APM, it is time to be Malawi Head of State: Do away with nepotism, appeasement

Being Head of State is a high pressure job. His Excellency Arthur Peter Mutharika  (APM) holds a high pressure position. He is Head of State and Government in Malawi. He became Head of State following national elections held in May 2014.Loose cannon

All those who aspire to take up the responsibility of serving a nation as president are well aware of the pressures that come with the job. Thus such people are well prepared for the challenges ahead.

Undoubtedly, when Malawians vote for a president, they ideally look for an individual who would lead by example; an ethical and moral person who would not be afraid to take a stand on questions of ethics or morality, on questions of behaviour, questions of decency, and questions of justice. These are some of the basic attributes that make a leader ‘complete’.

His Excellency Arthur Peter Mutharika holds that office on trust by the people of Malawi. Section 12 of the Constitution contains what are referred to as the fundamental principles of the Constitution. Sections12 (i), it is provided that:

All legal and political authority of the State derives from the people of Malawi and shall be exercised in accordance with this Constitution solely to serve and protect their interests;

(ii) All persons responsible for the exercise of powers of State do so on trust and shall only exercise such power to the extent of their lawful authority and in accordance with their responsibilities to the people of Malawi:

and (iii) The authority to exercise power of State is conditional upon the sustained trust of the people of Malawi and that trust can only be maintained through open, accountable and transparent Government and informed democratic choice.

From these provisions, it is clear that in Malawi, the authority to govern or exercise the powers of State derives from the people. Further, the provisions emphasise the concept of trust in constitutional governance. The sustenance of trust as a precondition for the continued exercise of the powers of State buttresses the idea that the authority to govern derives from and rests on the consent of the governed.  Subsection (iii) then stresses the three overarching cornerstones of openness, representative democracy and accountability as the only means through which trust can be maintained.

Every time the President opens his mouth, he must ensure that he does so to meet the expectations of Malawians. His utterances and actions must be uniting and not divisive. President Peter Mutharika’s recent talk about an “MP from the north” is the worst thing that should ever come out of the mouth of a Head of State.

The President must endeavour to discharge his core constitutional duties, such as when appointing senior public officers, without regard to which party, tribe, region and religion he belongs to. Some of recent and previous important appointments of some top public officers have been made based on where the appointees come from or which party they belong to and not on merit.

Against the spirit of Public Sector Reforms that President Mutharika and his government are championing, the President recently appointed Justice Lloyd Muhara as Deputy Chief Secretary to Government. Do we really need a Deputy Chief Secretary when the economy is right on its knees?.

President Mutharika must work to balance the interests of all Malawians regardless of their political or tribal extraction. In the spirit of the Republican Constitution, the President must be in the forefront to tell Malawians the difference between right and wrong both through actions and utterances. As President of the country, President Mutharika must endeavour to be the catalyst for morally sound behaviour.

Our Head of State must demonstrate conviction and willpower to rid the public sector of corruption and fraud instead of waiting for foreign diplomats to point out such ills. President Mutharika’s recent admission about the existence of top level corruption is merely a drop in the ocean. He must demonstrate his commitment to root out official corruption and fraud by ensuring that the law takes its rightful course against the seven ‘rotten’ cabinet ministers that are allegedly implicated in the Malawi grand corruption scandal.

Mr. President, Malawians expect you to personally to intervene in daily power outages that are causing the rest of us inconvenience. Yes, you must intervene in saving us from the collapsing economy. Indeed, Malawians expect their government to provide easily accessible hospital services, and good schools. Government must protect us from violence and crime.

President Mutharika rode to power on the back of a promise that he would transform the way government worked in Malawi. He has not lived his promise, almost three years down the line. We still hear the same empty rhetoric about the fight against corruption; the same abuse of state resources; and utter nepotism in the appointment of senior public officers and distribution of national wealth.

The President must become the ‘genuine’ Head of State. That has to happen now.

