50/50 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS (LGE) CAMPAIGN ON WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS AND OTHER MATTERS OF SERIOUS CONCERN WHICH MAY NEGATIVELY IMPACT ON WOMEN’S AND OTHER VULNERABLE PEOPLE’S LIVES- CANCELLATION OF LGE WITHOUT CONSULTING OPPOSITION, CSO’s & TAX PAYERS UNACCEPTABLE
1. Civil Liberties Committee (CILIC) is appealing to different political parties in Malawi to adhere to the 50/50 women’s participation in politics and decision-making positions in compliance with the treaties and protocols both at regional and UN level that our Government signed. We are also appealing to donor partners to support the women through interventions by Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Cancellation of LGE without consulting opposition, CSO’s & tax payers is not only unacceptable and dictatorial, but as the British ambassador may have eluded, bad governance. He may also have alluded that, we NGO’s have no ordinary peoples interest at the heart of our work but personal ambitions to rise, or is it sink into political arenas for our empowerment. Hence, we in CILIC cannot afford to look the other way when LGE (the core of democracy) are just cancelled to the next general elections. We suspect this regime is having too much interest and confidence in countries like China , who cannot match the aid given to Malawi by all the western countries. It is a matter of time before the effects of the pull out of Britain’s aid and go it slow of their allies start showing in sicknesses, deaths, poor education most essential programmes collapse/very poor qualities.
CILIC calls upon all Malawians not to take serious any political party that does not adhere to and support the 50/50 Campaign. In this vein, it is also very unfortunate that most opposition parties do not take much interest and accuse NGO’s of this campaign without understanding the obligations government took in signing the protocols. Political parties must have deliberate policies to put women in decision-making positions, especially in the delayed and politically troubled LGE. As we approach these elections (because petitions must be made through religious institutions and NGO’s that have funding), CILIC is urging all Malawians to make sure that women are given a chance to be elected as shadow councilors in their respective political parties or as independent candidates, as the case may be, to achieve the 50/50 Campaign. CILIC urges citizens to demand that these elections take place as the 2014 elections may be marred by political instabilities like the now coming to surface 3rd Term issue.
2. Local Governance, CSO (as watch dog)s and donors
As per Malawi constitution and UN Charter, Malawians have got a right to their democracy (especially economic empowerment) as a very poor country, therefore CILIC would like to condemn in strongest terms the un-presidential speech that we heard in the media, in which the President called NGO’s, the Opposition and donors stupid. Here, CILIC would first like to congratulate the President of PETRA, Counsel Kamuzu Chibambo for publicly rejecting to be called stupid. CILIC would like to remind Ngwazi Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika that without human rights NGOs, religious institutions and donors, he would not have ascended to power against all odds if we consider the UDF third and open term bid. These groups also supported him on section 65, in which he was almost impeached. For an elected President being paid by tax payers money and donors support to insinuate and call them stupid is un-comprehensible, unfortunate, sad, unchristian and very undemocratic. This un-presidential language has never been uttered anyone expect in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and is unacceptable. CILIC feels the President missed a chance in parliament to apologize while indicating that he may have been misunderstood as usual. CILIC’s small lesson on human rights to our President in our watch dog constitutional role is meant to assist government on good governance, make corrections on issues he is misguided on, and even criticize him and the DPP led government where need be. As our President has recently been making outrageous blunders as misinformed, most NGOs have kept their peace (mostly due to lack of capacity, which also has been its responsibility, together with donors and citizens of Malawi to help in the peer review process to benefit the impoverished and oppressed masses of Malawian. It may be a long term plan by politicians not to seriously develop this country but themselves and their families. It may also be the shortsightedness and lack of courage by some opposition, religious leaders business people and donor agents etc, etc.
CILIC wishes then to remind politician and all Malawian (tax payers) that as CSO’s (including the British missionaries) stood their grounds in the past, from Chilembwe’s uprising, to colonial rule, to MCP’s autocratic rule and UDF’s 3rd term and financial mismanagement, we should stand our ground and not play double standards. The DPP government and its politicians must know that they are answerable to its for our president’s actions in his troubled 2nd and final term, without holding this nation to a ransom by using our own tax funds, and those of donor countries. This is why the British envoy got his guts together in making a confidential report to his government while we know but fear to come out with the truth forcefully for fear. In a democracy, it is the ordinary poor who should be taken into account when making proclamations and decisions that affect lives. We are aware that in this present Malawi and the other regimes, always some people form cliques and inner circles around presidents and leaders in order to misguide them while plundering the nations resources.
This nation is very awake now and is watching in alert despite threats of secrete agents, hired thugs and dangerous militias!
3. Malawians are now used to live by rumours which most times come true, despite refusals or silence which is as good as consent
There are rumours that DPP government is planning to table a bill against court injunctions. This is said to be in readiness for a 3rd term bid with intent to use arbitrary arrest, impunity and property seizures etc, etc. Citizens are also worried that at this point the government has given orders to the Malawi Revenue Authority to look back into tax arrears of 5 years without having implemented civic education in those 5 years. It is also rumored that a lot of foreigners i.e. Zimbabweans were given passports, and that when Malawians who did not support DPP loose their houses to MRA for not paying arrears, it is these foreigners that will be facilitated to buy such houses hence become voters in favour of DPP in the next elections. It is also rumored that officers in Government are being given or were given huge loans as a campaign tool for 2014 given the type of elections the country is going to have.
CILIC would like to kindly ask this democratic government to address these issues and make sure that these rumours (if true) something is done and if (not true) then reassure the panicking Malawian Citizenry.
We would like to reassure the president, all political parties, donors and all Malawians at large that as CILIC, despite our lack of funding, we will remain patriotic and will not be moved by intimidation or threats, (as one only dies once as appointed by the creator) but will strive towards a greater and improved democracy with leaders who respect the people who voted them in power.
Grant Chiotcha: Mulanje District coordinator
Innocent Banda: Blantyre District Coordinator,
For Civil Liberties