Let’s change tactics: Tenthani’s Muckraking on Malawi ‘business as usual’

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again  and  expecting different resultsAlbert Einstein

Mutharika and  vice president Saulos Chilima:  Civil service reform

Mutharika and vice president Saulos Chilima: Civil service reform

Today let us briefly talk about how we are embarrassingly trying to do the same things that never worked before and somehow we would like to hope that they will work now.

But, first, allow me to be gentle with my dear president.

Look, sometimes I feel for Peter. I know the old man will always be – unfairly, I must quickly add – be judged on his big brother’s eccentric record.

I know if cops gun down four thugs trying to rob a service station in Lilongwe, we will always jump, “Hokoyo! Take cover! Bingu’s ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy is back in town!”

If government raises the middle finger to whoever wants to ‘toyi-toyi’ in the streets by publishing meaningless centrespreads in newspapers touting government’s purported achievements, we will always go, “Here goes the ‘small Kahuna’ daring us like his big brother did on July 20 with a colourless hours-long public lecture nobody listened or watched.”

So, from the beginning, it has not meant to be easy for Peter; however hard he tries the poor fella will always be viewed in the prism of his brother’s lens.

But, to be fair, there is nothing much he can do; he will always be his brother’s brother however hard he tries to be otherwise.

That said, however, Peter can be his brother’s brother but still successfully do things differently.

The professor did well by roping in a fresh-faced No. 2 and a few folks with untainted partisan backgrounds. Look, if truth be told, the likes of Saulos Chilima bring to politics a breath of fresh air.

The Vice President, with folks like Bright Msaka who have never seriously been in the trenches of partisan politics, can help salvage the Peter presidency.

Angoni Saulos is already doing his part. He has shocked Capital Hill by practically doing things in a ‘business unusual’ manner. Has he not astounded the veterans on the Hill by being at his desk at 7.30 and urging the aficionados at the government seat they need not have to line up every morning to welcome him as he goes to his office?

And if we thought the ‘business as usual’ attitude is confined to the civil service, Saulos called our bluff by besting even the titans of how to do ‘business unusual’ – the private sector. He scheduled a meeting for 8.30 in Blantyre this past week but he knew, us being Malawians, there will still be some 20-minute room to be wasted for needless camaraderie like ‘how is the madam, Mary, at home?’

So he showed up some 20 minutes early to cover for that wastage but nobody was there!

That is the ‘business unusual’ stuff President Mutharika has to encourage in government.

As his deputy, Saulos must be Peter’s most-trusted advisor. It is great that Angoni is almost half the professor’s age. He can do all the running around while Peter is busy reviewing long-term policies.

But such policies, if we have to briefly come back to what I really wanted to discuss today, must not include re-experimenting on experiments that have achieved nothing before.

Look, Bakili Muluzi tried to use vendors and chiefs to further his impossible antics. Were chiefs not paraded all over the national airwaves tricking us that the guy from Kasupe was the best thing that has ever happened to us so much that if we did not give him a third chance Malawi would be wiped off the map?

Now we are doing the same things, parading vendors on national television to deride next Tuesday’s planned demonstrations against pilferage at the National Aids Commission.

And this day and age we cannot be using chiefs to urge the President to fire judges for demanding what is constitutionally owed to them. Chiefs, if truth be told, lost their halo once they allowed themselves to be used as political pawns.

I know someone will jump to claim that the vendors and the chiefs are only exercising their constitutional right, nobody is aiding them. C’mon good people, we know the business of vending…vendors use time to the maximum. No clever vendor can waste 30 minutes of his time blurting for free.

And we also know the highest honorarium a traditional leader gets in Malawi is K50,000. No sane chief, trust me, can burn fuel to travel from, say, Karonga or Nsanje to drench in the rain in Blantyre just to urge the President to do things that are beyond his mandate.

Somebody – you know who – funded them.

Malawians may be susceptible of being fooled once in a while. But, please, let us be a little creative. It is disrespectful to use same tricks and hope people will fall for them all the time.

Please use different tactics.

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54 thoughts on “Let’s change tactics: Tenthani’s Muckraking on Malawi ‘business as usual’”

  1. William Matewere says:

    I hope Ralph does not mean that freedom to demonstrate is not restricted to those who oppose. If the CSO have seen some mistakes, they influence other people to see the same mistakes and go ahead with demonstration and if government does not see any mistake in their actions and go ahead mobilising chiefs and other people what is wrong with that. Freedom of association and demonstration is not restricted to the proponents but it is a right to the opponents as well but what is important is to exercise such freedom with responsibility without infringing on other people’s rights.

