Malawi leadership: Recalling atête-à-tête with the Muckraker and Wise One

Wise One’s Post Turtle: In the run up to the May 2014 election, I dared the Muckraker, “Sir” Raphael Tenthani (RIP) and the blogger, Wise One from the Eastin a debate.

Chaponda: I'm the bulldozer

Chaponda: I’m the bulldozer

My intention was to soften their conviction that Prof Peter Mutharika, were he to win, would miserably fail to govern.

In response to my arguments, whose thrust was that it was unfair to blame Peter Mutharika for:

  • the Academic Freedom Saga which happened when he was Minister of Education, and
  • theill-advised expulsion of the British Envoy which happened right under his nose at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

Wise One from the East countered that as far as he was concerned, if elected president, Peter Mutharika would prove to be the classic “post turtle”.

Post turtle demystified:

Naturally, I asked what this term means. A post turtle, I learnt, is a turtle that has been placed and balanced on top of a fence post.

Since it is common knowledge that turtles are not agile enough to climb a pole, everyone who sees one on a pole (or a post) knows that the turtle did not get there by itself.

Again, it immediately becomes clear that the turtle has no business perking on top of a post. And true to form, it soon becomes obvious that the turtle has absolutely no clue as to what to do while perking high up there for the simple reason that he has been elevated far too high beyond his ability to function.

The obvious outcome is that this leaves people wondering what kind of dumb nitwit put him there in the first place.

Looking back, late Raphael Tenthani and Wise One were dead right.

The present:

No-one in Malawi today can argue against the fact that Malawi has a post turtle for a president.

In the unlikely event that some doubting Thomases still exist out there, let me expound.Everyone knows that Peter Mutharika did not get where he is by himself. Just like a post turtle.

Secondly, it is obvious that Mutharika has absolutely no clue as to what to do while perking there simply because he has been elevated too high beyond his ability. Again, reminiscent of a post turtle.

This is why, to date, people are wondering what got into the heads, or rather the tummies of the Malawi Electoral Commissioners to put him there in the first place.

From the pot into the fire:

Enough about turtles, let me fast forward the clock to a time soon after the May 2014 election, theonly one time I ever felt inclined to directly speak to President Peter Mutharika.

My message to him was succinct and straight:

You have been declared president with only 36 per cent of the total vote, meaning that 64 per cent of the people in the country do not approve of you being their leader. 

You therefore need to take steps to prove the doubters wrong as quickly as possible. To successfully do this, the starting point is avoiding the very people that sunk the DPP during the administration of your late brother.

If you take into your inner circle those same people, your already suspect popularity will diminish fast, and in 18 months, your leadership approval rating will be lower than what it was at the time of your late brother’s death.”

If Peter Mutharika took this advice, his choice of top aide did little to serve as evidence.

Everyone who has followed the Peter Mutharika administration from its nocturnal swearing-in can testify that his dependency on a personal assistant was a terrible case of bad judgment.

To his credit I must say, he has since broken the umbilical cord and parted ways with that particular assistant.

However, if anyone is about to celebrate this development, I would urge caution. Because, all he has managed to do, it seems, is the proverbial somersaulting from a frying pan into the fire.

Exit Ben 10, Enter “farty” Geo

The President, never known to be his own man, has now turned to his fellow geriatric, Dr. George Chaponda.

Chaponda, famous and duly registered in Wikipedia for defending what he thought and honestly believed was a law purported to ban farting in public, has happily assumed the role of puppet master.He is now pulling the strings and calling the tune for the puppet to prance around.

While this could be interpreted as a strategic move in that Peter Mutharika, like wise leaders do, is planning smooth succession and hence mentoring Chaponda; everyone who knows the sort of leadership Malawi needs knows that what Malawi needs is definitely not Dr. George Chaponda.

It is not that we are all obsessed with the desire to fart freely in public, no. But Doctor of Laws or not, Yale graduate or not, Chaponda’s failure to understand that the said law was not about farting but rather about mitigating against the ravages of Climate Change was, to say the least, worrisome incompetence. The warning bells are just too loud for any patriot to ignore.

If you share this school of thought, then brace for the worst because I have it on good authority that the recent cabinet tinkering was Chaponda’s “brilliant” idea.

