Malawi running on auto-pilot, says CHRR, CEDEP: ‘Leadership went to bed in 2015’

Two renowned human rights organisations in Malawi have said 2015 will be remembered as a year when leadership went to bed in as far as matching rhetoric with concrete action is concerned.

Mutharika: Faulted for being undecided on critical issues affecting Malawi

Mutharika: Faulted for being undecided on critical issues affecting Malawi

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), in a joint statement made available to Nyasa Times to evaluate the performance of President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in terms of governance and human rights in 2015, said the President was silent on critical issues requiring his decisive leadership a scenario that, according to the two organisations, often raised more questions than answers as to whether President Mutharika was in control.

The two organisations said Mutharika’s leadership is a departure from the “servant leadership” that Malawians hoped for, citing what it called NAC-gate, judicial strike, the sale of 75 percent Malawi Government shareholding in Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) and a strike by the Judiciary as some of the missed opportunities where the President failed to demonstrate decisiveness.

“In the midst of such silence there were contradicting messages emanating from the Cabinet and Mutharika’s village of advisers, and in some cases contradicting his own position. Due to such absence of leadership in 2015 it can be said beyond reasonable doubt that Malawi was running on auto-pilot”, reads the statement signed by Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence, CHRR and Cedep executive directors respectively.

State House has said the statement is too negative and that it reflects the lack of respect which the signatories have for the Head of State.

The rights groups also observe that 2015 was also characterized by vestiges of intolerance to dissent views by the leadership with critics of the regime either subjected to verbal threats by Mutharika and his cronies or banned from issuing ultimatums.

“It was in 2015 when Mutharika labelled the media, CSOs as ‘unpatriotic; hell-bent on tarnishing the ‘good’ image of the current leadership simply for holding him accountable on how he was managing the public pulse.

“Academicians and experts who comment on issues of governance were accused of concentrating on trivia rather than devoting to research when, in actual fact, commenting on such issues is part of their contribution to their society within the broader mandate of outreach roles”, reads the statement in part.

The two human rights organisations also faulted Mutharika’s regime alleged attempts to stifle the Civil Society’s voice and space using the NGO Board, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, CONGOMA and NGO law particularly targeting those CSOs which participated in a 13th January 2015 national demonstrations against abuse of HIV/AIDs related funds for activities that had nothing to do with HIV/AIDs initiatives.

“All this was happening against the full knowledge of the fact that it is not mandatory to register with NGO board, and that the NGO Act neither empowers the Minister of Gender or NGO Board to issue such decrees (of deregistering NGOs). Even the provision in the NGO Act that makes it mandatory to NGOs to be members of CONGOMA has been widely viewed as a violation of the right to freedom of association. This position has not only been supported by the development partners like UN but also reputable legal experts in the country,” argue the rights groups.

The statement adds that it was in 2015 when President Mutharika’s village of advisors was on rampage employing “divide and rule” strategies under the guise of dialogue to the extent of bankrolling [using the tax payers money] parallel demonstrations and NGO meetings to counter “bonafide” ones organized by aggrieved citizens over deteriorating public service delivery.

“Contrary to the austerity measures and public sector reforms talk, it was in 2015 when President Mutharika travelled with a bloated entourage, mostly his cronies, to a United Nations meeting in New York. Instead of admitting his executive failure on this, Mutharika and his village of advisors and some cabinet ministers embarked a high-level propaganda against the media for exposing this, and CSOs, opposition and analysts for taking up the issue to the extent of calling on government to publish the full list of the people who constituted Mutharika’s bloated entourage.

“A journalist was reportedly threatened by a Cabinet Minister for covering a story which was deemed critical of Mutharika’s UN bloated entourage.”

The culture of impunity over extra-judicial killings, reads the report, was also a concern in 2015, and that it was apparent just like the July 20, 2011 killings and student activist Robert Chasowa murder, Mutharika’s regime had demonstrated no political will to proactively act and conclude investigations into the murder of Anti-Corruption Bureau official Issa Njaunju, and also on reports that ACB director and other officials at ACB were receiving threats and living in fear.

“Instead, Mutharika’s government has either ignored such calls or in some cases merely made some political statements that something was being done but when the reality on the ground did not match such rhetoric,” reads the statement.

According to CHRR and Cedep, public service delivery worsened in 2015 with growing concerns over acute shortage of essential drugs, poor health service delivery system, persistent problems of water and electricity, insecurity, untimely payments of teachers salaries.

The rights groups also bemoaned Mutharika’s hide-and-seek on the enactment of Access to Information Bill, arguing that as a tool for building public trust and fight corruption access to information should have been part and parcel of the country’s laws by yesterday.

