The Economist, an international weekly newspaper published digitally has named Malawi the country of the year for “reviving democracy in an authoritarian region”, citing the nullification of the 2019 presidential election results that were marred by irregularities.
“The vote-count was rigged with correction fluid on the tally sheets. Foreign observers cynically approved it anyway. Malawians launched mass protests against the ‘Tipp-Ex election’. Malawian judges turned down suitcases of bribes and annulled it,” the Economist reports.
Malawi held a presidential election re-run in June and President Peter Mutharika was beaten by President Lazarus Chakwera.
The London based newspaper says Freedom House’s report that democracy and respect for human rights regressed in 80 countries between the start of the pandemic and September but only improved in Malawi.
Malawi is a South Eastern country having boundaries with Zambia and Mozambique. The country has experienced decades of repression under a dictator in a one-party state before the June 14, 1993 referendum where the people voted overwhelmingly for a multi- party democracy.
The long period of corruption and misrule by a leader then referred to as Life President, has plunged the people of the small East African country into poverty. “Malawi is still poor, but its people are citizens, not subjects,” the newspaper posits.