“Count the times we’ve been let down
And left us in despair
And woe betide that evil man
Who giveth not a care”– Steel Pulse
Contrary to Chapter VIII Section 98 (1) which states that “there shall be the office of Attorney General, who shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government”; the current Attorney General, Kalekeni Kaphale has been wasting public resources, Courts’ and everyone’s time suing and holding meetings with the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HDRC) ostensibly to agree on how to go about peaceful demonstrations.
The AG knows exactly why peaceful demonstrations, possible under former president Joyce Banda’s term, cannot happen under the disputed leadership of Prof Peter Mutharika.
For a start, Kaphale’s job description is not convening meetings with HDRC or other free spirited minds seeking to exercise their constitutional rights. Nope.
His job description as the above is serving as “the principal legal adviser to the Government”; a job he is dismally failing in going by his powerlessness vis-à-vis the violence meted out by DPP Cadets.
The more observant of you may have noticed that I have not joined the bandwagon of saying people “suspected” to be DPP Cadets everyone seems to be obsessed with.
We all know the truth.
This truth is that the only people in Malawi who blatantly, wantonly and willy-nilly break the law with impunity in full view of Malawi Police De-Services are DPP Cadets. For the rest of us, this risky behaviour carries the warning: Please, Do Not Try This at Home.
Therefore, let’s learn to hit the nail on the head.
I will paraphrase. All non-DPP cadets are not only expected to comply with the law to the letter; but must also comply with all sorts of dubious non-existent laws. An example is the AG’s ridiculous expectation that we should demonstrate only when he says: “On your marks, get set, GO!”
This is not only nonsensical in the current dispensation which we did not get on a silver platter; it’s an insult to all who suffered so that we can walk our country as a free people.
Moving on, although you are aware of what transpired this past week, I will recap for the record:
• Chaos erupted during the anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations in Blantyre Wednesday.
• HRDC leaders had barely launched the march from Kamuzu Stadium upper ground when they were ambushed outside the Chichiri Trade Fair Ground by marauding DPP cadets.
• The sick cadets took it upon themselves to stop the peaceful demonstration. Why? They are more Malawian than the rest of Malawians.
Among other sad consequences;
• We lost a boy after police officers invaded and fired teargas canisters within the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) compound.
• A pregnant woman passed out suffocated by teargas.
• The same DPP Cadets, not “suspected” but DPP cadets for sure, seriously wounded HRDC Central Region Chairperson Billy Mayaya whose blood they have been after for a while now.
The background is that HRDC wanted to petition the 21st Annual General Conference of the Electoral Commissions Forum for Sadc Countries (ECF-Sadc) to intervene on the political impasse in the country.
Ironically, while HRDC was unable to petition to the conference; the DPP horde marched into Blantyre City without any prior permission as is required of us, the lesser Malawians.
I have been waiting in vain to hear that AG Kaphale, the vanquisher of demonstrations, has summoned the Police or DPP cadets to explain this “illegality”; it won’t happen.
Even the AG it would appear, holds the DPP Cadets in awe. DPP cadets can march willy-nilly just as they can break any law as they wish.
Blues’ Orators, help me here:
1) Isn’t the AG mandated by the Constitution to serve as “principal legal adviser to the Government”?
2) Isn’t the Executive side of government, i.e. the AG’s abode, headed by Prof Peter Mutharika who is the political “father” – if I can put it that way – of DPP Cadets?
3) Now: shouldn’t AG Kaphale’s job be advising or trying to contain or curtail the DPP Cadets’ bloodthirst and not interfering with a citizenry desirous of exercising their hard earned democratic rights?
His silence in the light of DPP Cadets behaviour is why some rightly suspect that the violence associated with demonstrations is deliberately orchestrated by some quarters to establish grounds for impinging on our rights.
If the Police was ready and able to harass the irate protestors, irate among other things because the same Police was happily watching DPP Cadets clobbering them; what stopped the Police from keeping the peace between the Demonstrators and the confrontational DPP cadets?
Isn’t it because:
1) It is Standard Operating Procedure to make any demonstration turn ugly;
2) So that demonstrations and protests earn a bad name and hence be frustrated;
3) So as to spare Justice Jane Ansah from embarrassment amongst her peers who mostly hold and deliver credible elections?
This raises several fundamental questions including:
• Is Jane Ansah’s continued tenure at MEC worth the life of the five-year-old we have unnecessarily lost?
• Is Jane Ansah’s continued tenure as MEC Chairperson worth the life of late Justin Phiri – one of the protesters roughed up by Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers during the anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations in Karonga last week – who died in police on Tuesday night custody in transit from Mzuzu Central Hospital from Mzuzu Prison where he was remanded?
• Is Justin’s mother, Getrude Tembo less deserving of a living son than other mothers? Why?
• Is Billy Mayaya’s blood so worthless that DPP Cadets can shed it in full sight of the Police?
Since I started off by quoting Steel Pulse’s anthemic Babylon makes the rules, I will sign off on the same note.
“My people are in a mess
But nobody wants to know
Cause when you’re down and out and oppressed
You’ve got to fight your battles from the lowest of the low” – Steel Pulse
Sadly, this mess is what we have degenerated to.
However, amidst the gloom and despair, the fact is that there is no oppressor who wins against people fighting from the lowest of the low.
When it is “Babylon” making the rules, time and providence find ways to fix things.