Vice President who is also UTM Party President, Saulos Chilima says President Peter Mutharika and his cronies will try all means to remain in power. Chilima made the remarks today when he was addressing the media in Malawi’s capital , Lilongwe.
“My fellow Malawians, the latter are enemies of the nation. They are enemies of the people of Malawi. And today, in this country, Prof. Peter Mutharika and his henchmen who intend to remain in power by all means necessary are such enemies of the people of Malawi” Chilima says.
READ THE VICE PRESIDENT FULL SPEECH BELOW;
It is this year 105 years since that young American-educated pastor, Rev. John Chilembwe, led his people, tired and weary under the yoke of racism and forced labour, to an ill-fated rebellion against the white settlors.
It is, indeed, 61 years this year since Sir Robert Armitage declared a State of Emergency aimed at suppressing popular dissent among the people of Nyasaland against the ‘stupid’ Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, a project aimed atentrenching white supremacy that failed spectacularly due to the power of a defenceless people.
It is 56 years since we attained our independence and 54 years when we became a Republic. Indeed, for 54 years we, the people of Malawi, varied in our beliefs, different in our colour, creed and tribe, decided that we would henceforth share common allegiance to one flag and build one nation-state which we have all called ‘home’. It is, my fellow Malawians, 27 years since, tired of one-party state and the suppression of human rights, we chose democracy and pluralism. With that single vote on 14th June, 1993, we condemned to the dustbins of history the rule by decree and autocracy; with that vote, we all decided that no man or woman shall be discriminated against on account for his or her political choices or for the tribe to which they belong.
Such, my fellow Malawians, is the rich history of protest against injustice bequeathed to us by our forebearers. So today, we stand on the broad shoulders of these gallant sons and daughters of the Motherland. And as we stand here today, we refuse to be held back in our quest for a better Malawi by those among us that still want to keep our dreams chuckled and our mouths muzzled.
My fellow Malawians, for the past 27 years, we have had many false starts. We have had moments that we all felt we had found the missing formula towards unlocking the restive great potential that is abound.
Unfortunately, when we have taken one step forward, we have immediately taken two steps backwards.
When we have taken three steps forward, we have almost immediately taken five steps backwards. Indeed, moments that have made us believe in the redemptive power of our shared aspirations have been followed by dark clouds of uncertainty over the whole democratic project. Epochal events of bravery by those manning the state institutions charged with the defence of our democracy have been followed by destructive and selfish actions of yet another set of similarly placed men and women who do not share the common cause for a better Malawi but only have themselves, their families and cronies to look after.
My fellow Malawians, the latter are enemies of the nation. They are enemies of the people of Malawi. And today, in this country, Prof. Peter Mutharika and his henchmen who intend to remain in power by all means necessary are such enemies of the people of Malawi.
Many Malawians have shown bravery in facing the incessant onslaught on this nation’s democracy unleashed by Prof Mutharika and his cronies. When Malawians were shown the barrel of the gun by security forces sent by Prof Mutharika, they never relented but protested in their millions on our streets seeking electoral justice.
Even an attempt to bribe the Judges in the Constitutional Court, the Honourable Justices refused to sell these nation’s future and sent these minions back with their bags of ill-gotten money. When parliamentarians were promised millions to scuttle the electoral reform bills and also to give a clean bill of performance to the incompetent Electoral Commissioners, they too refused to mortgage their children’s future to the evil forces of darkness.
Having failed in all those attempts to sabotage change and knowing that there is no way this election will be abandoned, Prof Mutharika and the DPP have now unleashed a new wave of violence and tribal rhetoric aimed at dividing Malawians and scaring those that dare challenge his evil plan of turning this country to an estate co-owned by two families.
In the past few days, Prof Mutharika’s thugs attacked the home of Mai Shaheeda Hussein, a strong and pious Muslim lady who was attacked in the Holy Month of Ramadan while steadfastly observing the dictates of the religion she is devoted and loyal to. She is a powerless and defenceless woman who wronged no one. Her only crime was belonging to UTM.
