Could someone please nudge the Malawi Presidency before it’s too late 

A recent Mail & Guardian Africa article reporting on a new survey findings by a US-based pollster, Gallup, which hinted that even though the traditional economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), household income and unemployment stats are ‘the most heavily relied on by policy-makers, these measures underplay the importance of people’s happiness.

Mutharika accompanied by Malawi Defence Force and Police chiefs

Mutharika accompanied by Malawi Defence Force and Police chiefs

Looking at citizen’s happiness levels and an indicator of a nation’s stability, the report says Botswana (surprisingly), Senegal and Malawi are sub-Saharan African countries where people are likely to revolt against their governments. Burkina Faso, where people power recently brought to an end 27 years of Blaise Campaoré presidency toped the list of the most likely countries to have an uprising.
A common analysis of the Burkinabe uprising is that Campaoré attempt to stay in power beyond the current term limits is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Yet, the Gallup study indicates that Burkina Faso’s uprising may have more to do with poor public service delivery as lack of job creation – people’s livelihoods, more than presidential term limits.
It is the latter point that has got Malawi on this unwanted list.
According to the report, nine of the 10 countries of the world with the lowest employment rates are in Africa. It makes grim reading for Malawi. The country is only 1% better than Burkina Faso, which tops the list with 5% lowest payroll to population rate in this part of the world.
In Malawi we have a very bad tendency of disregarding polls and findings such as these because majority of Malawians have been blinded by partisan politics. Folks see everything through partisan politics, blinded by political party colours. Thusly, findings such as these are most likely to be denied and criticised by a party in power and its sympathisers. While those in opposition will use it to discredited the incumbency.
Yet, the findings being discussed here would not come as a surprised to those who have been following events in Malawi closely. The economic situation in Malawi is pathetic at the moment. I will not list the number of industrial strikes and numerous grievances that Malawians have against their government and its subsidiaries – they are too many.
Meanwhile, Malawians are made to believe that the government is running on a shoestring budget because donors are withholding up to 40% of annual budgetary support.
Yet, the actions of government suggest the ‘business as usual’ way of doing things. Exemplified by the lack of fiscal discipline and its petulance.
Malawians knew form the onset that the frozen aid meant limited government spending – even on essential services. Most Malawians would give the government some leeway as a result. What Malawians will not take are patronising government policies, appearing in whatever guise, the current one being the “harmonisation” of civil service salaries.
The truth is that well-meaning sounding words like the salary “Harmonisation” means nothing for a graduate who cannot find a job and cannot access any loan facilities to set-up businesses. “Harmonisation” is nothing when people are going weeks without running water and the government is silent nothing about it. Under this environment, it is provoking people’s anger when the government announces pay increase for the presidency, cabinet ministers and the legislature while denying others demanding the same.
What the civil service salary “harmonisation” debacle show is a government out of sync reality. The presidency has a luxury of having limitless ‘advisors’. This is the time these advisors earn their wages. Someone must nudge the president before it is too late, I don’t think he has a full picture of what is going on in Malawi. Malawi might not go the Burkina Faso way, as Gallup speculates but there is a danger when people lose confidence of their leaders and can no longer trust their government – consequences can be dire.
It happened with Ebola – a deadly virus that has affected devastated parts of West Africa. Liberia has a specific lesson. Liberia has a very corrupt government (and so is Malawi) and service delivery is very poor. The citizenly have no trust in their government. So when Ebola struck, Liberians never took any advice from the government and authorities on how to stay away and contain the deadly virus. As argued by Daily Maverick’s Simon Allison, Ebola not just a devastating virus, it is also a case of shambolic governance and poor service delivery, especially in Liberia.
As it is, Malawi government is losing trust of its people. There are more questions than answers. For instance, how could the presidency turn down the salary increase only after it had been publicly announced? Was the presidency not a part of that decision making? If not, who is really in charge? Or is it that the government is playing politics with what should be a governance issue? Should Malawians trust the people in charge? And who are they?
At the bottom of all these issues is a government lacking transparency. Transparent governments are not only better placed to provide essential public service but it is also clear and apparent to the citizenly when the government genuinely lack resources to meet some public services. Governments must be seen working to meet people’s expectations, or be prepared to lead an angry nation.”
  • Jimmy Kainja
Twitter: @jkainja
Skype: jkainja
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64 thoughts on “Could someone please nudge the Malawi Presidency before it’s too late ”

