In exercising his constitutionally guaranteed powers to hire and fire Cabinet, (the press release made sure it quoted the actual section) President Peter Mutharika saw it fit the other day to give the boot to Local Government Minister Tarcisio Gowelo and Lands Minister Paul Chibingu.
As all the other presidents in the past, the President does not see the need to explain to the nation why the two have been sacked from the 20-member Cabinet.
Malawians can only surmise. While it is not clear why Chibingu was shown the exit door, Gowelo deserved the sack as he used his position to wreck the lives of innocent Malawians under his ministry whose only crime was to be promoted by Joyce Banda.
Today there is paralysis in some district councils as there are fights as who is a bonafide DC because of Gowelo’s campaign to purge Joyce Banda’s appointees by frustrating them through unnecessary transfers or demotions.
As we are speaking, there are numerous cases before courts brought by DCs who felt enough was enough.
This country belongs to all of us. It does not belong to only those whose veins flow with blue DPP blood. DCs that were promoted during Joyce Banda’s regime are Malawians and did not elevate themselves but by someone who had the legal power to do it.
Championing a campaign to get rid of them as they are dogs is cruelty that Gowelo was happy to visit on them and he has paid for it.
But this is not the end of story. Gowelo also championed the removal of chiefs in cities and towns.
Although the law does not recognise them, these chiefs do not cause harm to anybody and perhaps that is the reason all previous governments ignored them. They also fill the gap of leadership at community level and somehow citizens recognise them.
Why Gowelo dreamed up a campaign to embarrass them in front of us all and what he hoped to achieve beat me. He has paid for it as DPP cannot afford to sideline any section of society when it will need votes come 2019.
On Gowelo, Mutharika has seen what we all see of a minister who thinks his position is a license to make the lives of other Malawians, he does not personally like, a living hell.
But I am afraid the story ends on Gowelo and he was not the only bad apple in the Cabinet.
Former Health Minister, Jean Kalirani and Transport Minister, Francis Kasaila, are failures who do not deserve to be in the Cabinet.
Kalirani has presided over health delivery system collapse in this country and instead of taking responsibility, she chose to be in denial and blamed district health officers as being responsible for pilferage of drugs in public hospitals when she knew that the problem is down to freeze of funding.
She even went further to accuse the media of self-serving and generally exaggerating the problem as she continued to apportion blame on others instead of solving it as her job description demanded.
She deserved the sack just like Gowelo.
As for Kasaila, he has decided to torture Malawians who wish to get documents from Road Traffic by introducing a system that deliberately makes a simple task very complicated. Kasaila sees no problem for Malawians to spend days on end at Road Traffic just to renew a driving license or Certificate of Fitness (COF) for a vehicle.
Shockingly the President has, in full exercise of his powers, decided to maintain the two for whatever reason in his Cabinet.
It seems he does not see what we all see and he does not need to explain his decisions to Malawians. I wish he had. The two should have been fired.
- The article appeared in Malawi News of Saturday under ‘Hitting the Nail’ column