The Police went out, Patricia Kaliati shouted, but reality Malawians stayed home in large numbers. The victory for the day belonged once again to Malawians. The messages were conflicting, the injunctions removed and given all at the same speed. According to MBC Television Justice Joseph Mwanyunga granted another injunction to some concerned citizens. It is not still clear who these emerging concerned citizens are.
Despite such information, Malawians today decided to stay at home, meaning the matters are now beyond Courts, Civil Society and even Government. The destiny of Malawians has been placed again as a collective decision of Malawians.
There are lessons that can be learnt from the massive stay away by most of people. Simplistic thinking is that people were afraid of July 20. No Malawians decided to stay at home for many reason.
1. The Government should get right people for its propaganda, the message is not going through and perhaps it is time to change strategy. Threats, petrol bombs or even PA systems in Nkolokosa, Kawale and Zolozolo, lies on MBC and whatever has been tried has failed. Something is not right with Government propaganda machine. The President needs experts not praise singers who woul rebuild his image. The stay away undermines the authority of Government especially after massive propaganda.
Those planning to discipline those that made Capital Hill empty should now stop entertaining the idea. The Government needs more freinds that angry Civil Servants marching to Court for cases. It will just worsen the volatile situation. Government should be seen as a parent not as a defenceless and clueless machinery.
Akweni's come back should have made her look like a mother, a concialiatory figure and not a worrior she has become. The battle against own voters and population only make the Leaders who fight own people like Muammar Gadhaffi sound very deafeated. Majestic leaders walk confidently in the line of duty and court all sectors of society. Serious dialogue should start now and where possible President Bingu wa Mutharika should take the lead personally.
2. The Civil Society should now sit down and come up with long term strategy that encourages a vigilant and accountable citizenry both to their rights and responsibilities. They have shown amazing powers that Malawians can listen to them for three occassions and it should not go into their heads. This time they need to redifine the priorities in the petition and include only those that have larger consequences on Malawians. Asking Bingu to account for his wealth is a day dreaming project which will not get any results just like asking him to remove First Lady salary. Let us find solutions to Chancellor College, drugs and other pertinent issues and include Youth Employment as one of the key areas of focus for the dialogue. President Bakili Muluzi has been adequately asked to account his wealth after he left office, I am sure we have every chance to do that after the President leaves office not tying it to the monthly vigils.
3. To our Politicians, learn something about the new generation which can shut down the whole country with a six hour notice should send any sensible politician into thinking. From Joyce Banda, John Tembo to the UDF leaders, you agendas should tally with the will of the people. Out of this fiasco, DPP might emerge veru strong it starts to listen more than let verbal canons destroy its image.
4. To the People of Malawi, you are the heroes of all time. You have humbled the mighty.
5. To the media, objectivity and not hatred should be part of our core agenda to deliver accurate and not biased information to Malawians.
Finally as we now focus on Zambian elections results, let every Malawian start to re-think of their roles in coming out of this current mess. The blame game should stop, earnest dialogue start and as I said in yester articles, opening Chancellor College today would contribute to the change in perception. Otherwise, after today, tommorrow we will still be asked to stay home!