DPP in need of redemption

After abusing Malawians for close to three years, DPP is definitely an organisation in need of salvation, deliverance and repair in the eyes of voters. After taking Malawi off track with its blatant mismanagement of the economy, human rights as well as foreign relations, I say DPP is greatly in need of redemption.

Not that this is lost to the DPP present hierarchy and that is why we have seen Peter Mutharika of late distributing apologies as if they were candies to voters. He started in Lilongwe where he said that senseless mea culpa to journalists and then proceeded to do the same in Mzuzu by apologising to Malawians for the slaughter of 20 hapless Malawians who were gunned down by DPP’s police on July 20 last year when their only crime was protesting the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s misrule.

Well, I made my views known last week about the apology to journalists and I do not intend to repeat it. As for the July 20 deaths, Peter Mutharika should know his apology will only be accepted on one condition and that is Malawians knowing who pulled the trigger and who gave the order to police for those young men who lay in mortuaries throughout the country to pay the ultimate price.

But I don’t intend to make Peter Mutharika’s apologies the subject for My Diary this week because I dealt with the matter last week. Rather, the issue today is DPP’s attempt at self redemption in the eyes of Malawians and my point is that the party is choosing wrong fights to do this effectively.

Take for instanceDPP secretary general Wakuda Kamanga’s advice to government this week to avoid taking a careless approach on minority rights issues, saying whatever steps are taken on the matter should embrace the position of the majority of Malawians.

Kamanga’s position comes against a background of musician Sir Elton John, who openly confesses to be gay and has a partner he calls husband, applauding Malawi for taking strides to embrace people living with HIV and Aids and minority groups, including homosexuals.

Said the press release that Kamanga signed: “The DPP would like to get confirmation about the basis for such applause. The nation and the people of Malawi have the right to know if the current administration is indeed taking steps and making decisions that majority of Malawians are not aware of.”

To me, this is an example of a party grappling in the dark and wilderness as it attempts to find its feet again.

There is no denying that as a nation we need a national conversation on homosexuality and other related minority issues.

I also know that the matter was given prominence when President Joyce Banda in her State of the Nation Address in May said her administration’s intended to repeal all bad laws, including provisions on indecent practices and unnatural acts that criminalise same sex relationships in this country.

The uproar this caused among some opposition parties as well as the faith community was expected. After all, DPP already poisoned without shame the minds of Malawians that some donors linked their aid to the legalisation of homosexuality in Malawi when the party knew pretty well that the main issues in contention were its economic mismanagement as well as governance and human rights abuses which the party championed with reckless and wild abandon.

But let us face facts. Homosexuality is not a bread and butter issue for many Malawians for DPP to think it can exploit for its redemption cause. All the DPP is doing is taking advantage of the fact that we are generally a conservative society and most of the rural folks would never imagine in their wildest dreams that a man can want another man and that a woman would also desire a fellow woman.

This is merely to gain political mileage for self redemption but it is a pure waste of time. DPP messed big time in this country. They made our lives hell with maladministration. In fact, I shudder to imagine where this country would have been if there were no change of leadership in April necessitated by the death of Bingu. Those that I talk to everyday agree with me that by now we could have been gnashing teeth in hell but on earth.

The economy had gone crazy, our neighbours and friends were shunning us, human abuses were rampant with critics being victimised by DPP cadets and I can go on and on.

If the DPP wants Malawians voters to take another look at it, these are the things that must be addressed and not engaging in petty fights with the governing PP over homosexuality by issuing empty press releases that say nothing.

Homosexuality is not a bread and butter issue and it cannot be used to decide the 2014 election if that is what the DPP is gunning for. What the DPP needs to do is talk about issues that really matter to Malawians.

They are ably talking about insecurity brought about by PP government insistence on the human rights of criminals.

To me, this one issue that the DPP should be championing if it wants to make a difference. The debate is how much human rights should be accorded to criminals and how that impacts on the safety and security of all.

Otherwise harping on mundane things would not help DPP to regroup, a party that Bingu left in tatters.

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