NATIONAL ADDRESS BY RIGHT HONORABLE DR. LAZARUS CHAKWERA, PRESIDENT OF MALAWI CONGRESS PARTY. SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 2019
Yesterday’s events will go down in history as a tale of two houses, the August House, where laws are made, and the Court House, where laws are interpreted.
In the morning, at the August House, Members of Parliament for Malawi Congress Party took the unprecedented move of refusing to be addressed by Mr. Mutharika. They did this to express the will of most Malawians who took to the streets in protest the day before to express their rejection of Mr. Mutharika’s presumption to be president despite overwhelming evidence that he occupies that office through fraud. Members of Parliament represent the people, and so it is proper that the people’s representatives stood with their constituents in this way.
What is improper are some of the things Mr. Mutharika claimed in his remarks. First, he alleged that those of us who oppose his usurpation of power have been intimidating the judiciary and threatening justice. If Mr. Mutharika does not publicly produce evidence of this within 24 hours, then Malawians will know that this is just another one of his tippex lies. Secondly, he alleged that there are two political leaders in the country who conspired to bomb Kamuzu Stadium on the day he was sworn in. Again, if Mr. Mutharika does not publicly produce evidence of this within 24 hours, then Malawians will know that this is just another one of his tipex lies. Thirdly, he alleged that the two political leaders also tried to recruit mercenaries from Al-Shabaab and the Congo to create anarchy in the country. But if Mr. Mutharika does not publicly produce this evidence within 24 hours, then Malawians will know that this is just another one of his tippex lies. Whatever the case, his remarks only show how unfit he is for the presidency and how detached he is from reality. As a case in point, he even claimed, with no sense of irony, that if citizens continue to protest, they will one day find themselves being ruled by evil, clearly showing that it has not once occurred to him that everyday he occupies the presidency illegally is that day.
Thankfully, his days of hiding from the truth are numbered, because last evening, there was a significant development from the Court House, where the Constitutional Court ruled that our petition will proceed to trial, thus throwing out objections from Mr. Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission. This means that over the next few weeks, the Courts will consider the evidence of rigging we have compiled and submitted. This decision by the Constitutional Court is a victory for Malawians, a victory for truth, a victory for democracy, and a victory for justice.
I, therefore, call on all Malawians to continue praying for the case, that justice will be done. Those of you who plan to join me in continuing to march for justice until the Court reaches a verdict should be prepared to do so in a peaceful and orderly manner. In this regard, I wish to commend all of you Malawians who marched peacefully yesterday and the day before, and I count it an honor to have been with you during these marches. It is my belief that all our marches going forward will be conducted in an equally civil manner. Of course, I am aware that on Thursday, there were some incidents of vandalism and rioting, including attacks on a few chiefs and their homes. This was done by a few misguided individuals who do not represent our cause of peace and justice in spirit or indeed. The same criminal elements also took advantage of our peaceful march to court yesterday to damage property, attack the judges’ vehicles, and commit acts of looting. I condemn all such destructive acts and intentions in the strongest terms, and I support any investigations by law enforcement agencies to bring them to justice. In my condemnation of criminal elements, I include the lawless elements that have infiltrated the Police Service, such as the officers who showed up at the court yesterday and started firing teargas on a crowd that had gathered there peacefully, causing them to react in self-defense. These are the mercenaries we all need to be concerned with and vigilant against in the midst of exercising our right to peaceful protests, for they are a disgrace to the nation and a blemish to the thousands of men and women who serve in uniform with honor and integrity. I, therefore, wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the Malawi Defense Force for deploying its finest soldiers to come to the court premises and put an end to the police’s excessive use of force, which restored the peace and security necessary for the court session to proceed.
Now that the case is proceeding to trial, where the court will consider the evidence we have submitted and the case we will be making, I call on all Malawians to respect the proceedings of the court and accept its findings. I wish to remind all Malawians that the reason we turned to the Constitutional Court is because unlike the leadership of the Malawi Electoral Commission, which has shipwrecked its reputation in the swamp of partisanship and fraud, the Judiciary remains impartial and an enduring fortress of justice. And so at this point, whatever the Constitutional Court decides will be the basis on which all of us as a nation will be able to move forward into a common and bright future. So I appeal to all of you to avoid creating any tumult or noise around the court’s premises, because doing so defeats the just ends for which our petition to the court is a means. I therefore wish to give both the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court this guarantee, that so long as I am President of Malawi Congress Party, no member or supporter of the party will make noise or cause trouble around any court premises where the case is being heard. This is because ours is not just a party marching for justice, but a party marching in peace. It is in times like this that I want all Malawians to see that MCP’s approach to national matters is truly marked by Servant Leadership, Uniting Malawi, Prospering Together, Ending Corruption, and Rule of Law.
God bless you all and God bless Malawi.
Posted by MCP National Youth League on Saturday, June 22, 2019
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