The UK based Malawi Diaspora Forum (MDF) has called on Bingu wa Mutharika to ‘gracefully’ resign as President of Malawi within 91 days after the July 20 mass demonstrations or face force removal.
Meeting in Manchester on Saturday, the Diaspora Malawians said they “note with horror the appalling difficulties” people of Malawi are incessantly facing due to deteriorating socio-political and economic situation aggravated by Mutharika’s arrogance and high-handedness.
The grouping announced that they stand in solidarity with all Malawians back home set to part in the mass protects against what they called “Mutharika`s failed regime.”
The Forum which had earlier lobbied the British government at its inception a month ago to impose targeted sanctions on Mutharika and his government other than wholesomely on poor Malawians welcomed the news that the British have harmonised their plea.
In his opening remarks journalist Thom Chiumia said, “That Mutharika must go now is no longer a dismissible opposition slogan but a strategic necessity to save the country from regressing, hence the need for regime change. Enough is enough.
“We have had enough – no fuel, no forex, tribalism, no academic freedom, human rights violations and manipulation of our constitution, all these are a hallmark of a failed state. I’m ready to go to Malawi and sacrifice my life for change,” added Chiumia.
Decrying the death of democracy and economic woes in Malawi political activist Edgar Chibaka said the MDF will not tire but play a pivotal role until Mutharika goes.
“Regaining our hard fought democracy and reunifying Malawians is a top priority and we are advocating regime change. All we want is to remove Mutharika, so that Malawians can put into office an able and dynamic leader to rule the country.
“His continued stay in office is becoming an excessive burden to the welfare of the state and fatal danger to the public interest of Malawians at home and in Diaspora with each day that goes by him in office leaving Malawi’s survival in dire straits and at great risk.”
Moderating the conference, writer Peter Makossah questioned Mutharika’ foresight and leadership qualities in not listening or taking criticism citing the way he handled the issue that led to the expulsion of British diplomat, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet.
“Mutharika went public and lied to Malawians blatantly that Malawi is still in good books with its major bilateral donor, Britain yet things were still unsolved. Is that not a very bad quality of a leader? Malawi needs a leader who can put his interests aside and put Malawians ahead,” said Makossah
“Where does Mutharika pluck his courage and power from to think he owns Malawi? If he is an authentic leader with his people’s welfare at heart why refuse to apologise to the British government and other development partners for his uncalled for actions knowing that the world is now a global village and that every county needs another.”
Political activist Ben Chiza Mkandawire said teething hurdles that currently face Malawi due to ‘politics of patronage’ will go on to hurt future generations saying it is fitting for Malawians to stop the rot now.
“Mutharika has publicly demonstrated leadership incapacity by acknowledging that Malawians have lost faith in him. (Bwanji mutondikayika?) If a leader becomes suspicious of his own authority over the people he or she confirm is not fit to lead anymore. Mutharika must wilfully resign within 91 days after the July 20 protests.
“Where would his arrogance lead us to? No where! If the shoe doesn’t fit do we cut the size of the feet or we change a pair of shoes? Now is the time for Malawi to do away with intolerant leadership before the blisters goes severe,” he said.
Deborah Phiri lamented that the Malawi situation seriously need a quick fix saying things have gone out hand and that people are living in fear a sure sign that democracy which Malawians fought for is quickly going down the drain.
George Mlanga said Malawi is at the crossroads needing Malawians to swiftly act before continuing on a wrong path.
He said: “We cannot hold any longer for change to come. Without Malawians acting change will not come. We must be the change ourselves. Malawians whether in Malawi or outside have the ultimate power to change things. Malawi is for us all and we cannot stand by and watch our democracy being raped and abused by selfish leaders.”
People’s Transformation Party (Petra) chairperson of the UK wing, Prisca Juma-Phiri urged all Malawians both at home and abroad to be bold in fighting Mutharika’s leadership until he goes.
“Our warmth as people must not be taken for stupidity. We are warm hearted but not cowards and when we want to act we act. In 1992 we fought Kamuzu and removed him from office. What is happening now calls for another fight. We must therefore stand together and take Mutharika out so we can have our country back on its tracks. We want a leader who is going to unite us not divide us by tribal sectors,” said Juma Phiri.
Manchester based DJ Begani said Malawians in Diaspora must help their country men and women to steer change because “We are all affected by Mutharika’s poor and arrogant leadership.”
Fides Jim Kachale said: “We must remove Mutharika not only for our own sake but for our children and the generations to come.”
Questioned Kachale: “If Bingu is allowed to continue at the pace he is going, what kind of a country will Malawi be will in future?
Pastor Patrick Mtimbusya urged Malawians not to fear because the war against Mutharika will be fought by God.
Said the man of God: “I urge all Malawians to fight for change in their country without fear because the Lord is on their side. Our God will never allow us to perish under one man’s stupidity and foolishness.”