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Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

99 In identifying the

99 In identifying the UDF as the culprit, the BNL newspapers were in agreement with MCP/AFORD alliance MPs. In the parliamentary frame, the mainstay of the Causal Interpretation was an assertion that the UDF was against unity and reconciliation. That component of the frame consisted of the 16 paragraphs in the parliamentary Unity Frame (See Table 4.4). The BNL newspapers dismissed the new leadership in Malawi as lacking in unifying qualities. This assertion accounted for 11 paragraphs coded to the moral evaluations component of the frame. This argument was supported by another assertion declaring that President Muluzi lacked the personal ability to unite the nation as evidenced by his equivocation on the question of national unity. Instead, the BNL newspapers argued that the UDF-led government seemed determined to exert revenge for no apparent reason. This was an assertion which the BNL newspapers raised four times in the moral evaluation components (See Table 4.5). Table 4.5: Unity Frame‟s Moral Evaluation in the BNL Newspapers Moral Evaluations Presenters Paragraphs Articles Lack of unifying leadership BNL Newspapers 11 (61.1%) 11 The President‟s equivocation on reconciliation BNL Newspapers 4 (22.2%) 4 MCP/AFORD alliance as a unifying factor BNL Newspapers 3 (16.7%) 3 Total 18 (100%) 18 In this respect Kantema (1994) noted, in the Daily Times: The South Africans are currently drawing up legislation to pardon the past government‟s atrocities committed in the name of apartheid. And Malawi? An assailable sense of self righteousness where the ghost of many alleged atrocities are used as a weapon to rouse the people‟s

100 emotions negatively against any advances in the popularity ladder by MCP. The newspapers saw in the MCP/AFORD alliance the embodiment of unity and contrasted this with the UDF‟s refusal to work with the MCP. On the other hand, the UDF leaders and their supporters were presented as bad winners with a chip on their shoulders and many scores to settle as the writer of an editorial in the Malawi News (1994a) noted. Unlike UDF leaders, AFORD leaders have been very exemplary in their approach to national issues. Their supporters have been a realistic lot. We cannot say the same of some UDF supporters. There were three paragraphs coded to this aspect of the component (See Table 4.5 above). Table 4.6: Unity Frame‟s Treatment Recommendations in the BNL Newspapers Treatment Recommendations Presenters Paragraphs Articles Inter-party dialogue & cessation of inflammatory speeches BNL Newspapers 14 (51.9%) 12 Recognizing unity and a government of national unity BNL Newspapers 6 (22.2%) 5 Recognise the work done by Kamuzu Banda BNL Newspapers 3 (11.1%) 3 Civic education and unifying cultural events BNL Newspapers 4 (14.8%) 4 Total 27 (100%) 24 Treatment Recommendations Presenters Paragraphs Articles Inter-party dialogue & cessation MCP/AFORD 15 (50%) 15 of inflammatory speeches Alliance MCP/AFORD alliance as MCP/AFORD 6 (20%) 6 unifying factor Alliance Government of national unity MCP/AFORD Alliance 4 (13.3%) 4 Political tolerance & MCP/AFORD 5 (16.7%) 5 reconciliation Alliance Total 30 (100) 30

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