  1. dadaboma says:

    Yesterday, 20th Dec 2014, someone nudged APM to address the nation on the economic problems facing the country. From what the man managed to say, I have the following truth to say: MALAWI HAS NO PRESIDENT. The man just gathered ministerial reports and used them to address the nation. The man seemed to live out of touch of the economic misery Malawians are going through. He could not talk of NACGATE, why he increased salaries and other perks for his cabinet and MPs and latter deferred getting them, what he was doing to get donors back, why he is not auditing the 92 bn MK stolen from govt under Bingu even if the Germany govt availed huge amount of money for the exercise, what he’s doing to address the labour strikes in public service, what he’s doing to address calls for federalism or secession arising from his divisive policies such as quota system, what he ‘s doing to apply himself as a national president not just a tribal czar, what he’s doing to contain inflation, etc. These and many are the things we expected APM to address the nation on. MALAWI HAS NO PRESIDENT.

  2. w.moir says:

    trying to force urself into something that u can be,we r not watching but god leader of the people.

  3. utawasala says:

    Peter is not a politician is given wrong job. MEC is to be blamed for what we are experiencing today. Malawian are suffering because of incompentence of our MEC. Mbendera has put Malawi in problem for lack of patriotism. Most Malawian whether educated behaves as if they have never gone to school and never have they see other countries how they develop.

  4. Getu opanda Matako says:

    I said it and will it again. Peter muntharika is not fit ro rule malawi. He has failed in all aspects of life. If not for the rigging we still would have had JB as our beloved leader. Malawians we have been taken for a fool for quite a longer time. It is time we showed this bastard that they belong to hell. They are are cowards.
    Aunt Getu ngwakuba heavy. Shame on you thieves.

  5. wamasomphenya says:

    Fathara umapembedza satana pitalayu afaso uyu, mulungu samenyera nkhondo anthu obera masankho. Alomwe munatsutsana ndi chifunilo chamulungu akunyetsani. Mulungu adamuchotsa yekha bingu pampando inu nkubwezerapo.Kodi alipo munthu amalimbana ndi mulungu napambana? Kodi ulipo brunch umalimbana ndi mulungu nupambana?? Alomwe ndi pitala wanuyo ndinu otembereredwa upulezidenti uwu wotembereredwa ndipo muwona zakudaaa kudzagwila kunkhongo nkumati eeee tinkayesanji ifeee lero tapusa chitani pheee muwone mkwiyo wa yehova

  6. matako says:

    The only thing that can save this country at this point is an all out revolt or a military coup. While the later is less likely to happen which leaves us with the only option which is to take to the streets and ask this government to go. Malawians are tired of being taken for a ride by greedy , inept corrupt leaders who are more interested in filling their pockets with stolen state resources. While countries around us are prospering the president is not ashamed to go around begging instead of urging the citizens to work hard. Like his predecessor APM is clueless when it comes to policy and creation of sustainable jobs. This country is very rich in resources. Richer than Japan and South Korea combined. Look at the level of development those two countries have attained. If it was not for greed by these corrupt leaders from Muluzi to the incumbent none of them have Malawi’s interest at heart.

  7. Mtonga says:

    Just look at what the countries around Malawi are doing. All countries but Malawi are getting better at everything. Mlomwe uyu zamukanika. Chokolo ndi mpando wa President. Mavuto ku Nyasaland basi. asaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaH

  8. Gerald Viola says:

    Mr. President you have failed just accept. You are clueless your excellency. Im tired of defending your madness called government. Wake up from the slumber sir otherwise we can be toppled.