And guess what, after the reshuffle,he engineered the Nchalo rally to serve as his launch pad.

Farty Geo: the Crown Prince orPrince of Clowns?

The rally’s sole intention was to unveil Chaponda as the de factoVice and successor of PeterMutharika. You may be asking, where then does that put State Vice President Saulosi Chilima?

We have been down this road before and by now, everyone should know that as per the DPP philosophy Chapter 1 Verse 1, the Vice Presidency is just escort to the colours, i.e. a ceremonial post turtle, if I can borrow this term. In Chichewa we say woyingitsa ntchentche.

This is what Chilima is. In case anyone is in doubt, the Chronicles of Atcheya reiterate this point by reminding the Chilimas of this world that wapakaliyala sayimba belu.

Never one to disguise his ambition, in the lower shire, Chaponda called himselfa “bulldozer” to the dismay of genuine bulldozers of the Magufuli calibre.

Chaponda was shamelessly at it, cheating the massesthat he performs in each and every ministry he is in charge of. Which performance? Farting laws? The diplomatic cash-gate that he was incubating in Addis?

Only Chaponda can explain.

As if that was not enough, at the opening of the tobacco sale season, the president, now showing all the colours of a true puppet, parroted Chaponda’s ridiculous bulldozer claim and, rather inexplicably, stated that there are some people who didn’t want him to put Chaponda in the cabinet but have failed.

Who does the president think he is fooling? Chaponda made that cabinet, therefore he could not have left himself out.

On the contrary, Chilima’s “reformer in chief” and “disaster mongering duties” all of a sudden, disappeared. These roles just vanished from that announcement. Was this an oversight?

Who else but a rival would have thus tried to pull Chilima even lower than he is now? Who else but George? Chaponda’s message to Chilima was loud clear, and Chilima would have to be daft to miss it.

Going back to at the rally in Chikwawa, the president’s assertion that Chaponda is the right person to turn things around in the Ministry of Agriculture, is something that can only come from a clueless person.

Was the president admitting his own poor sense of judgement since Allan Chiyembekeza was actually his own first choice for that ministry? And how long has the president known that Chaponda is the main man to drive the Agricultural Sector which happens to be the hub on which Malawi’s economy revolves?

Is the president playing the game of trial and error with the lives of Malawians?If we go back to the post turtle allegory that we started with, we are now facing an even gloomier prospect.

What we have in the case of Peter Mutharika and George Chaponda are two aged gentlemen trying to convince a sweet sixteen that they can still perform. And worse, here we are with two post turtles trying to elevate each other onto the top.

The only outcome we should expect, whether the turtles will manage the requisite acrobatics or not, is that whatever comes out of their failure will fall squarely on our heads.

And I can assure you, whatever it will be, is bound to stink and stick on this and future generations.

When all has been said and done, I can only agree that the legendary late Raphael Tenthani and Wise One from the East, knew the follies of Prof Peter Mutharika, than you and I did.

Here he is, condemning us to continue cultivating with hoes like early man as he pawns – for a song – tractors meant for the poor, bought with loans, loans that we will repay, to his goons.

For those of us then, who were there at the making of Peter Mutharika as DPP presidential candidate for 2014, it has never been necessary to guess whether or not he is actually his own person and in charge of the country. We know he isn’t. He has never been.

Raphael Tenthani, continue “muckraking” in peace!The mother land here is in deep trouble, one post turtle lined up after another!

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37 thoughts on “Malawi leadership: Recalling atête-à-tête with the Muckraker and Wise One”

  1. All-i-can-say says:

    Interesting to read about the post turtle. You should be teaching, Mr Ntata.
    The problem started when Malawians elected Bakili as the first post one-party state president. Malawi has never been so mediocre in every aspect of life since that buffon was elected as president. Corruption and theft was normalised and values of decency and hard work were no longer held in high regard as most people think they can make it big without understanding that it’s only through hard work and sacrifice that we can prosper. Then Muluzi elevated late Mutharika as a way of punishing those who did not support his third-term bid. The rest is history. Malawi’s fate was sealed.

    With our entrenched tribalistic mindset, we have paid a price and the damage is now too big to repair. Peter Mutharika is useless just as he is clueless about what the country needs. We have wasted another five years to his incompetency and having no real agenda for the country. This country is in big trouble and these madalas are really f****ing up it big time. Solution. Let’s take out these buffoons now!!. Dzimvere muntolo!!

  2. Nkasai says:

    A Ntata u can convince the shallow minded but not us who objectively follow issues!

  3. Chalume says:

    Bwana Ntata, there is no way Peter would leave out the same ‘goons,’ to borrow your vocabulary, that brought down the popularity and focus of the Bingu regime. Imagine what would have transpired: they would probably have been genuinely arrested for treason and, if not, the cashgate would have caught up nicely with them. After this, they would have definitely been after the biggest fish to fry – perhaps in earnest revenge – who would have been Peter himself. So, it has always been in Peter’s best interest to keep them, which of course, also turns out has been the way he has dug his own grave.

  4. victim Sankho says:

    I was worried, thinking the legacy of RaphaelTenthani (RIP) would die. No it lives on in the name of Allan Ntata. This is the kind of reading I thirst for. Keep it up Alla. You are our man. Raphael’s spirit of truth, though painful, lives on.

  5. Rasta says:

    Post turtle indeed. Good as article Allan. It felt a biblical chiphunzitso cha paphiri.

  6. wa ku Mitchesi kujaaaaa!!!! says:

    @22 (santana): I love your views espoused here about Malawi politics in general, and what has been written, with spite and hate no doubt, about the current government, DPP, APM, Chaponda, and others, by extension or implication.

    Generally, Oppositions do not win elections; the ruling parties lose elections. This thinking is not holus bolus, because there is proportionality in the responsibility accorded to the winners and losers. So it was, in the last election, PP lost more than DPP won: Voters simply believed in DPP’s plans, and despised PP’s crass mismanagement and profligacy. As for MCP, their reputation simply precedes them. To cue: their governing record still leaves a bitter taste in most Malawians’ mouths – and this is an understatement. So, no matter the late Tenthani et al., their incessant and deafening drumming on behalf of MCP, that Party could simply not win; and this scenario could play itself out several times in future.
    UDF were simply perceived as being headed by wosakhwima (a politically immature, a novice).
    It is very clear that Mr Ntata has a vendetta against APM and some in authority in the current DPP: these are the same people Mr Ntata abandoned when he run away, with tail between his legs, to UK. To safety and security and prosperity, so he thought. Sure, it was his right to get away like that, but he should not expect to be welcomed back, with smiles. Otherwise he risks being called naive.
    The sooner he moves on, the better, otherwise the hatred will chew him up. Chew him up big or “heavy”, as we say. He cannot continue living a satisfying life with that much hatred in him!

  7. TV says:

    Now there is the tobacco Saga. Lets see how the Bulldozer Chaponda going to handle this.

  8. Quest says:

    Ntata, you have really opened the eyes of many of us who were not seeing this. Great article. Chaponda is a big time failure and he want to destroy our beautiful Malawi.

  9. Activist says:

    i feel sorry for santa. you are another educated person but so foolish and unwise. people like you are the ones killing our nation. wise up, admit DPP is a failuire and so its leadership.

  10. AGALU PA MPANDO says:

    Imeneyi ndi bulldozer tachiwoneni nkhope yakeyo.Ameneyo ndi munthu or nyani?

  11. wandale says:

    wether you like it or not,peter has failed!! period!!!

  12. Jahan says:

    I love it!

  13. Thakiwa says:

    Malawi is not progressing because of many ‘post turtles’ both in private and public sectors.

