Wednesday, April 27, 2011

People's Progressive Movement Speaks on Govt Decision to Ban Local Chief from Attending Public Functions

The Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM) would like to condemn, in the strongest terms, a statement monitored on Zodiak Broadcasting Station, during the Easter Holiday, that DDP has banned a chief in Balaka from attending all Presidential and government functions due to the chief’s reported association with an opposition party.
This is extremely unfortunate. The chief does not deserve such an insult. Chiefs like all other citizens should enjoy freedom of association and their right to development. Chiefs are entitled to get development from anywhere be it government, opposition parties, donor community, religious organizations or even individual well-wishers, let alone their members of parliament. Contribution to the development of our country is not a monopoly of the ruling party alone. It is the responsibility of every citizen.
PPM would therefore like to appeal to the DPP led government to stop harassing our chiefs because of their association with opposition parties. The DPP must learn to govern in a multiparty democratic environment. In a multiparty democracy people are ruled by tolerance and consensus not by intimidation. Rule by intimidation is a thing of the past, buried and long gone.
Political exploitation of our chiefs compromises their freedom as free citizens of Malawi. It is high time such exploitation stopped.
Politics of hatred and isolation will not take us anywhere. We all need to unite in the service of our country.
We wish to put it on record that the foregoing is one of the ploys by DPP government to re-introduce their tricks of creating enmity between the opposition parties and the electorate. We all recall that in the past parliament (2004 – 2009), the DPP earned a lot of sympathy with the notorious “Azipani zotsutsa akukana budget” slogan when it was not true. Opposition parties never rejected any budget. The opposition were in fact against particular votes being allocated more money than necessary.
When opposition challenged these votes, DPP went all over the country telling the electorate that the opposition was refusing to pass the budget. Fact of the matter is that when even a single vote is queried, the whole budget cannot pass until the queried vote is resolved. The commonly queried votes at the time were OPC, State Residencies, and others where the money allocated does not directly benefit the ordinary people.
At least now people know where their tax money is going, with the current fast tracking of the passing of the national budget in the current parliament.


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