  9. Malopa says:

    I must say all the respect i had for this old man is eroded. Apm doesnt take advise from anyone apart from ben phiri. This has affected performance of government as ideas are debated between two people only. You cant run a govt like that.

  10. Mikango says:

    Joyce Banda is tried and tested. She proved her worthness to be our President. Peter mutharika has failed beyond measure. His leadership is lucklustre. Pack up and go Mr. Before its too late.

  11. Prudence wa Amai says:

    Peter mutharika is useless. His days are numbered. He has failed to run this country. Best is for him to resign or else what M&G reported will come to pass. After Burkina Faso malawi is next. The dpp will be toppled.
    The country is on auto pilot mode. There seem to be nobody who is in charge. Be very afraid revolution is coming.

  12. bob says:

    Guys president apange chiani pamene 40%ya ndalama zoendetsela dzikoli sizinapelekedwe ,chifukwa chake cashgate ya boma lapita .Demo ingowonjezela kumaliza kaziko kososok

  13. Emanuell thembachako says:

    Ambewe ku neno ndinu achisilu ndipo kwabwino anakaboshola mai anu

  14. Malawi is in a verge of colupse. Pray hard.

  15. Haya says:

    Pliz Give APM 15 years to sort out this mess. 5yrs brain storming, 5 yrs Planning &:5yrs Implementing.

  16. daniel says:

    zinthu apa sizilibwino,chifukwa atabwera wina zizakhalaso chimozimozi.boma liziwe kuti anthu atopakumangoyenda bawo oponda chochita.tikufuna ntchito kuti tisakhale busy ndi ziwawa

  17. Kalanga says:

    Pple are not getting stories from journoz bt what we see! There4 dont defend the president!

  18. Akugona Abwana mkonono ngati Mr ibu

  19. I hate tendacy yathu yogwiritsa chiyankhulo cha chingerezi powuza mtundu wa a Malawi nkhani zofunikila. Why ???. Tiyeni nkhani zokhuza a malawi zizikhala mchichewa. Mzungu mukumulemekezayo watimana ndalama zake so why use his language? A malawi kupepera kwenikweniiii

    1. Chief says:

      I agree with you 100%

  20. chiki says:

    Impeach him! Time is going. Don’t wait things get worse than this!

  21. Mutu Umodzi says:

    Munavota nokha mukudziwa. Munkaona ngati kuti chani? Those are fruits of your own works. Munya simunati!!!!!!

  22. wolangiza says:

    musiyeni azipanga zimenezo asatira komwe kunapita mukulu wake .chifukwa palibe ndichemwe akuziwa pankhani yadziko funduso alibe .basi anthu kumati muthalika muthalika wachani chamba eti

  23. pharisee says:

    Malawi iz just full of lazy people!!!

  24. saxkson says:

    kukamba zoona peter dziko walirephera monga mmene analephelera mkulu wake taonani pamiyezi imene wakhalayi zinthu zonse siziri bwino zifika mmene zinaliri nthawi yam bale wake ameneyu pafunika achoke basi

  25. Bazuka says:

    Mutharika is feeling comfortable because this country is full of two groups of people namely the majority illiterate plebians & uncivilised educated tribalists. These cadres are making our country stink with abject poverty because they have blind support even when the leader is clueless as Gogo Pitala Mutharika. Well let them suffer since they are honestly reaping their weed. As for me am happy enjoying my life. Sorry amphawi inu muli ndi soka posankha agogo anu muvutika musanati!

    1. I hate bigots says:

      You mean the tribalists who were supporting JB as she chriss crossed the country while they -wakwithu tribalist-led the theft of government funds through cashgage are any better? Is it OK when Chakufwa chihana practiced tribalims as minister of water and irr but not ok when Mwananveka does the same? Bigots assholes I have no sympathy with.

