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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Not another Animal Farm!


There is no other book that classifies unequal society more pronounced that George Owells Animal Farm. I first read it in Zambia as it was banned in Malawi as we grew up.
President Joyce Banda, has spoken of an equal, just and fair society she dreams Malawi to become.
But this week, that dream has come under question.
This is in no way justification of what is being alleged that Blantyre Newspaper Limited Journalist Clement Chinoko falsfied a story. He is innocent until proven guilty and I will go by that principle and avoid commenting on the details of the case.
Malawi Police Service through its Chileka station arrested Chinoko on Saturday and he was only brought to Court only 96 hours later against the constitutional provision of 48 hours.
The charges are misdemenour and he could have been granted bail.
Some of online sites allege the story was a creation of anti-Government elements. I could agree to that, but the reaction by the Police damages the President and her Government more than what these mis-fits wanted to cause.
The biggest challenge is that the MRA scandal has yet to be concluded and the biggest problem Malawians have had is that "THEY WERE LIED TO BY THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND MRA!"
There have been loud calls for the President to fire the Finance Minister Ken Lipenga. He is still in office, because Her Excellency decided to institute a Commission of Inquiry comprised of the Cabinet.
The Cabinet Committee was given 7 days and Malawians are still counting, today is the 11th day with no results of the results.
Take the case of Chinoko, he is alleged to have lied to Malawians too about those two girls, he has just spent 96 hours in Police custody on charges of causing breach of peace.
If lying has become a criminal offence, then justice has been applied selectively.
Lying by a public officer is a criminal offence in our statutes, while for a civilian we tend to be sued by the injured party.
The question now is, are we still talking of an equal Malawi or is Justice now being applied selectively depending on ones status.
The other worrying trend is the defense some people want to given when debating these issues. Let us debate to build and correct mistakes, democracy allows anybody even with contrary views to be heard.
The President, the Cabinet and all public officers works, words and decisions are subject to public scrutiny. Do not shield them to public opinion or scrutiny least they end the same way the Democratic Progressive Party has ended.
The change Malawians dreamed of can only be realised if we tell our Leaders the truth, if they apply the law equally and if they do not subject us into intimidation and harrassment which instills fear.
The first cardinal test of any free society is how we allow people to speak and air their views, how free the press is really in deed and practice and how society is really seen as a driver of change.
If we continue this path of rushing to arrest people because we have people behind them we target, we will be creating a new animal farm.
The farm we thought will never come again, where a few were above the law.
Where standards of judgement depended on ones status in society.
Where the truth could be twisted.
Where a Minister could not be fired for lying in Parliament while a Journalist could be arrested for the same offence.
A just, fair and equal Malawi is still possible! Lets start debating real issues!

1 comment:

Fryson Chodzi said...

Few Things do not add up with his story. First, why have the girsl sued Dairy Times and not even the photographer who purpotedly took the pictures for the movie? Was he ten thousand the girsl recived cost for acting the scene or playing the scene? What movies did the girl sign up to act?
I smell a rat in the whole case and my beleif is that these girsl knew all along what role they were playing. I also beleive that Chinoko is a victim of calculated move by being fade with wrong information. I also beleive that these girls have more infomation to give than they are letting out. Police quize these girls too