By Peter Sinkamba
The announcement by Chief Government Spokesperson and Information Minister, Hon. Dora Siliya that the PF Government deported nine foreign nationals for attempting to get into the country to witness the launch of Fred Mmembe’s Socialist Party is terrible news. In fact, it is proof that the PF has not drawn any lessons from the deportation of the late leader Michael Sata from Malawi years back.
As the nation will recall, in March 2007, the late Michael Sata – then the opposition leader leading the PF – travelled to Malawi for a private visit, but was deported on arrival at Chileka Airport without the Malawi Government stating the reasons for deportation and was driven 400 kilometers back to Zambia.
Four years later, Sata was elected President of the Republic of Zambia. What happened next? The newly-elected President Sata snubbed his Malawian counterpart Bingu wa Mutharika’s invitation to attend the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit in protest against the Mutharika government’s 2007 deportation.
What happened thereafter? Six months later, President Mutharika died suddenly after a heart attack and late President Sata donated five million liters of fuel to Malawi then worth about US$6 million. The gift was apparently to help with funeral of the country’s late President Mutharika. As fate turned out then, there was a serious fuel crisis in Malawi.
First, it was the deportation of Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimani mid last year who had travelled to Zambia for private visit. And now, it is the deportation of nine invited guests of Socialist Party leader Fred Mmembe. Yet, PF in opposition, and government, has sent its leaders and cadres to other countries around the world to attend meetings and make presentation of the party’s political and ideological dispositions. Beside the Malawi incidence, none has ever been deported on their numerous outings in Africa, China and elsewhere in the world.
One of the famous lessons from Confucius, who lived around 450 B.C., is the importance of active engagement and real time experiences in learning. As intelligent species, humans need to understand themselves in the context of their past and future, and to see the interplay of past and future, and how coming to grips with the past is important for the future.
As the Green Party, we earnestly urge our colleagues in the PF to have an in-depth reflection of the wealth of past experiences to inform their future methodological decision-making in government. We urge them to always seek to draw out the lessons from their experiences of the past so as to inform future practice. Lessons learned should draw on both positive and negative experiences so as to improve their efficiency, and most importantly, benefits of our people in the present and in future.