Monday, September 5, 2011

are the negotiations benefiting the average Malawian??


I have been following the negotiations between the civil society and the Malawi government with keen interest. As someone who truly believed in the need to make our demands known to the government through the 20 july demonstrations, i hoped that the dialogue way will help us. In fact i was happy that the civil society cancelled the august 17 vigil paving way for the UN led dialogue. If what we are reading in the papers and listening on the radios is to go by, the whole dialogue issue has lost track. It makes me wonder if the whole thing is for the interest of us, Malawians.

divisions in the civil society

The leaders of the civil society are taking for granted the support we gave them on 20 july and they now think that they have the mandate to speak on behalf of all Malawians. Much as we support most of the points they are raising in their petitions, there still need to consult the people on the ground on what they need to speak on the dialogue table. We now hear of divisions within the civil society groupings. These cannot be avoided because they have different agendas and opinions on various issues affecting Malawians. The fact that they came together on 20 july does not mean that they are one group and in fact they were operating using their different names. For example, Malawi Congress of Trade Unions, HRCC, Congoma and CEDEP are some of the groups that took part in those demonstrations.

One thing that we need to accept is the fact that most Malawians are keen to see a change in the administration of this country. The civil society are just one of those groups who are demanding for a change in this administration. As a grouping which is well placed in advocating for change, the civil society were better placed to mobilise people to demonstrate. But they remain different as they will always be. So we should not read alot from the fact that a section of the civil society has decided to revive the Forum for the Defence of Democracy which was very active during the time of fighting Muluzi's third term bid.

Malawi for Malawians

Some leaders think they are more Malawian than some of us. The fact that we chose them to represent us in various capacities does not make them superior. They might be rich, famous or well educated but they are just as Malawian as the rest of us. This country belongs to all of us. Am saying this because of some leaders who are lashing out at fellow Malawians simply because they have criticised their ideas. every Malawian has an opinion on an issue be it human rights, governance or any other issue. It is not possible for all the 14 million plus Malawians to agree on one thing. A good leader is supposed to respect other peoples views and opinions and make conclusions based on these opinions.

In a democracy, the fact that a ruling party is given a majority does not guarantee that we will be in agreement with every decision they will make. This is where some quarters of the ruling party are getting it wrong. It is a fact that Malawi is going through problems and it is good that all Malawians come together and find a solution to the problems. It is very unfair to ignore the views of us the common people who voted for you. We put you in power to make our lives better and with the same powers we voted you into power, we can take you out.

we need respect

The fact that we have different opinions with the head of state does not make us stupid or drunkards. It is very unfair to be insulted by the person who i voted into power simply because i cant agree with him on some issues. Malawians are not fools and will never be fools. They know what they need in life and they will fight for it if there is need to fight. To be called names in public rallies will not bring food on ones table and it will not bring water in the rural areas.

We all know what is needed in villages and towns so we dont need to be lectured whether fuel affects the villagers or not. Our leaders need to have our needs at heart and not their own needs at heart.

genuine dialogue

I believe that the majority of Malawians are in need of a genuine way of negotiations and not the lip service we are getting now. Its time to get serious and make our country a better place to live. I, like many other Malawians have no ther country to be proud of, thats why we are doing everything possible to make this country better for our own good and for the good of the coming generations. God bless Malawi