One of the leading Malawi newspaper columnist has showered praise to President Peter Mutharika for being an office leader other than a tourist.
Writing in his Cut the Chaff column in the Weekend Nation, Ephraim Munthali criticised Mutharika’s predecessor, Joyce Banda, saying she was “a presidency on the road.”
He noted that almost two months since Mutharika was sworn in as Head of State, he has not crossed his country’s borders as Head of State and never travelled recklessly.
“Within a similar period in 2012, the then president Joyce Banda—+–who was in May this year voted out of State House literally kicking and screaming—had already travelled to South Africa, Mozambique, United Kingdom (UK) and I can’t remember where else. Within a similar period, Mrs. Banda had already criss-crossed the country attending to mundane jobs, opening a little bit of this, launching a little bit of that, dishing our little goodies and presiding over non-descript events,” writes Munthali.
The columnist noted when Mutharika appears in public, “it is to perform a really important task that can only be done by the Head of State such as officially opening a session of Parliament, presiding over Independence Anniversary celebrations, swearing in of his Cabinet ministers and welcoming foreign leaders, among other rare public appearances he has squeezed in.”
President Mutharika, the columnist writes, has shown that he understands the meaning of delegation—dispatching his vice Saulos Chilima where other presidents would have rushed in and sending ministers in some cases to represent him.
“This is a breath of fresh air that must be encouraged and I hope he continues on this path. Of course, the expectation is that the President spends most of his time in office working hard for Malawians, not taking frequent naps throughout the day and merely chatting up his new wife as doing so would be worse than his predecessors’ daily road shows,” he writes.
Meanwhile, President Mutharika is expected to take his first official visit abroad next month when he visits United States for an African leaders summit hosted by President Barack Obama.