APM, too, a disappointment on Malawian youth: ‘He’s technically in hiding’

That Malawi as a nation has completely lost direction as far as visionary leadership is concerned is no longer something to argue about. It is a fact. Half a dozen months have elapsed since the chaotic May 20 tripartite elections that re-ushered the controversial Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) into power, leading to the unceremonious exit of the clueless People’s Party (PP).

President Peter Mutharika

President Peter Mutharika

But, like it has been the case since time immemorial, Peter Mutharika’s government continues to offer no hope to the citizenry, particularly to the majority of the country’s youth if the current economic quagmire is anything to go by.

President Mutharika’s leadership is far from inspiring and seems clueless on fixing the economy and bailing out the majority of youth caught in grinding shackles of mortifying poverty. Truth be told; President Mutharika is technically in hiding. He seems to be only talking to his ‘not-so-clever’ buddies and an army of hopeless henchmen leaving the entire population wondering where their elected leadership is, in this economic crisis.

Despite clear leadership cluelessness and increased loss of control over state affairs, Mutharika seems unwilling and too naïve to embark on a comprehensive national dialogue process to boldly address the now precarious economic and governance stagnation. The leadership is talking to itself and cannot find any clue. Interestingly, Mutharika’s new fashionable tie with the public are memos of punitive and irrational hikes of user fees on public services such as on passports, driving licenses, resident permits, and education fees hugely impacting on country’s youth.

On the sidelines is a dangerous face of insecurity, open tribalism, complete shutdown of judiciary, striking teachers – ofcourse accompanied by shocking pockets of pupils’ protests.  Shameless corruption scandals by Mutharika’s cronies at National Aids Commission (NAC), for example, and unpardonable staged bribery of journalists at Sanjika Palace are worst ‘best practices’ of the new administration. No one knows how the leadership will deal with current economic malaise.  Donors’ unmoved aid position to Malawi and their hardballs on Mutharika’s government are unprecedented. I doubt if President Mutharika is working out any wonder to reverse the dangerous situation. He has completely lost trust in his quick-thrashed zero-aid budget. So, will Mutharika and his DPP deliver on campaign promises that sponsored their come-back to the country’s Capital Hill?

The worsening high cost of living due to skyrocketing inflation is a stern ambush against the majority jobless and working-poor young women and men. Youth poverty situation is each day worsening than yesterday. Despite all these challenges no one is talking to these young citizens. Where is the leadership to inspire hope to the young generation during these hopeless times? This is an opportune time for Mutharika to mobilize young people, share his strategic vision and inspire hope to move forward despite harsh struggles of our time.

Of course, it is only fair for citizens to bear with the fact that the new administration has no soft faculty to swiftly clean up the current economic governance quagmire in very short time.  This could have been fairly the same with any new administration considering the infamous plunder of resources at the country’s treasury. It is inexcusable however for Mutharika not to share the direction of his administration with citizens and development partners. Young people of this nation just as all citizens have every right to know where their elected government is taking them to and how it is set to alleviate their long suffering in short and long term map. It is ill-timed for Mutharika to be in hiding when 65 percent of the population dearly needs his full captainship of the economy and state affairs. Undoubtedly, majority of Malawians are in darkness of Mutharika’s leadership direction.

President Mutharika must be kindly updated that young people are not for any cheap rhetoric from Capitol Hill as has been the case. He must think beyond the Community Colleges noise, and vigorously engage and enhance meaningful dialogue and action on gainful social and economic interventions for the youth. How does the DPP administration for instance plan to meaningfully support young farmers realising that   70 percent of working-poor youth in Malawi are engaged in the agricultural sector – the country’s largest economic powerhouse? How will he increase youth access to education bearing the hard fact that public university intake in Malawi remains below 10 percent? The first citizen seems too slow to domestically ignite dialogue with country’s youth and stakeholders to collectively battle poverty, youth unemployment, poor and inaccessible education, economic exploitation and the endless woes facing youth.

President Mutharika must be ashamed that under his watch only 1 % of the total 2014/15 budget was given to Ministry of Youth and Sports for youth development programs. This defiance and insult by Mutharika’s first budget awkwardly backed by some misguided and clueless senior Ministry of Youth officials and later by parliament, tells volume about government’s interest in youth affairs. One gets a picture that youth development is not among Mutharika’s priorities.  Worse still, the youthful age of the Vice President, Saulos Chilima is yet to be translated into anything the youth can cut home. We are told he is busy fixing the Civil Service! We can only hope he will also help to fix the impotent National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM) whose obsoleteness to the Malawian youth has been well institutionalised.  The Mutharika administration ought to deal with the despicable leadership incompetency and governance queries at NYCOM and gross inefficiencies at its Ministry of Youth, or stop making noise about youth development in this country.

