Fact No 1: President Joyce Banda‘s ascendance and high crime wave
President Joyce Banda, a couple of weeks ago, admitted this fact. Speaking at a function where JICA was donating some music equipment to the police, she said:
“I’ve been reading disturbing reports of increasing crime in some parts of the country. This is not acceptable. The Malawi Police Service (MPS) and all other security agencies need to ensure that all forms of crime in this country must be crushed as it is an enemy of our development agenda.”
The Home Affairs Minister, Mr Uladi Mussa is also aware of the deterioration in security, but typical of a politician with nothing tangible to offer, all he could say is that the government will not allow the lawlessness to continue.
“Malawi is not a farm. We will have to abide by the laws we have in this country,” Mussa said. “So people should not be scared of anybody. Just report to police or even myself so that we completely crush the crimes committed by the individuals.”
Tough talk, but not enough to drive the fear of God into criminals.
Fact No 2: Lawlessness continues unabated, even police are afraid
There’ve been some arrests which have had little or no effect on the spiraling crime. If anything, criminals are now getting bolder.
As I write, my heart is with Constable Kayange, who while on duty at a police unit at night, was greeted by pangas when he answered a knock on the door.
"The thugs descended on him with panga knives, occasioning deep cuts in the process. Fortunately, he managed to escape and cried for help from the house of a station officer-in-charge, which is just close," Ntcheu Police Station spokesperson Gift Matewere told a Malawi daily.
Big Fact: Not true crime sponsors responsible for security lapse
Contrary to what the government wants us to believe, it is a lie that some people – yet to be mentioned let alone prosecuted - allegedly sponsoring the criminals, are wholly responsible for the lapse in security.
In this regard, there are at least three people in Malawi; all of them fed, dressed, driven or flown around, clothed, and pampered by the very taxpayers that are today living in fear; that are supposed to guarantee, ensure and provide security. WISE ONE FROM THE EAST
I, for one, know who is to blame. Security provision has never ever been the responsibility of a party ousted from power nor criminal kingpins. If this were the case, in the US, the mafia dons would have been heading the CIA and the FBI.
Rather it’s the responsibility of the Malawi Government to guarantee, provide, ensure and sustain security. After all, this is what the tax payers among other things, pay for.
In this regard, there are at least three people in Malawi; all of them fed, dressed, driven or flown around, clothed, and pampered by the very taxpayers that are today living in fear; that are supposed to guarantee, ensure and provide security.
And these are: Her Excellency the State President Joyce Banda, the Minister of Home Affairs Mr. Uladi Mussa and the Inspector General of Police Mr. Loti Dzonzi. Full stop.
There’s no need to sugar-coating their mediocre performance because the truth is that these three people are failing Malawians in as far as security provision is concerned.
One could go further, to bring a human rights angle to this failure. Denying Malawian citizens the right and freedom to go about their business, work, sleep and live in an environment where they are safe and secure from criminals and free from fear is a gross infringement of their rights.
Human rights groups and some shameless lawyers can eloquently argue otherwise but this remains a cardinal truth.
Denying Malawian citizens the right and freedom to go about their business, work, sleep and live in an environment where they are safe and secure from criminals and free from fear is a gross infringement of human rights WISE ONE FROM THE EAST
Denying Malawian citizens the right and freedom to go about their business, work, sleep and live in an environment where they are safe and secure from criminals and free from fear is a gross infringement of human rightsI will repeat just what I said for effect:
Putting this differently: human rights-wise with respect to Malawians living free from fear, the present government isn’t doing any better than the previous government.
Again, I can add an economic dimension to the madness that’s been going on and accuse these officials of economic sabotage.
We know that Malawi needs Foreign Direct Investment (and not necessarily aid) to develop. Granted, which investor will invest in Malawi if even policemen aren’t safe at their duty stations? Who is mandated, under the republican constitution, to provide security and engender an environment conducive to economic growth?
Government apologists and spin doctors can talk all they want but they will not change the fact that security is an unquestionable prerequisite for economic development.
All the above leaves one wondering: What are government’s priorities? Mass rallies? Podium speeches? Lectures? Making sure all bootlickers who made the president’s former party loathsome join the ruling party?
Take this message to Capital Hill: Talk will not guarantee security. Speeches will not ensure that policemen like Constable Kayange can go to work and return home to their families in one piece. Mass rallies and road shows, while serving as a source of entertainment, will not solve the problem.
Podium claims that government knows someone is supporting crime isn’t the answer. What is required is action.
Some heads must roll even though we know there’s reluctance on that front. But I still will say it. Some resign to pave way for others who can do the job? If resigning is too difficult, how about firing and replacing the people mandated to do the job (who are failing) with others? May be new blood will get to the root of the problem and crush it.
The point is: this isn’t about education or qualifications. The new IG’s CV is quite long and impressive, but his lack of leadership on security has Constable Kayange fighting for his life at Ntcheu Hospital.
At the opposite end, with humble education, is Uladi Mussa. But having been around for some time and having been blessed with a penchant for bluster, he too has no excuse. The works of his hands are criminals rummaging at will.
Fire the minister of home affairs and the IG!
This leaves us with the president. President Banda is touted as a ranking human rights fighter.
Writer and social critic George Calin raised an interesting question. “If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?”
Paraphrased, was the president yesterday, fighting for our rights so that criminals can chop us to pieces right under her nose?
One word for Madam President: It’s one thing to go around consoling victims of police brutality, and another to provide security and safeguard the human rights of 14 million people.
Are you up to the task? Do you need a commission of inquiry, a committee to investigate etc? Not on this one I am afraid.
Unless these three people, entrusted and paid handsomely to provide security to all Malawians at all times wake up and rise to the occasion:
1. Malawi will witness more and more vigilante acts and mob justice. The result: criminals will become even more violent and deadly because with the prospect of facing vigilante or mob justice, there will be a very thin line between criminal and suicide missions.
2. The masses (including People's Party’s 4 million supporters) will, like the children of Israel in wilderness will remember and start crying for Pharaoh. And when that comes to pass, woe unto him and her facing rebellion from the very people they were supposedly shepherding from Egypt to the promised land!
Final word to my dearest president: Stop playing to the gallery, show some guts and take the fight to the criminals and their sponsors. Take them head on and do it fast. It's your call and no-one else’s. Prevention of death or injury is better than throwing pepanis (condolences) around; now is the time to act, Malawians have had enough talk.
©2012 The Maravi Post