  14. The Analyst says:

    Everybody who has a good memory knows that from the word go, APM seemed very disinterested in the whole presidency thing. When asked, he would be heard saying “am not decided yet.”
    . . . When the likes of Kaliati, Chaponda e.t.c. knew that the party would obliviate into abyss of nothingness, if they had let APM go; they left no stone unturned – no wizard unconsulted – but managed to convince APM to stay and stand for presidency.
    . . . It doesnt come as a surprise to some of us therefore, that APM seems not to know what, how and when to do what.
    I just wish APM had stayed put on his am-not-interested gesture, and gone who cares where! Otherwise, Malawi is losing out a lot due to . . .
    . . . his slowness – being patient with thinking,
    . . . his indifference – not giving a damn about what happens or what people say/advise.
    . . . his undecisiveness – always having to consult his ministers, aides and perhaps wife.
    on many issues of national importance that require urgent action on.
    One thing that’s certain however, is that everything happens for a reason and perhaps, APM’s presidency is just to teach us the simple truth that somebody’s academic completeness or excellence does not make or translate them into a good leader.
    . . . But did we have to pay this huge price for us to just realise that somebody’s academic completeness does not guarantee effective leadership? I wish God had let us know this through some other ways.
    . . . Otherwise, the price we are paying is too huge for the benefit we are getting from the lesson.

  15. santana says:

    Typical Malawian thinking! Ntata should know that in Malawi people do not choose presidents on principals or on what the president is doing to the people. Even if the elected president is doing a 100 per cent of what he promised during rallies if he is not of my party I will say everything to discredit his leadership just to make sure my own party president takes the mantle in the next elections. So Mr Ntata whatever you can bubble in your writings don’t expect you can convince even 1 percent of APM supporters to abandon him. Everyone knows that all the leaders who ruled this country have one problem of not satisfying Malawians with their needs. This makes them not to switch sides because they know that whoever they can vote for can not produce. If I may ask you Mr Ntata, which president satisfied Malawians during his rule after 1994? You always get it wrong if you think the EC made APM the president of Malawi. Did the EC have monitors? I challenge you Mr Ntata to write an article where you should explain to Malawians how the votes were rigged. The opposition bubbled much soon after their loss but they failed short of giving facts on how their votes were stolen despite all the meetings conducting every week. Tenthani and his friend tried to discredit APM from the time he was rumoured to stand for DPP long before Bingu’s death. They decampaigned him strongly after he was elected at the DPP convention. So you can not expect anything good from such failures of reporters. Now you have joined the bandwagon of creating confusion in the DPP leadership thinking Chilima is a dumsel who can take whatever you post on the internet. But do you know Chilima well? Whatever you can blame APM as a yardstick for a failure has been there with other presidents who ruled this country. So you think DPP supporters can be fooled? When blaming APM and the whole DPP leadership as not fit to rule Malawi you should give them an alternative party to vote for come 2019. Which party is this Mr Ntata? The so called blind followers of DPP are opening their eyes when voting that is why their leader is winning the elections while those other party followers whose eyes are not blind are going to the polling stations with blind eyes that is why their leaders are losing.
    (This paragraph is for you no.6 Omex70).

  16. peter says:

    Post turtle indeed! Another lost opportunity as we have people who have nothing towards building a better next generation.

  17. DAT says:

    Look at the mouth of Chaponda. He is like “Aaaaaaaaaaa. Who has farted this time?”

  18. Anyamata a MCP amva kukoma kwabasi ndi article iyi.
    Koma Ntata akalemba ma shortfalls a Chakwera eeeh how about to bite his head off and call him all sorts of names

  19. Trumpet says:

    Just look at that face of Chaponda. Should this man be a head of State of Malawi carrying our Black Red Green to the world. Are there no other people in Malawi who have the face like the rising Sun? Apa ndiye tibesatu. Even if this man tries to lobby for Malawi, the donors will start running away by the way he looks.

  20. Day says:

    What is wrong with APM, you mean the whole professor allowed Ben Phiri to control him, and now George Chaponda? I think Peter need to wake up and start making tough decision rather than being swayed around by this Fart Man Chaponda.

  21. Last says:

    My advise to APM from me as a DPP sympathizer, Stay away from Chaponda because nobody likes him. If you need an insider, you better start glooming your wife Gertrude because she is also a politician, but Chaponda? Please no and not accepted at all.

  22. Malawian in diaspora says:

    Thumbs up Allan!!!!!!!!!

  23. GB says:

    If I were APM, I would know that Chaponda is a non starter and he will soon make this our mighty Party DPP sink to the bottom low. Please APM, stay away from this stinking fart Chaponda before you yourself start stinking.

  24. Post Turtle says:

    Pa chitumbuka pali fumbo lakuti “afulu mwakwela uli mkhuni?”