  2. Banda says:

    So in Malawi, chiefs have no voice. When they speak then they have been bought. What a foolish thinking. On the same note you think the chiefs are poor and you measure their wealth from the K40 , 000. 00 they get?
    What a hollow thinking. Please respect these chiefs, they are wise most have better brains than that of muck raker who thinks of beer and politics.

  3. Raph ur rihht in ur article about chiefs being funded and vrnfird too… its the intelectusls vs pimps in poligics oops!
    Surery Apm wud not go fid that grp ambandone us whi ciontribute to nationAL BUDGET BY CLOSE 60PCT VENDORS &CHIEFS IN TTL HARDLY 0.005… AKAGWERE UK ZATS WHY SAME CHIEF ARE BID TIME CORRUPTED GRP …

  4. makechisasa says:

    Kusolola ku NAC ndichibwana cha mchombo lende.Same old tricks but we will go.Enafe azibale athu ambili moyo wao wukusamalika ndi ma ARV.We have nothing to do with aparty which digs deeper into the pockets of their inner circle by auctioning a chair next to their party president, even if the loyalist pays MK10.0 million for that chair, we will not demonstrate.Koma izi zokha ayi izi nyansi zimenezi zilekeke kaya zinayambidwa kalekakale kaya ayamba ndi iwowo koma we are sending a message out kuti nyansi izi ai….pezani kwina kosolola.Period.

  5. Let hm cal central and north clergymen to pray as it raining too much last recently

  6. Piche Yakiti says:

    Ralph is a professor….when you are a professor generally you always try to polish your inside-intellect-and not the outside. Do you want Ralph to come in the opening to declare his assets? he is fine a BBC correspondent. He write about Peter Mutharika to keep him on his feet so that he can steer Malawi further.

  7. datruth says:

    U dog face umatitopesa ife a MCP y u only target one man talk to PSs uzisambako nthaw zina kununkha kwake kumeneko mungayandikirani ndi a prersident

  8. suzumire j says:


  9. hfty says:

    Same old poor analyses. Anything that u can’t a mutharika name on u can’t analyze. do all your analyses have to draw from the Mutharika blood, give us something else


    Graet stuff Mr Tenthani, enawa akubwebwetawa tawasiyani but the truth is that these guys are still using the same old tricks which i think will never work

  11. ineyo says:

    Papatu a pitala amakhala Ku khitchini kkkkkkk

  12. Medrian Kaunda says:

    There is only one way – a repeat of 20-21 July, to learn how people-friendly or aloof the regime may be. Only this way, forget about prayers and bla bla.

  13. wafika says:

    Now that vendors are not going to be on the road I will go. I was afraid of the vendors because they are the ones that leave the route and target shops. These will now be peaceful and worth being part of it. Police do not instigate violence. Paja mumalowelera ku tsokoneza zinthu kuti muziba bwino mumene muna chitira ndi kuba ku bank.

    Malawi is on the right path regarding protesting against what is wrong. kukhala pansi ndikukambirana zimathandiza osati fwefwe kenaka ku udza mafumu kuti ayankhule.

  14. Kapenandiye says:

    All have been paid (the demos and the anti demos) by how much u know, by who u also know koma csos ndi amene adya zambiri zabookatu kumeneko mpaka over k50m wina wapondanso anzake, koma abale! Is money u r problem just organise demo u will get plenty, koma malawi!!!!

  15. Aaron says:

    To begin with, I must acknowledge the respect I personally have for you Ralph as one of the best journalists our soil produced, however you just proved to me that I have all along lied to myself, really Ralph whoever is paying you for these columns is just equally poor, I you were clever you would be owning businesses by now, but you’re still thriving on that little pen waiting negativity about your own chiefs, businesses gurus, so who do you think will develop the country if it’s not for the vendors, unlike you vendors feel every tick tok in economy, please try to do abit of economics, your journalism is becoming very poor maybe try to report on the upcoming CAF, i can handle the negativity. Sorry Ralph go back to school u just showed your Ideocrity by your negative reporting on very important personalities, Idiot

