TIME TO RECLAIM OUR DESTINY
TO: THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, HIS EXCELLENCY
PROFESSOR ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA – HEAD OF STATE AND
CC: THE VICE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
THE CHIEF SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT, OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
AND CABINET (OPC)
THE SPEAKER, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THE CHIEF JUSTICE, JUDICIARY
THE MALAWI HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
THE MALAWI LAW COMMISSION
ALL POLITICAL PARTIES IN MALAWI
ALL RELIGIOUS MOTHER BODIES IN MALAWI
ALL DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS IN MALAWI
DATE: 27TH APRIL 2018
THEME: FOR HOW LONG SHALL MALAWIANS CONTINUE TO BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED? LOSS OF PUBLIC TRUST IN THE CURRENT REGIME: TIME TO RECLAIM OUR DESTINY (SECTION 12[C] OF THE MALAWI CONSTITUTION)
Your Excellency Sir! We the undersigned activists and Civil Society Organisations in Malawi together with all Malawians of goodwill - gathered in different parts of the country today - have noted with grave concern the crisis state of governance in the country, and hence collectively observe as follows:
v Concerned with the dwindling state of governance in the country as evidenced by executive abuse and manipulation of public resources which are meant to serve the interest of Malawians; high cost of living; nepotism; security lapse with persons with albinism as worst casualties ; absence of decisive leadership; nepotism; systematic delays in investigating the DPP implicated K263 Billion Cash gate; the DPP government initiated K4 Billion “miracle money” scandal aimed at rewarding MPs that rejected the people’s electoral reforms including 50%+1; high levels of corruption ; the abuse of tax payers money to reward regime’s political cronies and DPP sponsored chiefs, activists, religious leaders who are paraded on state-media MBC to either attack the critics of the regime or stand in the way of policy or legal reforms that advance the interest of Malawians; the continued electricity blackouts and unwarranted excuses despite procurement of the gensets; the dubious activities in the award of the Lilongwe-Salima Water project; the alarming rates of unemployment in Malawi amongst youths; lack of teaching and learning materials in primary and secondary schools; the increasing cases of gender inequalities and abuse; unaffordable fees in public universities; the shortage of drugs and medical personnel in hospitals; and many other challenges.
v Convinced that managing state affairs and institutions is by trust, and that those elected into state leadership take full commitment to uphold this principle
v Aware of what is at stake in a country whose executive leadership takes it citizens for granted as evidenced by the issues raised herein;
v Recalling that the principle of Malawi Social Contract – as clearly expressed in Section 12(c) and Section 6 of the Republican Constitution- entails that all legal and political authority of the state comes from the people of Malawi and must be exercised to serve and protect their interests; everyone who exercises state powers does so on behalf of the people and must exercise that power within its legal limits and in accordance with his or her responsibilities to the people; and that all state power can only be exercised by authorities who maintain the trust of the people by being open, accountable and transparent and ensuring that people have informed democratic choices.
v Mindful that the principle of Malawi Social Contract is also partly reflected in the 2014 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) manifesto as follows: “We in the DPP believe that if a Government does not have integrity, it has no right to govern”. (DPP Manifestoes 2014, p. 6).
v Realizing that while Section 6 of the Republic Constitution implies that a government that has not been elected through universal suffrage does not have authority to govern, Section 12 (c) safeguards the power of the people by implying that a government that no longer has the sustained trust of the people, regardless of the fact that it might have been duly elected through universal suffrage, has no authority to govern, and people have the mandate to remove it in accordance with the law.
v Recognising that the role of the President of Malawi is to provide executive leadership in the public interest and national unity –NOT tribal or party interest – as provided by the Constitution (Section 88)
v Touched that the country is divided along tribal, ethnic and regional lines which has often been fueled by the tendency of running the country as an “ethnic project” rather than a transformative project whose benefits trickle down to all Malawians irrespective of tribe or region.
v Noting that issues raised herein have been raised may times before, and that executive arrogance, impunity and lack of transformational and ethical leadership have been the major stumbling blocks in ensuring that these concerns are addressed.
v Reaffirming that those that are in positions of leadership and power are accountable to the citizens, and that no one is above the law;
We hereby petition you – Your Excellency Sir – the 10 demands in relation to the above concerns:
- 1. Malawi is a nation in darkness. We are tired of blackouts and gensets excuses. We give you Your Excellency Sir 30 days to address the electricity blackouts problem.
- 2. MBC is a public broadcaster NOT DPP or Party Broadcaster. We give you Your Excellency Sir 20 days to free MBC from DPP’s capture and to allow it to work independently and professionally as provided by law. In the same vein, we demand MACRA, MBC and MEC’s action to YAS, CHRR and Cedep’s letter of complaint on MBC’s political biasness and contravention of the law within 25 days.
