...as mass demonstrations' day draws nearer
Things are falling apart:Ruling Democratic Progressive Party youths who are causing terror in Blantyre
Things are getting out of hand as July 20, 2011- dubbed the day of reckoning by civil society organizations planning to march against fuel and forex crises- draws closer.
In Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial city, fear has gripped residents. Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youths, officially called ‘Youth Cadets’ by President Bingu wa Mutharika, have for the past three hours been traveling in DPP-marked vehicles brandishing Panga knives.
Just 50 minutes ago, as I passed Clock Tower Petroda Filling Station in Blantyre, the DPP Youths disembarked from two Nissan ½ ton Pick ups and rubbed their Panga knives against tarred road and concrete.
There was a stampede as people scampered in all directions. Women vendors three bananas packed in winnowers down, so did vendors selling airtime- most of them left their Airtel, TNM, and MTL units and run for dear life.
Apparently, the DPP Youth Cadets’ intention was not to grab things from people, or take their property away; their main task, it seems, is to instill fear in people, so that tomorrow, the 20th of July, they do not turn up for the planned march.
But their behaviour contradicts what Mutharika said publicly yesterday, that he does not want any DPP followers to stage a counter-march as has been planned.
As of now, the DPP Cadets are in Limbe, spreading fear and terror against the just demands of Malawian citizens.
Malawians, the majority of them, want a return to normal life; life full of fuel and forex and food and peace.
Not a life full of threats and disturbed minds.
The wishes of demonstrators seem to meet with unprecedented support, however, as the Malawi Law Society and Malawi Human Rights Commission have both backed the intentions of the marchers.
However, the two bodies have urged for calm and peaceful demonstrations.
With DPP cadres in the forefront spreading fear and violence, and reminding Malawians of the long days of gloom and terror now gone by, it remains to be seen how the rest of today ends, and whether people will go back home with their limbs intact after tomorrow’s march.
What is clear, however, is that President Bingu wa Mutharika is a coward and dictator- rubbing his over-sized ego against the wishes of the powerless majority.
The term resignation does not exist in his mind as he positions himself towards consolidating power and exercise tyranny.
After all, when ruling parties start brandishing Panda knives and machetes, it is a sign that their time is nigh; time to pack their bags of shame and go hide behind History’s eternal concretes.
So many things will go into that bag of history:the smashing of Zodiak Broadcasting Station's vehicle on Saturday; the burning of the Zodiak Broadcasting Station radio's vehicle on Monday, and many more.
Malawi is in nothing short of a crisis. First, the crisis was centred on fuel and forex; now, a silent crisis is ravaging through citizens' hopes.
Of all crises in the world, the most dangerous is that of hope. When citizens run out of patience, it is not worse. But, once hope runs out, it is hold-your-own-son for everybody!
That is Malawi now, under the confused leadership of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
How, one asks, can one chase a traditional donor and former colonial master Britain through that brain-less decision to get British High Commissioner to Malawi, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet going?
How, one wonders, can a 'whole' President say he "will never apologise to Britain" over Cochrane-Dyet's unceremonial 'booting'?
How, one tries to figure out, can a leader worth his salt allow a 'small' problem to get out of hand and evolve into a crisis, and the crisis merges with another crisis to become crises, and the crises grow further to make records?
'When shall all these problems come to an end' is Zachimalawi's theme for the month of July.