at their residences. That we cannot take government corruption, nepotism and selective prosecution any longer.
“That we don’t accept blatant preferential treatment, using public resources, of those close to the President in ethnicity, family, political affiliation or friendship. That we can’t take any more stalling on government's obligation to address the 20-point petition presented it as part of last year's July 20th and 21st demonstrations,” says Likambale.
He says when people demonstrate this time around, “they shouldn’t stop until the public is satisfied that its issues have been adequately addressed by those in authority.”
Likambale learnt something from demonstrations in North Africa that led to the overthrow of dictatorships.
“The demonstrators in Cairo didn’t stop when they heard vague promises and stalling gambits from Mubarak, did they? Or those in Tunis when Ben Ali tried to intimidate or hoodwink them, did they?”
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---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment