Malawi govt nepotism revisited: Mutharika and his crimes

It appears Malawians like to make conclusions out of selective information on important subjects that ought to be thought out carefully. This is the case on nepotism.

Not a Lhomwe government: President Mutharika and vice president Chilima at Mulhakho event

Not a Lhomwe government: President Mutharika and vice president Chilima at Mulhakho event

Some people say Northerners are nepotistic as if all Malawians from the North qualify for that label. Others want us to believe that President Peter Mutharika is nepotistic. But these conclusions are often based on incomplete analyses.

Recently, Nyasa Times blasted Peter Mutharika, branding his reign as “the most nepotistic in Malawi’s history.” Unfortunately, the argument was a complete distortion of the sermon Archbishop Thomas Msusa gave at the consecration of Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese John Ryan.

Msusa rightly said nepotism is not good for national development and someone hastily concluded: “Therefore, President Mutharika is nepotistic.” This is a serious accusation and it cannot go unquestioned.

President Mutharika is a political leader who has gone every mile to avoid nepotism. He has attempted to distribute key appointments across the regions and has at times gone against political norms to achieve equity.

If Mutharika was nepotistic, he would not pick Saulos Chilima, a Ngoni non-politician from Ntcheu, as Vice-President. Mutharika could as well have picked a fellow Lhomwe.

Government has three arms: Executive, Judiciary and Legislature. Yet to some people, Mutharika still runs a nepotistic government though the three branches are headed by Malawians from different ethnic backgrounds.

No one can say we have a Lhomwe Government when both the Legislature and the Judiciary are headed by northerners.

Richard Msowoya is Speaker of Parliament. Although the Speaker was not appointed by Mutharika, the President was fully aware that it was not his ethnic blood running the second branch of Government when he appointed Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, SC to head Judiciary. There are Lhomwe judges that Mutharika could have picked.

The balance of powers in the Executive defies the nepotism theory. Some powerful ministries are headed by able Malawians based on their competence rather than blood lines.

The Ministry of Justice, one of the top-most ministries, is headed by Samuel Tembenu, a Chewa from Salima.

The Ministry of Finance is not headed by a Lhomwe, but Goodall Gondwe from Mzimba in the North. Mutharika appointed Ronald Mangani, a Yao from the Eastern Region, to the powerful position of Secretary to the Treasury.

Let us also say it was nepotism for Mutharika to appoint Lucas Kondowe, who comes from Mzimba, to head the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). This is one of the few key positions Mutharika has appointed in the last two years.

It is important to appreciate that Mutharika left intact most of the appointments made by Joyce Banda to run to the end of their contracts.

Among the few appointments Mutharika has made is that of the Accountant General William Matambo who comes from the Centre. Can we say this appointment was also nepotistic?

One recent appointment Mutharika has made is that of deputy chief secretary Lloyd Muhara, who was a judge until his appointment. Was this a wrong appointment just because Muhara is a Lhomwe?

The fact is that it would be completely naïve to think that Mutharika should not appoint qualified Lhomwe people just because they are Lhomwes. What matters is the balance of power.

The fact is that nobody says anything when Mutharika appoints  people from any other part of Malawi. That one is never a crime. But it becomes an issue when the President appoints from the Lhomwe belt in spite of the fact that the President is also appointing people from other regions.

The case of Muhara is even more fascinating because the actual post of Chief Secretary to Government is not in the hands of a Lhomwe. Muhara is there to deputise George Mkondiwa. The very Chief Secretary to Government and head of civil servats is not a Lhomwe.

Another significant appointment Mutharika has made is that of the vice-chancellor of Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must). He  appointed Professor Address Malata who is a Chewa from Nkhoma in Lilongwe. She is the first female vice-chancellor and she leads Malawi’s academic beacon. Yet we still want to accuse Mutharika of practising nepotism.

When Professor Address Malata was appointed, some of us were expecting to see commendations being heaped on the President. I expected at least women groups to openly commend and encourage the President.

But I have also noted that we have lately gone into a media tradition of looking for obvious critics to assess every appointment decision the President makes.

When it is a good decision and that we find no fault, we stay quiet.

The moment we spot a weak point, we all go up in arms against the President.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

25 thoughts on “Malawi govt nepotism revisited: Mutharika and his crimes”

  1. PATRIOT says:

    mmmmm,what brother Winston Msowoya means is that not any high position,for instance,anyone can be a President,Vice President,Minister Of Home Affairs,Minister of Regional Afffairs so on and so forth,but to be the Minister of Finance,you have to be a faculty and unprecedentedly well versed in financial dealings that’s why your presidents have been handling Gondwe with respect and admiration for over 10 years and think how many Presidents he has served? Since independence,we have had only two Finance Ministers with credible standings late D.K.Chisiza and G.Gondwe both HINYAS and yet,Northerners are the most hated animals.Chisiza was killed by Banda’s bloody rogues for his international stature.It is impossible to destroy talents,but it is easy to destroy ineptitude.

  2. Chambe says:

    Imagine the country went Rwanda way, which tribe would be more scared?

  3. Winston Msowoya says:

    G.Gondwe was appointed to the Ministry from Bakili’s era not because he was a Yao,but because of his magnificent merits which you can not get from the South and Central Malawi,Bingu also ended up appointing G.Gondwe because of his vast knowledge in his profession and now Mathanyula depends on G.Gondwe for his brilliant handling of government finances and not only that,the IMF,EU and other international bodies,have highest respects for Gondwe’s brilliance in handling Malawi’s struggling economy which a Chewa or Lomwe couldn’t have managed to this day.Nipotism and tribalism go hand in hand and the ramifications are treacherous and divisive for our nation.As a whole,DPP is characterized as a NIPOTISTIC REGIME RUN BY LOMWES.DO YOU AGREE WITH ME? IF NO EXPRESS YOUR OPINIONS!!!!

  4. mmmmm says:

    ur discussion is one sided … u did not dig into mulakhos in high posts. try that & we will see how u will conclude ur story

  5. Vin Mongu says:

    This is one of the most stupid articles I have ever read here. So what do you benefit from this article. indeed there are “akapilikone” everywhere. just by appointing address malata from Lilongwe and accepting recommendation from JSC for Andrew Nyirenda and Parliament voting for Msowoya APM is not nepotistic. Check his cabinet, how many of your kind are there and how many from central? Check the senior Govt officials are then write this stupid article again. Sychophants!! U need stoning!

  6. Hambakahle says:

    I have carefully read through this article with interest. I have liked the way the writer has presented his arguments. Few corrections though 1. Saulos Chilima a Ngoni from Central Region was appointed to be a running mate and eventually a vice president because APM wanted an appeal from the central region and from the youth. It was not out of good will, just strategic. This explains why we hear that the inner circle in DPP is trying to strategize on how to handle succession after DPP learnt a bitter lesson in 2012. Under normal circumstances you expect the vice president to succeed the incumbent as a presidential candidate…but look, it is Chaponda who is said and behaves to be positioning himself for the post. WHY? It is because DPP is done with Chilima. You also remember that Bingu chose JB as running mate just to use her to appeal to women votes…the rest is history. 2. Richard Msowoya was not appointed by APM. He contested and won ..period! So his here reference is irrelevant. 3. Chief Justice Nyirenda is heading the Judiciary not because Muntharika could not appoint a Lomwe. The fact is that in the Judiciary there are protocals and procedure and Nyirenda was the most senior Supreme Court Judge to succeed Msosa especially that Justice Singini retired. 4. When people are talking about nepotism they are talking about direct appointments like the CABINET, heads of parastatals, parastatal boards….not some others positions. 5. Prof Malata was appointed because she qualifies for the job and people are happy!

    This should be enough for now

  7. Komba says:

    Mukuti chani kodi? Great reasoninv though. So why is he refusing to shed off appointing powers for some key positions. I also know some names sounding like they come from Viphya yet they are from TA Nkhumba or somewhere in the vicinity.