    1. Metallic says:

      Emotions rather than rationality and sanity are evidently all over your comment aaron, no educated person like mi can second yo outburst. Pointin @ som1 as an idiot with 1 finger, look hw many r pointin back @ u

  16. mwana mwanalume says:

    boma ndilimenelo

  17. ENUKWENI says:


  18. aphiri says:

    Raphael is right our chiefs were given money to travel to Blantyre. They don’t hv money these bastards. Amadikila nkhuku zathu kukakhala maliro basi

  19. marvelick says:

    This is a nice article, Peter is not JB,Bingu or Muluzi.. The guy has bn in America for quite long, why cant he practice civilised politics, show Malawians different leadership style…

  20. simighe says:

    On fuel prices why malawi is being so harsh with its own people???the fuel producers have reduced it up to 50/100 why my country?? Instead of making it have a price…..indeed these people are mafias………

  21. Angozo says:

    What is this animal called Raphael Tenthani? We malawians who love our country are tired with his nonsense, can he shup up, who do he think is? Idiot of all idiots.


  23. musisipala says:

    A Tentgani leave Peter alone. He is the President and you should respect him. Mwakhuta ndalama zakunja a capilicon inu

  24. Total Malawian says:

    Ralph, also advise them that the excessive blame of opposing views; on people of the North is hurting Peter. The cold reception he recived in Mzuzu last month was a good message sent across. Peter’s (mis)advisors should not pretend that they don’t that thousands of people from the south and centre own property and businesses in the north. They should ask Peter himself (lodge at Lupaso), Munlo (macademis estate at Bia) among known names

  25. Muswera says:

    Demo ikadzadza ndi mavendawo! Muonanso a Beautify Ndata!

  26. MMALAWI says:

    I am convinced the Chiefs and Vendors were sponsored by government for the following reasons:
    1 The amount of time it took for them to assemble from different parts of Malawi to Blantyre. The CSOs have taken so long to organize the demos
    2. They have appeared on TV several times before their march-you have to be a govt sympathiser to appear on MBC TV
    3 Where and when did they meet to coordinate the march and draft the petition and simultaneously find the Chief secretary in Blantyre – his work station is Lilongwe?
    +++++ Search me but the modus operandi typically smells of the DPP government

  27. Google says:

    Iwe ukhalira zomwezo zotukwana alomwe ife tikukulamulira,
    Mwezi ukatha salary iwe ukutuwa ndi umbuli wakowo.

  28. kambolonjo says:

    Who told u that if the chief is a masters degree holder can’t be insane? Ralph is right.

  29. Rymbo says:

    Lets love our country.. Why hating a person a person because of his relation ? Leave him to perform and judge him later.. Anything about demonstration,thus just nonsense.. Please lets come together and move our malawi out of the financial constraits she is in.. And how will i believe you that the chiefs and vendors were sent?

    1. Nkhombokombo says:

      Definately who do you think mobilized their Majesty the chiefs to come so low as to march for subjects as they did? Likelyhood is that money was wasted here. Chiefs must not be dragged into these politcal squables that we are seeing today. Chiefs must remain and stay at their respected quarters and run their fatherly chores. They must not take sides because they after look after different people with different political affilliations. They are there to give their subjects some advice to unite them together. We as respectful Malawians will not have our chiefs be used as political vendors.

  30. zansete says:

    Ndipo anthu satimatenga phunzilo pa zomwe zinachitikila Ena, Bakili anagwilitsa ntchito mavenda ,nkumati Venda wankulu ndi iyeyo komano sizinamuthandize kachipani kake ndi aka kakusosokaka akanakhala galu tikanati Ali ndi gwemba. Mafumu Ena anagulilidwa galimoto komanso sizinathandize,ndie inu a DPP musamale

  31. Malindima says:

    A word of caution Raphael!
    Not every strike is constitutionally legal!

  32. New Govt says:

    Tenthani u a insane indeed for writing this again tha we can wait for results from u! A quote u just quoted for oneself! U a stupid in anything u write and your arguments always match a kindergarten toddler! Do u think chiefs get money from honararia only? Others are richer than you! Be schooled today about vendors in political participation. Vendors are learned ppo and should not be taken as boot lickers as u may take them that way! If u a to argue do it as a journalist not as a PP symphathizer! Idiot writer! I wonder why Nyasa times publish these articles for tainting their image alas!

