United in Diversity, Malawi Road to May 20

“United we stand, divided we fall” so it is said.

United, We Stand; Divided, We Fall | | Love & Fidelity NetworkLove ... When I was in primary school, our civics (now part of social studies) teacher taught us that when the river is overflowing, the best way to cross is to go as a group while holding hands so as to be strong and heavy to forefend drowning. She said that it is easy for one to be swept by rain water because he/she is buoyant and weak. This confirms the saying which goes, “united we stand and divided we fall”. It is a common sense that as the gap between now and May 20 is closing, tensions may be stacking for no one wishes to lose election and when it happens, it takes courage and patriotism to concede defeat. Many countries are in war today not because citizens wished to be in such situation but because of self-centred people who have a small heart to comprehend the stress which comes with election failure. It takes a big heart to accept defeat and move ahead. I beg all Malawians to obviate violence by all means as we head towards election for violence is the enemy of development.

Though I may not be a PP fan, allow me to thank Joyce Banda at least for some things she has done well to uphold peace in the country. I believe positive criticism should begin with appreciating good things one has done. So far, there are no political prisoners as it was with MCP, UDF and DPP. At least no one has been killed as a result of different political ideologies or criticisms as we have seen in the past. She has been tolerant even to the point of being called stupid and mandasi seller by her political rivals. Opposition parties are conducting rallies freely without police interruption as we witnessed in the past. Human rights organisations are writing without fear of reprimand. However, these do not rule out that amayi has failed in many other areas which you don’t need to be reminded.

We should thank God that political divisions do not interfere with our social gathering otherwise; political differences would have begat bloodshed. I beg that political differences be not a divide but rather fortify our democracy and creativity, influenced by positive competition among political party leaders. We do not need to have a single party in order to be one people. Regional differences should not divide us but rather bring constructive diversity in our mother land. Let our tribal differences be spices for socio-cultural development which leads to economic empowerment. Let one tribe learn from another. Different political party ideologies should aim at bringing food on the table for Malawians not negative criticisms and bring him/her down mentality. Let opposition parties support government ideas and projects for it forms the government of the day whether one likes or not, and let them suggest ideas when things go wrong, not just opposing. It is ill-fated to report govern failures to international community as if they will solve our problems. When aid is withdrawn by international community, all Malawians in one way or another do suffer.

Appreciating positive criticism is also a step towards united nation because it helps the leader reflect on her/his leadership style while developing more leadership skills. Fair voter registration promotes fair and non-violent elections unfortunately ours has been marked with suspicious activities including bloating the said registered voters. Kenya with its 42 million people managed to register about 14 million people, how can Malawi with about 15 million people claim to have about 7 million registered voters. Something is wrong somewhere. There is no way a country can register about a half of its population. We know that people who are less than 18 years are more than other ages. In addition, there are many people who practice voter apathy. This development is not healthy for peace, unfortunately many stakeholders are mum on this, and I hope they will not bubble with violence after losing elections. Remember, we are not in heaven that we can’t experience what Kenya, Egypt, Mali, Rwanda and others experienced as a result of unfair election.

I also advise that we work as Malawi and not as a tribe, party or region. Remember, yesterday you were MCP today you are PP tomorrow, UDF, DPP and the like. Your grandfather was MCP, your father was UDF and you’re DPP or PP tomorrow your son/daughter will be of a particular party. It is also possible that in your family, people are spread in all these parties. To water down regionalism, you find that last year you were staying in the north, today in the central and tomorrow in the south because you are a Malawian. As far as we are Malawians, we are not claustrophobic to a particular party or region. We will not develop Malawi if we brood in politics other than development. Politics should be the beginning to an end, thus, good politics leads to development because people will know when to politick and when to concentrate on development. Underdevelopment is not attributed to an individual such as Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika and Joyce Banda. All of us share the incrimination. As individuals, they tried their best but now let’s be trusty citizens who bring real checks and balances for development of our country.

I would like to surprise you that we are all in one way or another related to each other. If you don’t support one party you find you belong to the same family, if not the same family then religion, if not religion then same denomination, if not same denomination then same football or netball team, if not football team then same tribe, if not same tribe, you find you married to someone of a different tribe or region like me who may also be of different political base or may be of different religion, if not that, may be you belong to the same company, if not the same company then same region, if not same region then same gender, if not same gender then same profession, if not same profession then same school. If not all these and others, at least we are all Malawians and created in the image of God, so let’s maintain peace before, during and after election. With or without elections, we shall remain Malawians, so maintain peace and unity for a better Malawi. Where possible, let us agree to disagree but peacefully. Malawians are people of peace but it is possible to compromise it if we are not careful.

After all elections are done and gone, we shall reflect and meditate to remind us that we are all Malawians so no need for cold or hot war. After all, while ordinary party supporters have fought, injured and killed each other, political elites eat together, form coalitions to join forces with those they insulted. They shake hands, hug, and laugh and get rich, when after fighting, you and I continue in abject poverty. Politicians say that in politics, there is no permanent enemy or friend. Remember that the old man declares war, but it is the young man who goes into the jungle. Dumping one party for the one you affronted shows that we are one and we revolve at the same spot; Malawi and Malawians. The Bible says, “if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). I beg that we maintain peace and unity.

It is said, “If you want to be fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go with others.”

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