So, besides bearing atrocious effects of a tanking economy, young people need Mutharika to provide a cut-clear strategic direction on how his DPP administration will deal with the wobbly economic governance woes whose impact on marginalised youth in urban and rural corners of Malawi is close-fisted.  Young people cannot bear same old cheap policy surprises coupled with unaccountable and irresponsive political leadership.

President Mutharika should swiftly graduate himself from the current state of leadership denial and vigilantly embark on an open, comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue process in dealing with the economic struggles of our time. He cannot wait for the worst. As an experienced jurist and leader undoubtedly he realizes the significance of inclusive engagement in times of national crisis like this. Unless Mutharika finds any virtue in cerebrating uncultured code of executive arrogance and defiance, he cannot ridicule an inclusive national dialogue on the current state of economy and its future.

As national leader, has an obligation to facilitate and build national consensus on matters of national importance.  It is not too late. After all, the current mess is well shared and not wholly of his making. So, come back from hiding Mr. President, young people are ready to walk with you in these hard times!

  • Charles Kajoloweka is a Youth Rights Activist based in Mzuzu.

 

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31 thoughts on “APM, too, a disappointment on Malawian youth: ‘He’s technically in hiding’”

  1. Peter Vogel says:

    Thank you for the comments. Tackling youth unemployment and providing opportunities for today’s and tomorrow’s youth is of utmost importance. It is our mandate to ensure that there are sufficient avenues for our children.

  2. dschi says:

    U want to garner youth to riot to enhance ur thoughts to bring down this lawfully elected govt. Sizitheka. This is his style. Get used man.

  3. maonga Village says:

    Malawi need the missouri style of riot and demand this goat to resign or impeach him

  4. Br Mfumu says:

    Utsogoleri Wabwino Umakondedwa Ndi God But This One Mmmm! Sorry Chauta Sakukondwa Ndiye Tivutikadi Muzambiri Mpaka Atadzachoka Cos Isn’t Aleader Bt A Lawyer Siziribwino

  5. Ngoma says:

    By the way, the budget was passed by Parliament, why do you only blame APM and not the whole National Assembly. Thats where we miss the point. The other thing is you are talking about yoyuth issues, a gender activist will come and talk about women issues, an environmental activist will come and talk about the environment, health activists will come and tlak about health, education activists will come and talk about education, economists will come and lobby for industry, tourism and trade, FUM and CISANET will come and talk about agriculture. If you were the finance minister who do you listen to. Remember that there are always competing priorities and resources are never enough for every sector even kwa azunguko. Ndiye pozuzula tizizuzula titayamba taganiza kaye.

  6. Ngoma says:

    Mr. Kajoloweka, it is wrong to think that becoz 1% of the budget went to Ministry of Youth then Government doesnt care about the youth. Tell me who benefits from the following Ministries’ budget: Ministry of Education, Science and Tec, isnt it the youth? Teveta, isnt it the youth? The community colleges that will be established? Isnt it the youth? Even health issues? Do you know that youth matters are cross-cutting and therefore you can not only point at allocation to the Ministry of Youth. The same applies to women affairs. You can say Govt doesnt care about women by just looking at allocation to Ministry of Gender because they benefit from Agriculture, health, trade, mining etc. Stop being emotional, engage the reasoning gear.

  7. Chigawenga says:

    The only hope in hell the youth of this country have is to riot. To take to the streets and show this inept greedy corrupt leader that we have had enough. He needs to go and the only way he can go is for us to take to the streets. We need black spring in Malawi. DPP administration has failed not only the youth but also the working poor and of course the poor masses. One would have hoped the army would step in but APM already bought them out they are equally corrupt. Thus we are stuck .

  8. Tozer Tsono says:

    To the twins, PP and DPP Clueless
    Both DPP and PP have presided over massive looting of government funds, requiring forensic audits by foreign companies. They have both made the office of the Auditor General in Malawi worthless. Why pay auditors in Malawi, if we can not trust them or even listen to what they recommend? If we need the Auditor Generals office, it ought to report to the PAC, ACB, and media. Independence is required not just for the Reserve Bank of Malawi but the Auditor General’s Office. They should both have 3 Independent offices in the country, one for each region, and each entrusted with the power to challenge government transactions independently.
    Therefore, PP and DPP are exactly the same thing with different first names.