For that, DPP thugs believe is enough reason to terrorise and traumatize her. Such is the cowardice of those that sit in positions of power in this country – attacking women!
This was followed with further mayhem unleashed on UTM supporters who provoked no one in Mulanje. Again, their only crime was supporting UTM.
Further, around those areas, the messaging of Prof Mutharika and the DPP has been very clear and categorical: if you belong to this tribe, your party is DPP. If you come from this area, vote DPP.
In short, Prof Mutharika and the DPP have no intention of preaching non-tribalism or national unity. Their evil agenda is tribal hegemony. Their ideology is rooted in violence and intimidation. There is no longer any pretence as to what they stand for. He and his party have decided to wage a war on the people of this nation. They intend to divide this country on tribe and region. Malawians, we must all refuse to be part of this nonsense. We must push back against this evil plan.
My fellow Malawians, this is the fight of our generation. Just like our fore bearers fought against the racist white settlors and the colonialists, we must embrace this fight and fight back. And that we shall do. There will be no relenting. If Prof Mutharika and the thugs he commands think that we shall let him go about his evil designs without a fight back, he must think again. He is in for a surprise! Malawians are one people and you, sir, shall not divide them.
Compatriots, let me hasten to add though: we shall not fight fire with fire. As the young black preacher who led the civil rights movement in America said, “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”
My fellow Malawians, the forthcoming presidential elections offer us an incomparable opportunity to define the course our great nation.
Once again, by the power of your vote you, in concert with other well-meaning compatriots, can determine whether the country continues to retrogress or chart a new way towards prosperity through an open and transparent government focused on inclusive development. To do so, we must unite behind those ideals that can propel our nation forward and not backward. One of these ideals is national unity.
Compatriots, there are some among us, who like to stand by and watch things unfold and they say, ‘I don’t like politics. I’m not a politician.
Let them fight. I shall concentrate on feeding my family.’ I do not think that this is a helpful approach to weighty matters of state governance. By not contributing and rendering your hand to this fight, you are inadvertently complicit in the perpetration of injustice against powerless and defenceless Malawians.
After the devastation of World War II, a certain German pastor said:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
The hard lessons the pastor was teaching us in those emotional words is that we must all be our brother’s and sister’s keeper. An injustice to one of us is an injustice to all of us. We must fight back with all our might to correct these injustices. That is the message we shall be taking to Prof Mutharika and the former President he is in cohorts with.
My fellow Malawians, the DPP/UDF alliance is an alliance rooted in hatred. It is an alliance rooted in tribalism and regionalism. It is an alliance dreamt by the former President who simply cannot let go. He profits from our stagnation.
That dream’s embers are fanned by the professor whose 40 years in one of the most progres- sive democracies, the USA, were a sure waste. I say so because you cannot stay in that liberal democracy for four decades and come back to Malawi and still submit to the belief that only your tribesmen are deserving your trust and assistance.
You cannot read law at a top law school and teach law at a respected university in America and come back to Malawi and unleash violence and hatred on your fellow countrymen. That is simply tragic.
We must not let this nation degenerate into chaos. Yesterday, they destroyed MEC’s equipment, tomorrow they will destroy your houses.
Yesterday, they hacked UTM supporters and monitors in Mulanje, tomorrow they will hack anyone who does not speak their language. Yesterday they torched a UTM car, tomorrow they will torch any car bearing the registration number of a district they do not like. This is how civil wars and genocide begin: lack of tolerance and use of violence to settle political scores plus a dosage of leadership foolishness and arrogance.
My fellow Malawians, we share a common destiny and our paths to a brighter tomorrow are inextricably interlinked. As I have said before, there is no Chewa suffering or Lhomwe poverty.