  26. lets wait & c.Pakadunda padajiwitsa……Muvioyang’anila sukhala kulasa…..

  27. there is no reason for anyone to use disrespectful words for the President of the country no matter how much you disagree with him, problems in Malawi will get better when journalism, people that inform us take their time to investigate stories thoroughly before they publish them. Just recently it was reported by Nyasa times that Britain had in fact rejected Ntaba for his post as High Commissioner in London only to learn that this was in fact not true!! We no longer know who to trust, we in the diaspora count on Nyasa times for news but now am not sure even this article needs to be re checked with all its facts and figures…..

    1. dambobanda says:

      my friend r u in this world? it seems u r from mars search and what others presidents are called in their countries.

  28. Mr Raines says:

    The country is sick,

  29. Kamchitete says:

    as stupid as our presidency, who expects him to understand the situation. The ears are as blunt as the mouth. The only thing to awaken him is the general strike by all stakeholders plus attacks by ngos.

  30. ndadabwa says:

    very good article.Does the president realy need these so called advisers? Should we pay them these high salaries,phones,vxes when the common man has nothing


  32. Mumakwana bwana kainga ulemu wanu

  33. golden eye says:

    Work Up! Work hard! The world is for the Stouts, the meek will die. Natural selection…..

  34. elder sage2 says:

    Mr, Kainja, u r the type of people exacerbating/promoting poor public service and economic development in this country.
    Why are u against salary harmonisation? Why should we be pampering lawyers and mercenary judges who gave us a raw deal in giving us a mediocre irrelevant constitution? Who are delaying judgements for up to five years in a good number of cases? Just how special are these guys and ladies? Mr. JK, your article may be just as irrelevant.

    Tell me, Which country in the world is a star performer because its public service lawyers and judges/magistrates plus attendant support staff are getting way above fellow civil servants at same grade with same qualification and experience?

  35. Much as we appreciate the freedom of expression and the right to be adquately informed,caution must also be exercised by all means.Patriotic informative skills must be given a room,not information that insinuate anger on arleady angered nation,dont fun dead embers or make a mountain out of a mole antihill.Why am saying all this,those alleged to have stolen screens,handsets,maize,chickens etc.from peoples homes,once caught are burnt alive,on the other hand those alleged to have stolen public funds through the infamous cashgate are in comfort of their stolen treasures.We can start a revolution but we cant control it.Yesterday I read a story about the so called police armed robbery in Kanjedza from this very page,it was reported that all police officers at chilobwe police unit have been transfered to chikuli and chileka and that Malawi Defence Forces officers are operating chilobwe police unit,where,how and why?we trusted nyasatimes as a credible source of information,so dont cause to think that nyasatimes is as other irresponsible social medias. MAINTAIN YOUR PROFESSIONALISM!

  36. Mkalapwaga says:

    Can a person who failed to solve the academic freedom issue be able to run the whole nation?

  37. Kumalawi ndi ku Afghanistan bola kumakhala ku Afghanistan

  38. Mhesha says:

    Kainja…who does not know you? Who do you want to fool? We pretty well know that your out-bursts are based on HATE for a Southerner being president of this country, let alone DPP. You aware that there is no honesty in your accussations. Apart from the out-bursts, what do you do to your country in order to make progress? APM got this country while the coffers were deleted by your Mum, JB and her cronies. Give him time.

  39. moto mwikho says:

    You do it yourself!

  40. Kharupa says:

    may someone also nag Obama and friends to stop wars on the Arab countries please, may he also bring Bush to ICC before its too late

  41. apao says:

    You can not do or achieve anything if there is no community participating, but you want to do it in the community. How can you win oldnry citizens’ trust if you do not involve them and creat space for them in the name of job creation? Women are community builders and one of them is JB. She did it, she will do it. Not muthalikacrancy.