  9. MWENECHO says:

    Nice Piece . Very clear message. Everyone is getting frustrated . I agree, the leadership is asleep. APM must embark on a national dialogue on the economy. He and DPP alone can resolve this

  10. Chembwiye says:

    Nyasatimes,keep posting such commentaries that give us an insight of what our universities are producing these days!!

  11. George says:

    WAYAMBANSO KUTSEKA MA UNIVERSITIES. MZUZU IS CLOSED. WHERE ARE U MR. CHANCELLOR ?

  12. George says:

    He is too slow to think of engaging all stakeholders. Joyce Banda tried her best to involve almost all sectors of society when she rose to power and found the economy on its knees. BWANA PRESIDENT , COME OUT AND ENGAGE.

  13. George says:

    Parliament must convene to decide on the future of the Economy. Where is the President ?

  14. Luke says:

    Kajoloweka. Stop being too emotional. You were Mzuni Students Union President and we are all aware of your dismal performance. As you keep criticking APM, take time to appreciate sources of all we are going through. Problems are there and of course require radical leadership but we should try as much as we can to be moderate in our writings otherwise we appear stupid

  15. Sabiti says:

    This guy was, is and will be not prepared to lead this nation its just by coicidence that he is at the helm, he has nothing to offer six month down the line without any direction

  16. zachisoni says:

    Kodi a Veep a Chilima bwanji osamuthandiza president kuyendetsa dzikoli if he falls down nonse mugwatu.

  17. MAYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MALAWI !!!!!!! HAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!Hiiiiiiiiiiiii

  18. Bazuka says:

    Mutharika a lecturer not a leader. He failed as a mere minister & now is just proving that he failed once as folkows: Failed on academic freedom saga, sent British ambassador, ministry of justice anabweretsa bill yakuti munthu akaphwitsa amangidwe now he has failed as a president. To put things in perspective, in Obama found a worse economy than Malawi but things are fine now because he did waste time on blame game but did the right things.

  19. honey comb Chidyauzu says:

    The problem is with Malawians, how can you vote for a party which was removed by the power of the ALMIGHTY GOD. Musova anthu osamva inu.

  20. Mercy Gogoda says:

    Subjective plus plus, objectivity zero!! In practical terms learning is in tiers. One learns by cramming, which of course is aimed at passing an exam and other people learn to discern, understand the subject matter which Will obviously be applied in future endeavours. Now it is up to the audience to choose in which category the originator of this piece falls into.

  21. Mercy Gogoda says:

    Paja mvula amalenga ndi Joyce Banda and her PP cronies.

  22. mbwenu says:

    Kungolemba ngati wasuta chamba bwanji? Iwedi ndi mwana.

  23. Pitala Failure says:

    APM time up. America awaits you. You are totally an alien in Malawi. No clue. No idea of how to preside over nation. Pack up and take your ugly wife back with you to USA.

  24. Pitfall Wanama says:

    APM time up. America awaits you. You are totally an alien in Malawi. No clue. No idea of how to preside over nation. Pack up and take your ugly wife back with you to USA.

  25. HIPO says:

    I like this piece . We need such open citizens. Who is this Kajoloweka ? Public Affair Committee (PAC) must facilitate the national dialogue on the Economy now. APM has no clue

  26. Masharubu says:

    A person who proved to be a failure as a Cabinet Minister cannot turn out to be a brilliant President . Simple common sense . Unfortunately, common sense is not so common to some Malawians .

  27. M'doko says:

    Walemba matope wokhawokha palibe chanzeru boma lakanika ili !!!

  28. Clueless leadership says:

    He is Hibernating.
    To hibernate is to spend the winter in a
    dormant state.
    As of now, he is in a dormant state. He will wake up sometime in March (coinciding with the Tobacco opening of markets in BT, LL and MZ).
    Ndiye muzamumva kuchuluka nzeru ngati zeni zeni pamene tonse tikuona kuti akuluwa might be a professor yes, but surely NOT a leader. And on top of that CLUELESS and LOST DIRECTION and SENSES.

    1. vindere says:

      There will be no rain this season and there4 no tobacco sales and thus the hibernation will continue.

      1. SILIYA says:

        THE MAN IS OLD !! HE IS EXPERIENCING ALOT OF BODY PAINS FROM HEAD TO FEET !!!

        I DONT THINK HE HAS THAT TIME THINKING OF DEVELOPMENTS OR WHATSOEVER !!!

        WHAT HE NEEDS IS # COMPLETE REST REST REST REST !!!

        1. Ghost of Kamuzu says:

          APM=Nepotist
          APM=Tribalist
          APM=Corrupt
          APM=Thief

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