There is no Tumbuka hunger or Ngoni pain. There is no Sena indigence or Yao destitution. Malawians of all tribes are suffering together in this country. They are collectively suffering because of poor and corrupt leadership. This suffering can only end if we can all join hands and shout in unison, ‘enough is enough.’
Compatriots, we must always remind ourselves that, despite belonging to different tribes, Malawians are one people paying allegiance to the same flag. We must embrace our diversity and celebrate the plurality of our cultural practices. We are a garden full of flowers of different colours.
Our beauty is in our diversity. Our diversity must be a source of strength and not weakness.
We must also remind ourselves that this unity and peace that we enjoy must not be taken for granted.
No matter our political affiliation, we must firmly reject attempts by some political leaders or party supporters to consolidate their support by stocking societal tensions or tribal divisions. This is simply irresponsi- ble and dangerous and must be condemned in the strongest terms.
My fellow Malawians, you must understand that violence and intimidation is a form of vote rigging.
Violence and intimidation is used by unpopular politicians to stop others from effectively campaigning and canvassing for votes, thereby denying voters the choice they desperately need.
Violence and intimidation is used by undemocratic and unprogressive tribal parties as the DPP to create a climate of fear for everyone because they know they cannot fairly compete and win.
Violence and intimidation is being used to stop people from organizing. The idea is to depress the opposition vote. But they shall fail miserably.
They shall fail miserably because good overcomes evil. They shall fail miserably because Malawians are made of sterner stuff!
My fellow Malawians, it is also very reckless and myopic for the DPP to use terror and intimidation to try to rig this election.
The continent of Africa is replete with sad examples of how corrupt and inept leaders tried to use violence and intimidation to remain perpetually in power only to set their countries alight with uncontrollable violence and civil war. We must never ever play with fire. We must never take this peace we enjoy in this country for granted. It is simply silly and irresponsible. Mr. President, stop this violence perpetrated by your surrogates. You swore to defend the Constitution and protect Malawians. You must rise to your constitutional duties.
My fellow Malawians, in fact, we send our soldiers on peacekeeping missions in DRC and other places where many of our fellow Africans are suffering because of civil wars. We have, indeed, lost some of our bravest there. May their souls rest in peace. But their bravery, discipline and professionalism has won the hearts of many.
They elected to risk their lives defending people they never knew who spoke language they never understood nor practiced any culture they could relate to. But they were ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice to protect the lives of those strangers.
Surely, it is completely senseless and nonsensical, therefore, for anyone no matter who they are or think they are to attempt to use such a well-respected breed of soldiers to unleash terror on their own fellow citizens. Again, this attempt shall fail miserably as we believe that our soldiers shall protect the lives of their fellow Malawians as they do to those of the Congolese.
My fellow Malawians, allow me to conclude by saying what I have said before – and I shall say it again: I or UTM, the dynamic party I have the privilege and honour of leading, do not consider any tribe or any location as our political base or stronghold. Our stronghold is in the hearts and minds of well-meaning Malawians that are willing and ready to reject the tribal and regional politics of yesterday and vote for a new leadership that they know shall deliver on its promise for a better Malawi.
Others can lay claim to some tribal base or geographical stronghold. UTM’s base and stronghold runs from Nsanje to Chitipa, from Mchinji to Mangochi and all parts in between.
I, therefore, call upon those that are supporting our cause for a better Malawi to desist from divisive politics.
We are running an issue-based campaign. And come the Election Day, we shall win resoundingly with our issue-based campaign. If you truly support me and my cause, please, tell your friends that Chilima is Chewa. He is also a Yao. Chilima is a Sena. He is also Tumbuka. Chilima is Nkhonde. He is also Lhomwe. Chilima is Mang’anja. He is also Tonga. In short, tell them Saulos Chilima is a Malawian. He is also a proud African.
United we Stand. Divided we Fall. Go forth and register so that you can vote and choose a bright future for generations to come. Go ye and conquer nepotism, hate and sow the seed of happiness beyond the next century.