    1. Matapwata says:

      choka iwe musiye tenthani hes xpressing his right kudana ndi chilungamo bwanji mbuzi iwe eti bootlicker wa dpp and pitala mxiiiiiiiiii tchaya tenthani they want to fool us alaaaa

  33. Zi says:

    How can we believe whatever you said? What if the chiefs were not sent by someone but themselves? Give us proof and not Just convice us with whatever you Have To Say… Go to the streets for tangible reasons not 5 million which,in my own Undestandng was returned… Wont The people to be demonstrating also loose their time for nothng instead of winning bread for their families?So why blaming chiefs and vendors for airing what they thought was right?? LOVE YOUR COUNTRY,NOBODY WiLL LOVE IT FOR YOU !

  34. Nzika says:

    Kwataninso Mr. Imraan Sidik M.P. KKKKKKKKKKK

  35. Imraan Sadik says:

    I have told you people time and again that what we have in Malawi is a cartoon of agovernment. Being a cartoon himself Peter and his hundlers have successfully managed to turn the likes of Manganya, vendors and mafumu and the zombes at MBC into human vesions of the Joza’s dobadobas, yobes, and mickymouses. Ine Imraan Sidik ndinayesesa ku bakila koma ayi panja ndithu ndazitaya pansi.

  36. Chipoya LJ. says:

    So how about those demo organizers? Who has funded them? How much have or they are to spend for the organisation of the so called country-wide demos?
    Is it reasonable to spend a lot of money, time and resources just for BEAM’s 5 million kwacha NAC saga? I hope you Mr Tenthani you are not taking sides here. I believe you are also not used by some opposition political morons

    All in all, GOD bless Malawi!!!!!!!

    1. Kenkkk says:

      It is not about the amount but principles and abuse of nac money that is of uttermost importance.

  37. And mind U, Raph, these are no ordinary chiefs one of them that I know holds a master’s degree ! We are a lot of INSANE people. The big Kahuma tricked us and we expect I brother to give us a different result ? REALLY?

  38. Bwampini says:

    The only way Malawi can develop is by having elections every 2 years. Half a decade is too long for politicians to remember an ordinary person who gains nothing about democracy

  39. Madududu says:

    …but they can’t fool all the people all the time.

  40. Dick says:

    The firing was simply a strategy to solve the impasse. It had no literal sense. I find this article a wast of time

  41. mbwaxe says:

    Gud write up!!!! The only challenge is that boma lilimumanja mwa agalu!!! So you how dogs behave!!!!! A manyera ndi kunyengana paliponse!!!! Boma la alomwe and agalu!@!@!!!!!! Yap pa nyo panu

  42. That is Tenthani’s personal opinions.He wisely advises the government where something goes wrong up to the extent of attacking the government in the name of ‘advising’.Well,but we must also know that regular attacks make good ideas to be misplced with misfortunes and only a person who had ever tasted the position of presidency can agree with me.

    What does a spider do if it wants to catch a lion??You all know that it produces as many webs as possible which unite and firmly may catch its prey(Lion).Should we therefore, Mr Muckraker, say that demonstrations can solve problems or multiply them??Come on,on this! Where are the three major ways of solving misunderstandings? Where are they,I mean negotiation,mediation and arbitration?Are all these ways applied and have failed?Im not happy as a civil servant who loves Malawi not to get a benefil from who so ever called a ‘boss’.

  43. The Truthful One from the West says:

    Those who expected Peter Mutharika to do things differently from his brother are now disappointed. Look at MBC. It has become blatantly too partisan that for you to be featured on MBC you have to say something in support of DPP just as it was during the Bingu wa Mutharika rule. With DPP in power non partisan debate on problems facing Malawi is impossible on MBC.

  44. Mphwache says:

    Ralph, you are one of a kind. If you were not married to your journalism, I would say Ralph for President. You really remind me of President Jose Mujica of Uruguay. Probably the best president any country ever had.

  45. kangali says:

    instead of writing good things that happened yesterday (fuel price is down) you are talking about bad things. you are a journalist of doom.

    1. Wailing Soul says:

      Fuel prices have gone down world over not because of the government but the world prices have plummeted if you follow international news

      1. kangali says:

        check ur record dude.I think u don’t appreciation.

    2. Sincara says:

      Fuel prices hv gone down by 50 percent since august last year my friend.

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