The Three Honourable Ministers: Dr. Chilumpha, Ralph Kasambara and Atupele Muluzi
Instead of analysing the Cabinet, I have decided to skip it as it is quite a political strategy on part of President Joyce Banda than really putting people on merit that this Cabinet represents. As for me, I think discussing some three Cabinet Ministers Dr. Cassim Chilumpha, Hon. Ralph Kasambara and Hon. Atupele Muluzi is crucial today before some of them take their oath of office.
Dr. Chilumpha and Ralph Kasambara have served in Government before and particularly Kasambara his first stint as Attorney General is not well remembered as we saw more people being arrested on trivial and serious charges including Dr. Chilumpha himself.
Ralph Kasambara absolved himself to the Malawian public when after his firing, he made it a personal crusade to fight for Human Rights for the oppressed. The Kasambara I shared the stage in December at Chancellor College at the inaugural event of YADEMA, was a mature, principled and a man with a purpose. He inspired home that with time, he had become a great pillar in defence of constitutional order and Human Rights.
When the late Bingu wa Mutharika's administration arrested him, Malawians were very angry with the decision and public anger was visible. This to Ralph Kasambara should be an indication of how much he has grown to become a public figure that Malawians can trust.
The challenge for Ralph Kasambara now as Minister of Justice and Attorney General is to ensure justice, equality and human rights for all. He has personal experience on how retributive politics goes on, how he could spend hours in jail when Courts granted him bail and how politicians could literally defy a Court order.
Ralph Kasambara's journey in the Cabinet could make or unmake his future politics and how Malawians will remember him as the First Minister of Justice, to stand for justice and equality for all.
Then there is Dr. Cassim Chilumpha, the man whose politics especially in 2009 General elections shocked many, is someone you can write off at your own peril. He likes writing and reading, perhaps there is no other Malawian who has read almost everything like Dr. Chilumpha. He is a man of great faith also and I know how he treats everybody, especially Sheikhs even those that would seem to be in the lower class with respect and admiration.
Dr. Chilumpha has had two political battles that I have happened to cover. He was arrested in the K187 million Education scam, and despite a bad start between him and me, later his men including Ali and Kadango became my protectors at Court when I covered the case. Years later I reflected the political fight that could have finished politically, but he went through it unscathed and never showed any bitterness.
Dr. Chilumpha stood with Malawians during the third term debate that it came as a shock when he was appointed running mate to the late Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika. But he is a fighter.
His next battle came as a Vice President when he was charged with Treason. Again despite all what happened, I have seen Dr. Chilumpha in Parliament speak strongly against the abuse of Former Justice Minister and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Henry Phoya when he was against being heckled by then his own DPP benches.
Dr. Cassim Chilumpha stood in the defence of Ralph Kasambara again in Parliament after his arrest and defiance of Court order by Government. It was a remarkable act of a gentleman, who can easily put aside all the personal humiliation others inflict on him and rise to defend justice and the truth when required.
This journey into Cabinet I believe will strengthen Dr. Chilumpha's stance on justice and equality for all. Malawians will rely on your fighting spirit that the administration should not for once turn on its own citizens especially those offering contradicting views to it. He has a challenge to maintain and fight our democracy as he has done before in the recent past.
Then we have the Honourable Atupele Muluzi, a man who has risen to inspire hope among the young generation. I have travelled with him wide and far, I understand his mission and energy and many are asking if accepting this Cabinet post is killing his agenda for change.
Atupele, just like Ralph Kasambara they represent a new generation of change. The change that will be complete when we have a generation shift of power. A journey we will have come to complete when either people like Atupele, Kasambara, Wapona Kita, Sosten Gwengwe, Chivunde, Jennifer Chilunga, Aleken Menyani, Titua Malipa or even myself become President's, Vice, Speakers or other positions of influence and decide the destiny of our country.
But Atupele is in Cabinet now, a very important decision he has made and this decision could make or unmake his political future.
Atupele was the last high profile arrest to be made by the Late Bingus administration. He knows how the political machinery can interfere in the basic human rights of an individual.
Again, just like Kasambara and Dr. Chilumpha, he has a personal obligation to ensure that all Malawians enjoy their God given human rights without state interference and what happened to them, should not happen to others.
I place these three esteemed Gentlemen as custodians and guarantees of Human Rights, our Constitution and Freedoms under President Joyce Banda, that no more July 20 should ever happen when they are in Cabinet, no more Robert Chasowa puzzles, no more threats and intimidations of the media, No more attacks, arrests and arsons on people holding a different view than yours or your administration.
The three have personal experience on the trauma, humiliation and pain one undergoes when retributive politics replaces Justice.
Our democracy will depend how the three perform not as Cabinet Ministers, but as Human Rights defenders.
Next update: How the Peoples Party need to move forward!