By Kelvin Sulugwe
By now, I am confident that you have heard the good news from Malawi. I will just emphasize and confirm that it’s true: We, the people of Malawi, now have a new leader, and his name is Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.
Our journey has not been easy. We fought tirelessly and with resilience to get to where we are. Kicking the outgoing president, Peter Mutharika and his cronies, was not an easy thing.
When we went to the polls last year on May 21, the election was marred by so many irregularities. Our fearless opposition leaders then led by the President elect and Vice President Saulos Chilima challenged what the African Union, SADC and even European observers described as a “free and fair election”.
These untruthful reports weighed heavily on us since they hugely misrepresented and undermined the tragedy that the 2019 presidential election was. That is when we realized that perhaps foreign observer missions are useless. They are tourists who fill our hotels, drink coffee, sleep with our women, drink Malawi Gin, eat our Chambo (Tilapia) or go sightseeing to our beautiful lake, then pull out report templates from their computers, where they substitute Senegal or whatever country’s name for Malawi, leaving the rest of the report’s wording intact.
We are grateful to our very independent military and the judiciary. Throughout the demonstrations that took Malawians months of protests in streets, the military actively provided security cover that deterred the police force from unleashing hell on us. The police was captured by the ruling party and were doing everything in the interest of the party than the rule of law.
And after months of hearing the case and examining evidence brought before the constitutional court, a panel of five Judges unanimously nullified the elections and ordered a fresh one to take place within 150 days, and that is what we achieved on June 23, 2020.
The process was not an easy one. We were fighting not on plain ground, but against certified crooks and a mafia network, which had grabbed Malawi by the balls.
The people who took to the streets to demand justice were led by our vibrant civil society organization that champions human rights issues and good governance. The leaders of this organization remained fortified in the cause despite surviving attempts on their lives and property. They chose to stand with the people for the sake of their liberation and it has finally paid off. The world watched.
We, as a nation, do not claim an entitlement of world intervention, but we know that the global village has a vested interest in a democracy that also resides in our nation. Whilst we do our part to take care of the democracy, we believe the rest of the world had a duty too towards it. Lest we forget, they are the ones who forced democracy on us.
Today, our terrain is full of joy and satisfaction as people are standing glad and proud that they finally kicked out the despotic regime which tried to force itself on us through a rigging scheme. Now we have set up, in Malawi, a government of the people led by President elect Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima. We now invite you back to see how we will progress.
I will continue to write to you of our progress.
With love, from Malawi
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