  42. Think Tank says:

    Excellent and thought provoking from Kainja. The president must wake up and as Malawians let us continue to speak and raise our voices until this regime can deliver on its promises. Good service delivery is a must for any government. Essential things like clean water, energy and food security must be met and can only be met if there is genuine transparancy and conducting business ‘not as usualy’! Come January 13, let us swam into the streets and show this government that we are watching!

  43. MERCURY says:

    Commentators! I bet this a revolt commentator for sure

  44. mabvuto akula says:

    Izi ndiye ndizoona. Koma m’mene tiwadziwira a Munthalika anganve izi. We live in a nation which has no direction.

  45. dadaboma says:

    Nudge him yourself – he’s your president. What did you think you were you voting into presidency office – a doll or a human being? All those who voted for him or it can go and nudge him/it from “slumber” and see if they’ll get a reaction they expect. You don’t just vote into presidency “anything” just because “it” comes from your home or tribe. Bullshit.

  46. sniper says:

    …dpp has failed completely! News from state house is that peter spend much of his time drinking and calling his friend in america!

  47. PP Propaganda says:

    Kainja, why can’t you nudge it yourself? Or you can ask your mistress joyisi to do it. So you mean you signed a contract to bark for the entire term of Mutharika? What a disgrace job it is. How much does she pay you?

  48. Pablo says:


  49. Moya says:

    Polls failed us miserably during may elections, just write ur opinion forget about these poll houses.they misguided the whole country.

  50. Paul Matemba says:

    Koma ya!

  51. Philosopher says:

    Things are falling apart

  52. big boy says:

    Very fair and objective story

  53. Bwampini says:

    The big issue is playing politics with governing issue. Accepting that things are not fine will not mean the pple gonna vote again tomorrow. They see how pathetic our economy is but they don’t accept it. Such things kindle the citizens anger. Malawi will never change if we continue to support sm1 bcz he/she gives u a loaf of bread. Think about those pple in villages who just see you in their shabby communities ONLY if you want their votes. Muvi woyang’anira suchedwa kuthuzura diso.REVENGING THE PREDECESSORS WILL NEVER EVER UPLIFT MALAWI. It began a long time ago

  54. Galu wapananji Mwale says:

    Izso nde zt? tatopanazo zomangopweketsa mitu ya anthu iyaaaa!

  55. Fathara says:


  56. verson says:

    Business as usual indeed. How do you convince donors you have no money when you are spending money to your allies unnecessarily? People are watching.

  57. Mmihavani says:

    Is the author of this article, Jimmy Kainja, suggesting that Peter would in 6 months play magic and create employment? Elsewhere in the world its the industrious citizens that start businesses and create employment for others. Governments only create conducive environment. In the world over, most businesses are family businesses. Now I should ask Jimmy what business has he ever engaged himself in? Malawians will always be quarelling while foreigners are busy doing trade and becoming rich.

  58. Mr. B says:

    My take on to this Gallup survey is might be either right or wrong. Malawians are very compromised kind of people and we had the opportunity recently to choose the president and the government of our choice and probably we did so. The constitution of our republic is very clear that after every five years Malawi should conduct elections and we have to blame ourselves for our own choice. We do have four main parties in the country namely MCP, UDF, DPP and PP, tell me among the mentioned parties and their leaders which one did change the living standard of the majority poor people. I always cry for my country to be alleviated from poverty and be self sustained. I was born in Malawi, I am a Malawian and a proud Malawian.

    1. Martin says:

      The problem is that only 35% of stupid people of Malawi voted for this so called president and his Dpp,then why should all of us or should I say 65% of us suffer because of mistakes of those few? Then maybe it’s time Peter listen to voice of the majority.

  59. ndatani says:

    A fact indeed I voted for this government but my expectation have not yet been met. Something quick has to be done impeachment?

Comments are closed.