In this write up, Mallick Mnela writes that politicians should always desist from stretching the bounds of decency in their public utterances. Today, some Tonse leaders became too excited and uttered words that should be condemned. While their narratives may be true and likely to go uncontested, politics should never go to the threshold of bedrooms or boardrooms sealed by a sacred veil of diplomatic secrecy. That is chaos to marriages.
Tonse Alliance Njamba rally was imposing: there are no two ways about it.
The DPP strategists must surely be scratching their heads on how to outsmart their opponents the next time they hold their at the same venue.
Of course, the answer is simple. President Peter Mutharika is a crowd-puller of sorts and the power of incumbency provides resources at the governing party’s disposal. That shouldn’t be a major issue, so they are already thinking!
The Njamba rally was, however, not all rosy. A number of too personal attacks that should not be tolerated in our country’s political podiums were made.
Politicians should be able to draw a line on personal matters. Political lives can only be invaded where there is justification. Stealing resources to buy my wife an expensive automobile, for example.
Of note to point out is remarks by Patricia Kaliati and Dr. Joyce Banda. The ladies were electric. The crowds laughed and ululated. But their speeches were too personal.
Akweni took a jab at Atupele Muluzi for being a weakling, allegedly, for failing to ensure that his wife, Angela, wears the hijab as required under the Islamic law.
True, the Shariah agrees with Akweni on hijab. However, she overstepped in her condemnation. In as much as Atupele might have provoked criticism around religion, attacking him in that manner meant attacking his family. It was wrong. Here, the aggrieved party is not only Atupele, but his wife, children and family.
She did nothing wrong to talk about her “macho stamina” that enabled her to convince her husband to migrate from the DPP to the Tonse Alliance.
She also did well to profess her love for her husband. She holds the key to make personal details at a political podium.
Former President Dr. Joyce Banda also breached one of the fundamentals of diplomacy. She went to town on President Peter Mutharika for, allegedly, being in love with the bottle. She revealed that during one trip to China, Mutharika had one two many. She also told the rally how the alleged affair with the beverage had brought her and the entourage shame in a foreign land.
If true, its indeed shameful. However, to make it public in such a manner sounds like a breach of trust. Folly and missteps that occur in the corridors of diplomacy should be kept under a veil of secrecy.
She surely is not a saint. She possibly has issues that could bring her good name into disrepute if made public.
Dr. Saulos Chilima took a jab at Atupele and Everton Chimulirenji. He, however, played it safe. He played politics. He responded to their earlier political jabs. Instead of going personal, he warned them he will be forced to go that extent if they dare continue lying about stuff. This sounds politically fair.
Noel Masangwi also went to town on First Lady Getrude Mutharika. He actually hinted that he had been told to speak because of his arsenal of insults targeting Mutharika. He opted out of the normal jab on the old man and took a swipe at his wife instead.
Masangwi, in his speech, gave an impression that Madame Mutharika was neglecting her responsibilities of taking care of her husband. He said: “PachiLomwe ndi zosakhala being kusiya mwamuna pa mphasa chifukwa adzayamba kuonapo nyekhwe mkazi ali koyenda”. This roughly translates to: “Leaving a sick husband on a sick bed is unbecoming in the Lomwe culture. What if the worst happens while she is away?”.
The explanation by Masangwi demeans the first lady. She, like anyone, has a right to political participation. Her dignity should not be breached because of who she married.
The politicians should cultivate a culture of tolerance. The multitude that graced Njamba today was surely impressive. Demeaning other characters surely made them laugh. But political rallies should not be considered comedy circuses.
Real lives and real individuals are impacted by what our politicians say.
For a better Malawi, politicians must learn to tame their tongues and focus on real issues.
Marital or familial issues – no matter the leverage or edge they can give the politicians over opponents, must never be put on the agenda.
Perhaps the only caveat is when such marital or familial issues have a bearing on public resources.
People don’t patronize political rallies to hear family gossip. This should be stressed at the postmortem of this highly patronised rally, if any. A public apology won’t harm, either.