  25. Spade says:

    This is the most intelligent article so far. Chaponda I know and is a failure. How can he call himself a bulldozer when he stopped thinking long time ago. Malawi need a Young person with fresh mind and energy who can really bulldoze for the future generation. Call a spade a spade “What is the role of this Young Man Chilima in this administration?”

  26. Sun says:

    In this Relay Race, it is obvious that Peter is preparing to give the mantle to Chaponda who is the Southern Region VP. We are being raped here right in the broad day light.

  27. Memo says:

    Thanks Allan Ntata for the eye opener. Here we have two old fellows, Matchonas who don’t know the reality on the ground try to lead us to a cliff. Enough is enough and we need to stop this; otherwise, Malawi will be found in the deep mud that it will never get out.

  28. Post says:

    No wonder Chilima was left out in the first announcement of the Cabinet. So it was this Chaponda who did the reshuffle? Now I see. Chaponda, take this from me, you are just wasting your time and you will never rule this country.

  29. Phone says:

    That will be the end of DPP. If Peter continues on this path of bringing us Chaponda. You might aswell kiss our votes good-bye.

  30. Fat says:

    Please No to Chaponda. Only on my dead bed. I thought it was only me seeing this that Peter is glooming George Chaponda.

  31. Omex70 says:

    I like this articles. Allan Ntata, you are right. Here is a president who is not connected to the real life of the people. He is completely out of touch we the needs of Malawians.
    It’s sad to see 2 post turtles trying to elevate each other onto the top. These post turtles are going to destroy this country beyond redemption if we are not careful.
    The big problem we have is that we have many blind followers of this party called DPP. They justify everything that their clueless leaders are doing. Malawi is in big trouble!!

  32. Mapwevupwevu says:

    A Ntata! It is only you who had those thoughts you have for the first time truthfully put here. The rest of us knew that Peter Mutharika will win because the lhomwes are many and that he will be a failed leader!

    As for your purpoted visit to Mutharika you would do yourself justice by simply admitting that it was to try and apologise and be put back at state house so you can continue partying!

    Siyani kuphwisaphwisa pagulu akulu!

  33. Y Uta says:

    well Allan I must confess this is my very first time to read your article, and I regret having not red your previous works because I can sense it that I have missed a lot. What i like most is your deep level and an up-to-the-point analysis combined with an amusing sense of humour like that of late Edward chitsulo. Take this promise: from today I vow to catch up with you on any other article you write hence forth; you have quickly become my favourite writer. big up man!

    1. Dont Regret says:

      Your regrets are ill-advised, Y Uta! Coz you have missed nothing.

      If you think am lying, search here on Nyasatimes about Ntata – everything he writes will pop up, and you will realise you were better off doing whatever you had been doing than reading Ntata’s baderdash!

      Ntata writes a lot – but about nothing. The only skill he has is to write and craft it so well that gullible minds are guiled into believing it. Ntata is a man who knows not what he wants in life.

  34. Honeycomb Chidyauzu says:

    I for one wonders what made the DPP gurus to elect Peter Mutharika as a prospective leader in the first place. The man has not even one trait of leadership. The only reason he was chosen was that he was Bingu’s sibling.The man is not even able to express humself.Malawians if we are not careful enough we will elect a mad man to lead us one of these days.Iam sure he himself do not understand how dumb we are to put him in position of leadership. There are so many capable leaders in our midst but it pains me to see this post turtle leading us. The problem is that most of us are bad people. The Bible says bad people deserves bad leaders.

  35. Gogo Ntela says:

    Mau awo. Post turtle watipweteka. Komabe where did the few votes that allowed him to steal and put us backwards again come from. Mr Mbendera mwatipweteketsa. We thought the country was going to move forward but now it’s backwards even more. Directionless. Dear Lord remove zoipazi ana anu njala yawakwana. Chasowa pray for us. Njaunju pray for us. 20 July 2011 victims pray for us. 2015-16 njala victims pray for us

  36. Dungulinya says:

    Perhaps not in agreement with some of the assertions like everyone is put somewhere by others especially in public life. But why is Mphepo still the chief adviser? Dangerous fellow…

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