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

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

149 which followed the

149 which followed the election was politically motivated as the Malawi News (1999f, p.2) noted: But some of the entrenched workers have complained that they believe their early retirements have been politically motivated. They claim that a good number of those retired are allegedly sympathisers of the opposition. In four paragraphs, the newspapers blamed the re-election of the UDF for the escalating lawlessness which led to violence, armed robberies and home invasions on the UDF‟s laxity in law enforcement (Malawi News, 1999g, p.2). The newspapers anticipated price hikes and more misery for the nation (Chronicle, 1999e, p.1; Somanje, 1999a, p.6) (See Table 5.6). In another four paragraphs, the newspapers alleged that the UDF would continue with a regionally selective development agenda for the next five years as the Daily Times (1999b, p.2) argued: The past five year legacy under the UDF has been characterised by selective development mainly in constituencies where there have been UDF MPs. Another consequence of the UDF victory was what editorial writers perceived as the emergence of a sub-standard parliament (See Table 5.6). In six paragraphs in the moral evaluation component, the newspapers described the new parliamentarians as childish and prone to insulting one another as Somanje (1999b, p.6): observed: They (MPs) must be made to know that they were elected to parliament to discuss development issues affecting their areas, and not to advance ideals of their respective political parties. By way of moral evaluations, in six coded paragraphs, the newspaper called on the government to serve all citizens equally without discriminating against those who do not sympathise with the UDF (See Table 5.6).

150 As treatment recommendations, the newspapers advised the president to set better economic priorities for the nation (Chronicle, 1999e, p.1). The newspapers called on the Speaker of the National Assembly to train MPs on their duties (Somanje, 1999b, p.6). A further treatment recommendation was for the opposition to take their role seriously and to act to check government excesses (Daily Times (1999b, p.2) (See Table 5.6). 5.2.4 Discussion The following section of the chapter will attempt to interpretively analyse the frames described above. It will examine the intrinsic aspects of the frames that may have given rise to the frames. In this respect, issues such as cultural dissonance, resonant construction of the problem definition and causal interpretation, and news values will be closely examined to observe how they influenced the emergent frames discussed above. Further, as an overview of the emergent frames in their totality, the discussion will also examine the magnitude factor in these frames. 5.2.4.1 Cultural Dissonance in the Unity Frame The contested nature of problem definitions and causal attributions in the Unity Frames meant that a clear-cut moral evaluations/treatment recommendation narrative could not emerge from the corpus. In the end, the treatment recommendations and moral evaluations consisted of what appeared to be ambiguous and uncoordinated calls for national dialogue and political tolerance. Journalists found it difficult to authoritatively place blame for the post-election violence on any specific organisation or individual. What problem definitions and causal attributions shaped the rest of the Unity Frame and made it so amorphous? The answer may be located in the cultural dissonance presented by the frame itself. As noted in the previous chapter, the question of unity is

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