It is being reported in media that the Malawi President has ordered that the 20 July demonstrations should be shifted to Thursday, 21 July to pave way for his public lecture slated for the 20th. I write to express my concern on this development and the reasons I think this demonstrations should go ahead.
- The President had seven years to do his lectures and he chose not to do. We gave him the mandate to lead us in 2004 and 2009 and he has done so all this time. In fact he has been addressing the nation for over four times in the past three months. He gave a state of the nation address titled ‘a promise delivered’ when parliament was opening, he made a statement on academic freedom, zero deficit budget and fuel and forex shortage, he also made a speech at the commeration of 47 years of independence in Mzuzu. He has also been speaking to us through his lieutenants almost on daily basis on MBC Tv.
- 2. Parliament called him to explain on some issues and he refused. This was another missed opportunity to speak to the Malawians. Our representatives summoned him to answer questions a few weeks ago and he turned down. Now what’s so burning that he can’t wait to hold his lecture.
- 3. Listen first, respond later! That’s the basic rule of leadership. One has to listen to the concerns of his subjects and respond to them. The demonstrations are meant to raise the concerns of Malawians to the leadership. Petitions will be delivered in all the places where demonstrations are taking place and all these petitions are addressed to the President. What our President should have done was to listen to these concerns and address them later.
- 4. First come first serve. It is very clear that the organizers of the demonstrations were the first to talk about the 20th July and then some quarters started talking about the public lecture on the same date.
- 5. Only the people who are involved in the organizations of this demonstration are the ones who are supposed to make changes of the dates. Here is a person we are not satisfied with his leadership, and he want to lead the demos as well. Is there logic in that?