A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”- John F. Kennedy

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MLOWOKA
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MLOWOKA
1 month 18 hours ago
It is absolutely amazing that less than 4 million Northerners can render the overwhelming majority of the Lomwes,Chawas,Man’ganjas,Yaos and others,sleepless nights.Tribalisn and racism are one thing in nature,both are evil and messengers of hate.If Mgoloso thinks that Northerners are not Malawian citizens,then the Lomwes,Senas and Yaos can cross over to their fellow beings in Mozambique where they belong.We are tired of being marginalized by fellow citizens who also came from other places.It seems,however,government leaders who themselves are Southerners and Central Malawians,are backing their people behind scenes to divide the nation for their own political and economic gains.However,the overwhelming majority of… Read more »
Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya
1 month 1 day ago
Mgoloso,Iam very positive that you are not a normal creature.In the first place,let you be informed that the Party that won independence for Malawi (MCP) was formed by Orton C.Chirwa QC.In the Commonwealth of Nations,there were only two QCs,the other one was a Nigerian,the African National Congress (ANC) was formed in 1944 and its first President was Levy Zililo Mumba from Ekwendeni in the North,Kanyama Chiume in his 20s was the first member of the Legislative Council with his dear friend Masauko Chipembere to represent Nyasalanders in the 50s,it was after Mumba that James Sangala took over the leadership of… Read more »
Thinktankmalawi
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Thinktankmalawi
1 month 2 days ago
The problem is the “the governed” don’t know what to expect of the people they put in office.An average malawian don’t even know power to govern is derived from them.As a result they can’t hold president accountable;to the contrary,they “kiss” his feet like some kind of messiah.How many cases of executive arrogance has this adminstration exhibited while the citezenry just sit “phwiii?”….When few people protest in the streets,you see others peeping through their office windows in amusement like some ‘crazy heads” are making noise on the streets.So you talk of arrogant,out of touch president?..Well,he is the product of dead citizenry….and… Read more »
Mwananyanian
Guest
1 month 2 days ago
reading between that lines, It is probably safe to say the writer is NOT a fan of APM, is NOT a supporter of DPP, is NOT from the South and is NOT a Mulhakho. Right? Right.. If one replaces the “President” or “APM” in the essay, what is written is probably more applicable to Kamuzu, the paragon of Malawi nepotism; Muluzi and even Joisi Banda. The latter especially being accused, albeit silently, of favoring the North, even though she was only adopted there. It was then said, maybe with hyperbole, that the Northerners “high jacked” the government apparatus. True or… Read more »
Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya
1 month 2 days ago
The PATRIOT,living 40 years in the U.S. does not make somebody a genius,what kind of a patriot are you? The Patriot,I think you are deeply in the shoes of Mathanyula that you have even lost your self-esteem.In fact,Peter did not live in the States for 40 years in the sense that he lived in Tanzania for several and several years in Ethiopia,the rest few years is when he lived in the US,so the Patriot narrative is totally misguided and bunkum.It is dolorous for Patriot to highlight Peter’s unreal credentials.He is not,I repeat not one of the most sophisticated Presidents In… Read more »
VYOTO
Guest
VYOTO
1 month 2 days ago
@ 77 Years of age, the learned law professor is betrayed by his advanced age, it is worth to recall that when Kamuzu Banda reached such advanced stages, it was the John Tembos, Mama Kadzamiras who used to make bad but crucial presidential decisions through the back door, JZU could made decisions for some Cabinet Ministers not only to be fired but even killed!. Similarly, In our current case, the Professor President is no longer making decisions befitting a professor, due to his advanced age, most of the presidential decisions seem to be contaminated by the shallow thinking of the… Read more »
Dada
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Dada
1 month 2 days ago

Count how many people he has removed from various top positions using the word “re-assigned” and bring in milakhos latest being MDF boss. We need explanation or reversal of such decisions. We are not pro-Joice Banda, she only found us already in civil service, sanakatitenge kumudzi and it was not out of favourtism

Bibo
Guest
Bibo
1 month 3 days ago
Mr Thom Chumia, your understanding of the role of the president is well articulated and this role would be well celebrated by the subjects(Malawians) if civilized governance was in place. Unfortunately, Malawi has a system that exposes presidential aspirants prior to elections who speak good about what they would follow once in power for the betterment of the country, and promises sold to the unsuspecting electorate come from such aspirants’ deep-rooted convictions. Standing aside when presidential hopefuls are elaborating their manifestos, are vultures that have invested so much in the political game and that stand to lose. The understanding is… Read more »
Thako Panja
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Thako Panja
1 month 3 days ago

Thom Chiumia for the Next President of Malawi. He has more knowledge than the current president, he is very intelligent and a genius. He will surround himself with very intelligent Tumbukas and will be operating from the UK. Malawi will surely be a better place.

Achimidzimidzi
Guest
Achimidzimidzi
1 month 3 days ago

I do agree with you Thom, our president needs to act but trust me we have a very big problem here. People who are stealing, are in government and they are the same people to prosecute themselves.

Absolutely IMPOSSSIBBBLLEE. What you are saying is wishful thinking.

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