  8. NZIKA says:

    Nyasatimes is this a story or a feature….let the writer declare his interest lest he be perceived wrongly.
    He has raised some truths but smelling fishy

  9. Achimphamba Oyera says:

    “There is no Chewa, no Tumbuka, no Yao, no Ngoni or Lhomwe. You are all Malawians”. That is the endoctrination that we got from the Father and Founder of this nation. When Malawians got the second Independence the leadership focuses on resuscitating a sense of belonging to a tribe. There are groupings in town hiding under the cover of keeping culture and chikhalidwe. Where were all these celebrations that are coming now: Mthetho, Mhlakho, Kulamba, and so on. We Malawians have chosen to go on a self destructive path as a nation. We were on the global village as a nation but now we would like to be identified as a tribal person…are we being archaic? After all can we really regain what we “lost” of ourselves. We are a people who are afraid and scared. We think by being close to our folks death will not come, that we can steal and never be apprehended, that poverty and hunger shall not strike us when we get to the folks. We are afraid of ourselves. A kind of identity and National insecurity is engulfing us. Dzuka Malawi, Dzuka.

    1. patriot says:

      Well written comment.Thats what Malawi needs

  10. Mndambala Boy says:

    Mwana wa Njoka iwe…………………

  11. opposition says:

    akutuma ambwiyako a DPP?

  12. ojere says:

    That type of thinking is as if you are talking to kids haaaaaaaaaaaaa! can you comment on ministerial posts? I hope that is well balance ever since Malawi was there. That is why we see a lot of left because it si a balanced govt

  13. OkOkOk says:

    The president is not there to make mistakes – we pay him and his advisors to do the right things ambuye

  14. Mgonapamhanya says:

    Nice article by someone who still has brain in his skull.

  15. Chipeta Innocent Ngulube, you are a genius. Malawi would have been somewhere if it had many of your caliber. Your writing is well articulated with facts. Keep it up my dear!

  16. Chipata Innocent Ngulube, you are a genius. Malawi would be somewhere if we had a lot of your caliber. Your writing is well articulated with facts. Keep it up!

  17. Mbesuma says:

    Big up the writer maybe sometime mwina a president azakuganizira post yau PRO ku state house.

  18. Bwabwalala says:

    Very stupid article. You need to do your homework before you start writing trash on Nyasa Times. The problem with you is that you are part of the problem hence you can not see anything wrong. Uziwona patsogolo.

  19. be humane says:

    inu a Chipata Ngulube tikudziwa kuti kwanu ndi ku Mimosa ku Mulanje kwao kwa peter mutharika mu lomwe. Dikirani a Ngulube mumvere kutukwana kwa a Chewa a MCP agule pankhani mwalembayi. Atumbuka samatukwana ayi koma a Chewa a Gule just wait and read all sarcastic comments you will believe me kuti they come from a Chewa a MCP. 20 years as government in waiting. Waiting For???????????????

  20. Kokani says:

    I think you are very useless my friend and if you are DPP then I am sorry. When we say nepotism we policy making positions of cabinet ministers. Some of us unfortunately we have been there even during the reign of the first president of Malawi Kamuzu Banda where we witnessed Kamuzu’s cabinet comprizing all 24 districts then. Each District had a minister from Chitipa to Nsanje, Nkhotakota to Mchinji that is what we call balanced distribution of power. We are talking of Kamuzu during one party error what if he was alive in this democracy. How can a president only appoint two ministers from the North, two ministers and vice president from the centre and 16 ministers from the south. Mulanje only three ministers is that fair. Guys let us be honest this guy has failed Malawians and that is the reason there is high corruption in the country because of such collusion between minister of same tribe to steal. Not acceptable at all he is the worst president in Malawi and we don’t want such because no meaningful development will be achieved other than stealing our money.

    1. Chambe says:

      There was no balanced appointment of Ministers during Kamuzu. Positions were limited to 15 before 1990. Most of them were from the Center and the North yet Kamuzu was not criticized publicly as nepotistic in spite of this. Who could be brave to complain any way?

  21. MSONDA says:

    za ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii akutumani alomwe wo?

  22. Zinziri says:

    This makes sense. Is it a crime for a qualifying individual to be appointed to a deserving position just because one is Lhomwe? No no no. Actually Kamuzu was punishing allbody including Gadama from KU.

  23. Elwin Kachulu says:

    Thank you very much Innocent Ngulube, this country of ours is full of envy and greed, if we continue like this , we are going nowhere trust me, let us unite, we are all Malawians for gods sake.

Comments are closed.