Malawi Demonstrations; The case of September 21

Do Malawians really need to go into the streets again? The clock is ticking again and next Wednesday, the only new faces expected to wave off the anti-Government feelings are the new Ministers. We have seen the new Government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati, the new Second Vice President Yunus Mussa, the new Local Government Minister Henry Mussa and the new Labour Minister Lucious Kanyumba, saying well nothing new. The same is for the set of Kaliati, Zikhale Ng'oma and Dr. Ntaba which decided that attacking the media will dissuade Journalists from asking questions.
For those that have time to go to my pre and post July 20 postings, will note one thing I have always said, Public Relations was the biggest weakness of this administration. The people in charge failed to reliase that antagonising the public is not the best approach to having them off the street, at the same time fighting the media should not be a strategy.
Just like the Church, the media, even in Zimbabwe has prevailed and the new information age, makes it virtually impossible for anyone to stiffle information. They tried in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, their Leaders were chucked off, the same with the Iran, Mmaymar, North Korea, China and Syria.
This is the time you hire experts on public relations and media management, you pretend you can work with them and you become an honest administration to the public.
I have very little to say how MBC and Eye Witness are playing the game, if the rules used are effective and if Kaliati's tone is appropriate especially after the Chancellor College dialogue debacle.
With the antagonistic approach towards the media, I can safely bet that Government once again is in the dark on the exact mood of the country, the long diesel queues that have seen buses disapppear and just like days before July 20, adding more petrol to fire with reckless language used by its Ministers.
There are a lot of questions one would ask about September 21, ironically the International Day of peace is very necessary to be turned into the International Day of War- to borrow some high profile words. But it might just end up to be the latter, if no quick moves are made to address the situation between now and Tuesday midday.
The most and biggest disdvantage will be the lost of confidence by many on Government's real intentions as it failed to address what people have said is a very simple issues- the Chancellor College Union Leaders re-instatement.
The political consequences for failing to address the College's long running wrangle are just huge. Even the source of the wrangle has been forgotten now, its about the ego of politicians.
Jessie Kabwila Kapasula, is not a threat to national security and any political strategist would have known that holding out and making her have excuses is very damaging for anybody. The impact of Chancellor College is huge than people underestimate.
Every University in the World is now aware of the protest- thanks to the internet, every parent with a kid at the college is now furious, thanks to a stubborn Government and even those who are waiting to be selecte to Chancellor College have lost hope. If I were a strategist for the President, I would tell him the sooner we saw this off, the better.
After all Bingu can start ticking that he has managed to reduce the cabinet, opened dialogue, restarted fuel supplies and now Chancellor College. The shorter the list the better.
Unfortunately, reality is opposite, even without convincing reasons why Government cannot act on some of the real issues in the petition. September 21 might really come and happen!


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