Written by NORMAN LINCOLN
While addressing yet another astonishingly mammoth gathering at his second rally on Sunday, July 22, at Mgona Area 25, in Lilongwe, Peter Mutharika hinted that the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Television, deliberately disregarded coverage of his presence in parliament. Seemingly joking, the professor also lamented that the MBC, which alone is the public media house in Malawi, no longer provide live coverage of DPP rallies.
I have written this article because my good friend, with whom I love to argue about diverse philosophies and subjects of politics, asked me yesterday what I make of the Professor’s remarks about MBC partial broadcasting. After appearing a little hesitant, I told him that MBC’s intentional disregard of Peter Mutharika and DPP rallies signifies the current PP regimes’ intolerance of the opposition and exclusive control of public facilities, which is wrong and undemocratic.
My friend was shocked and asked me whether I was alive, when the late President Bingu Wa Mutharika, and his DPP government, where Peter Mutharika himself held various ministerial portfolios, monopolized the very same MBC/Television and used it as a campaign strategy for their party. Overwhelmed by emotions which he seldom avoids, he yelled that of all people and political parties in Malawi, Peter Mutharika and his DPP must be the last to question how the PP government and Mrs.
Joyce Banda decides to run MBC. I feel intense anxiety over such type of Malawian thinking. Malawi will fail to attain ideal democracy if Malawians continue to rationalize and defend undemocratic tendencies of the PP government based on the late Mutharika’ oversights. If the PP government embarks on the same autocratic behaviors; negligence of professionalism in public institutions, constitutional disregard, nepotistic appointments of office bearers, mismanagement of taxpayers money, and Malawians see nothing wrong simply because the previous regime goofed on the same, then as a nation Malawi is not prepared to move forward.
Malawi is far behind from mending the breached fences of democracy until they wholeheartedly, let the late president Mutharika rest in peace with his mere human shortfalls, embrace his visibly great ingenious works, and give DPP and Peter Mutharika a new chapter in Malawi’ politics. The PP government must understand that when Bingu wa Mutharika died, some Malawians rejoiced not necessarily because they hated him, but because they anticipated change beyond his death.
When Mrs.Joyce Banda ascended to the presidency, some Malawians shouted and danced for joy, not because they loved her more than they loved Bingu wa Mutharika, but because they thought she was a messiah to restore the rule of law, and resuscitate democracy after they were made to believe that these were severely paralyzed. One of the crucial areas that Malawians expected the PP government to change was the unprofessional biased broadcasting of the MBC Radio and Television.
Malawians must remember that the God fearing President, Mrs. Joyce Banda, and his likewise God fearing Minister of Information, Moses Kunkuyu, promised Malawians to make the MBC a bonafide public broadcaster and open its doors for the opposition. Therefore, the government must keep the promise and invite all opposition parties to make use of the public broadcaster.
MBC is funded by taxpayers’ money. Not all taxpayers are PP diehards. Some of them belong to opposition parties and they would love to see their party leaders on Television too. Yes, DPP, under the leadership of the late Mutharika goofed terribly on MBC, but PP must not do the same.