- 3. We give you 15 days your Excellency Sir to fire the Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa over their dubious role in the K4 Billion “miracle” money scandal aimed at rewarding MPs who rejected the people’s electoral reforms including 50%+1 electoral system of electing the President within 10 days. The K4 Billion scandal has raised more questions than answers on the integrity of not only the two ministers but also the entire government. Just as you had rightly said Your Excellency Sir in your DPP 2014 Manifesto that a government that “does not have integrity, it has no right to govern” p.6, Malawians are now asking the following questions: What else does the Mutharika government steal from us in secret? For how long shall Mutharika’s government take us for granted? Should we still trust a crooked and thieving government?
- 4. We demand that the disbursement of the K4 Billion dubious funds be completely cancelled within 25 days as its objective and motives were not to pursue public interest but rather to reward betrayal of public trust through the rejection of the peoples’ electoral reforms.
- 5. Anti-Corruption Bureau should investigate both the K4 Billion dubious fund scandal and also the alleged linkage between the rejection of electoral reforms and K4 Billion Scandal
- 6. We demand the re-tabling and passing of electoral reforms including 50%+1 electoral system of electing the President in their original form as proposed by the Law Commission within 30 days.
- 7. Enough of your government’s celebration of impunity over extrajudicial killings implicating your cronies, Your Excellency Sir. We demand completion of investigations into the murder of Issa Njaunju, Robert Chasowa and July 20, 2011 freedom fighters NOW!
- 8. We demand your Excellency Sir to reverse your decision on the appointment of Rodney Jose - who was implicated in the murder of Robert Chasowa in 2011- as Acting Inspector General of Police within 7 days. In the absence of completition of investigations into Chasowa’s murder, such an appointment is an insult to the family of Chasowa and the general public who continue to seek justice on the matter. We demand Parliament to reject such an appointment if brought to it for approval.
- 9. We regret the dwindling public service delivery in the education and health sector where public hospitals have shortage of drugs and public schools have shortage of teachers and learning materials yet the DPP government has the audacity to plan wasting K4 Billion funds –which would have been used for these services – in rewarding MPs that betrayed the public through the rejection of Electoral reforms. We demand action to addressing these problems NOW!
- 10. Enough of mere executive rhetoric on the killings of persons with Albinism. We need action to end the killings of our brothers and sisters NOW!
Your Excellency Sir be informed that a clear monitoring framework has been put in place to track your implementation of the 10 demands as part of your fulfilment of the social contract which you signed with the citizens 4 years ago. At the expiry of each timeline of the 10 demands, the activists, concerned citizens and Malawians of good will shall convene to evaluate your progress on implementation of such demands, and in cases where you have not done so the grouping shall resolve to implementing Plan B on each of the timelines to ensure that all the demands are addressed. You can be lest assured therefore Your Excellency Sir that the Citizens shall hold a series of post-April 27 demonstrations activities –if you decide to ignore the 10 demands petition- until all the issues are addressed.
It must therefore be made clear to you Your Excellency Sir that Failure to address these “Yellow Card” 10 demands within their time frames, will eventually leave the citizens, activists and all Malawians of good will with no choice but to issue you a “Red Card” for continuing to take Malawians for granted and loss of public trust. Indeed, as you had rightly put it in your 2014 DPP manifesto your Excellency Sir that “No person in Malawi should ever believe that Malawi is his or her personal property. Malawi belongs to Malawians” (p. 12). Surely, as concerned citizens and human rights defenders we shall live by your words your Excellency sir by ensuring that no individual including you Your Excellency Sir takes Malawi as his or her personal property by inflicting more misery on poor and heavily taxed Malawians.
Your Excellency, we thank you and believe that our petition will be given a favourable response.
Thank you Your Excellency.
Together we stand as we reclaim our destiny!
God bless Malawi!
On behalf of all Malawians of goodwill
Timothy Mtambo – Chairperson Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF)
Charles Kajoloweka – Executive Director Youth and Society (YAS)
Gift Trapence – Vice Chairperson Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF)
Billy Mayaya – Human Rights Activist
Makhumbo Mkanavimbundi Munthali – Governance Activist
Masauko Thawe – Human Rights Activist
Steve Simsokwe Phiri – Human Rights Activist
Grecian Mbewe – Human Rights Activist
Happy Mhango – Human Rights Activist
Mada Banda – Human Rights Defender
Luke Tembo – Human Rights Defender
Thokozani Mapemba – Human Rights Defender
Moir Walita – Human Rights Defender
Dennis Msewu – Human Rights Defender
George Chiusiwa- Human Rights Defender
Alie Mwachande – Human Rights Defender
Loyce Simfukwe – Concerned Citizen
Harod Kachepatsonga – Concerned Citizen