Should Kalindo be taken seriously?

Bon Kalindo

Some may have thought that this was just another one of his skits as Bon Kalindo aka 'Winiko' in the theatre world has made a living from leaving his audiences in stitches.

Apparently, the man wasn't joking when he resigned from the UTM Party and announced that he would be holding nationwide demonstrations starting in Malawi's commercial city of Blantyre against the Tonse government he had just been part of. Naysayers should have perhaps realised that he was not just bluffing, after all, embedded in the art of play-acting/theatre, are usually messages from the people that mirror societal ills; some subtle and cryptic, yet others explicit. 

True to Kalindo's word, on Friday morning, his lieutenants were on the ground early at the Old Blantyre Post Office where most demos are birthed; only to find a panga-wielding group ready to oppose them.

This is the most undemocratic anyone can get and such actions should be condemned in the strongest terms. If they felt really opposed by Kalindo's move, akanangopanga ma demo awo (they should have organised their own demos) on a different day osati kubweretsa chisokonezo (and not try to breed confusion). What if this had escalated into something more deadly!

In the end, such animosity worked to scare away those who shared the view that the government ought to do something about the skyrocketing prices of commodities and sluggishness in fulfilling the campaign promises that were repeated loudly at every rally they addressed during the 2020 campaign period.

As Malawians we ought to embrace the idea that we will not always share the same opinion, but that in itself is okay. We should disagree but still allow the other to express their alternative views as enshrined in the Malawi constitution freely. That is the essence of diversity of opinion.

In fact, what transpired on Friday remind one of the antics of the previous regime when some youths would be used to counter anti-government demonstrations. The hope is that the current administration is not stooping that low and that if they are they will work to nick such elements in the bud.

Allow people to express themselves and to assemble and to hold demonstrations it is their right!

While Winiko's actions of speaking up can be commended some are still skeptical as to his actual motives. Is he really doing this for Malawians or is he somewhat bitter that he has not been given any 'profitable' positions. Malawians are tired of being used by so called campaigners who ride on their backs to advance their own interests and when they are full, they forget on whose shoulders they stood on.

Mr Kalindo Malawians are watching you! Trust is earned!