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

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

107 The Nation and the

107 The Nation and the Chronicle identified the people of Malawi as the collective causal agent six times (See Table 4.11) as Mordechai Msisha (1994) writing in the Nation argued: “Malawians ushered in political pluralism in a concerted effort to do away with dictatorship.” Only once were the people of Malawi mentioned as the collective causal agents on the National Assembly floor. Table 4.11: Governance Frame‟s Causal Interpretation in the Nation and the Chronicle, and UDF Causal Interpretation Presenters Paragraphs Articles The people wanted democracy Nation/ Chronicle 6 (100%) 6 Causal Interpretations Presenters Paragraphs Sspeeches The Bishops and the pastoral letter UDF/AFORD 6 (42.9%) 6 Pressure groups & their leaders UDF/AFORD 8 (57.1%) 8 Total 14 (100%) 14 By way of moral evaluations, the Nation and the Chronicle simply reminded the people that they were the custodians of democracy. In this respect, they were to guard it with vigilance as an editorial writer in the Nation (1994b) argued: The democracy we all wanted is now here. It may have its teething problems, but there is every indication that our new leaders intend to rule according to the wishes of the people, and in any case the people are in no mood to let things return to the old ways. This charge was made five times (See Table 4.12). While the two newspapers entrusted the people with the duty of safeguarding democracy, the UDF and AFORD MPs only made that charge once. Instead, the MPs used a series of intersecting arguments that all coalesced into a single theme of service to the people. This was mentioned four and two times respectively. However, the mainstay of the moral evaluation thrust was a call for political tolerance which was mentioned five times (See Table 4.12). Kamangazi Chambalo (1994) observed:

108 Tribalism, regionalism and favouritism are destructive to democratic practices. These are also signals of ignorance of democracy on the part of the person practising such discriminatory practices. . . . we will not allow this fear to be instilled in the minds of Malawians again. In this respect, the position of the Nation and the Chronicle and the UDF in parliament coalesced on the desirability of democracy in Malawi. This happened even though the newspapers tended to view democracy from the people‟s point of view while the parliamentarians viewed in terms of service to the people. Table 4.12: Governance Frame‟s Moral Evaluation in the Nation and the Chronicle, and the UDF Moral Evaluations Presenters Paragraphs Articles Malawians should guard democracy Nation and 5 (100%) 5 with vigilance Chronicle Moral Evaluations Presenters Paragraphs Speeches Freedom and political tolerance UDF/AFORD 5 (45.5%) 5 The new government and parliament will serve the people UDF/AFORD 6 (54.5%) 6 Total 11 (100%) 11 4.3.2.2 The BNL Newspapers and MCP The Governance Frame exposed the MCP‟s ambivalent position regarding multiparty politics in Malawi. In this task, the MCP was aided by their mouthpieces - the BNL newspapers. Seven times, in six articles, the BNL newspapers charged that multiparty politics was divisive. Three times the newspapers complained that it was a system that was alien to the Malawian people, and three times the newspapers called for the people to be educated about democracy (See Table 4.13). Two days after the election, one editorial writer in the Daily Times (1994c) noted:

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