On a positive note, the CSOs commended the President and his administration for swift responses in the condemnation of the brutal attacks against people with albinism, reaction to the floods situation by effectively coordinating the national and international responses to the crisis and notable progress in Cashgate trials where significant convictions were secured.

The rights groups also commended Malawi government’s commitments to her international obligations as observed with its submission of reports at UN UPR and African Commission as well as its renewed commitment to the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But presidential adviser on NGOs, Mavuto Bamusi, has condemned the statement, saying it portrays the hatred the signatories have for the President besides reflecting the authors’ “lack of maturity” in activism.

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32 thoughts on “Malawi running on auto-pilot, says CHRR, CEDEP: ‘Leadership went to bed in 2015’”

  1. ngwazi says:

    do u have forex in malawi, do you have chimanga kumalawi,do you have mankhwala mzipatala? why do malawians hate the truth?
    sad and sad

  2. Tione says:

    APM akuliza mkonono ziphwisi zikubangula kunsiko Gertrude akufwenthera. Heeeed! Malawi anali kale. Siizi!

  3. John Union says:

    There are more than three types of leadership I have heard of and it looks like people are only used to one and it seems anyone using a leadership style other the Autocratic leadership style you learned from Kamuzu. Search and find out what Laissez Faire leadership and Democratic. These three are the main and identifiable types of leadership.

  4. The Patriot says:

    Mabvuto Bamusi, apparently the only noun he has for fellow activitists is “immaturity”. I wonder how anybody could come up with such a biased conclusion all the time. Lets we forget this is the same man who was a staunch critic of Binngu before he joined DPP doing what he was condemning the govt for. Malawians know who is mature between Mtambo and Bamusi! Since when has critisizing a non performing govt become a sign of immaturity???

  5. Sapitwa says:

    These are two headless chickens who when they look at their toilet mirrors think that they are great. They think they represent Malawians as mouth piece.If the President is silent and yet Malawi is still flying on auto pilot, then the President is a good programmer for this plane. If the President did not set the programme well for auto piloting, Malawi after his one year plus in office could have experienced a total dry for the following:
    Fuel shortage
    We could have been to the stage we were in 2011-2012. APM the first President to run the country well without Donor Budget Funding. Who else could?
    Kaya amene zikumunyatsa yo poti APM ndi President izo ndi zakenso. Ngati watopa nawo moyo, kagwere mu shire kuti ng’ona zikakudye tikuiwale msanga.
    About all these other nonsensical issues you have listed do not hold any water. They have been there all along. We can’t waste time using our energy thinking about them kkkkkkkkkk!

  6. Dwambazi says:

    RESPECT IS EARNED, APM has not earned it yet. He went into a deep slumber a long time ago he hasn’t woken up.

  7. levelheaded says:

    Human rights is not only about what the government and President is doing. Human rights is about how we are progressing in general as a country. As renown human rights bodies in Malawi,you were supposed to cover a general annual report on how we are progressing as a country,i.e. at work place, in the families, institutions and many more. You know why people misunderstand you Timothy and Trapece? You talk too much bad of the president to the extent that your fellow haters convert to like him. That is not health for a country to progress.

    On the contrary I think its good to congratulate our president for leading us to sail in all those challenging conditions you mentioned.
    If the leadershing was weak we could still be nursing the wounds caused by all those problems mentioned.
    To me a strongest leader is not measured on how many problems he encountered during his tenure but on how he solved them. Here we are talking of those judicial strikes and many problems but all of them are just history.

    We are generally progressing well on human rights in Malawi comparing to any of our neighbouring countries. Human rights bodies’ chairperson are even a great testimony to this. Despite attacking the elected president all the time Timothy and Trapece can walk freely and do their husband duties every night without any fears what soever. Your friends are failing to do that in Zimbabwe, Your friends cannot dare do that in Mozambique, Your friends are languishing in jail for attempting to do that in Angola,your fellow activists tried that in Zambia but they ended up leaving their families early.
    Put credit where it is due. Malawians we are doing well in terms of human rights. We are only 21 years old into democracy but surely we have surpassed even America during their first 21 years of democracy in 1795.

    Bravo Malawians,bravo our head of state,Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.

  8. Kandapako says:

    If anything is running on autopilot, it means all systems are functioning well!

    1. Twambi says:

      @ 24

      Autopilot means the engine is programmed such that it can’t think on its own. it is remote controlled

  9. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    While Peter Mutharika may have a convincing CV, he doesn’t have the Resume for the office of the president. Everybody knows his convincing academic accolades, positions held but all summarized do not make him fit for president. We all remember how he dismally performed as a professor, minister of justice and legal affairs and minister of education. He is a flop. You clearly see from the hogwash that often exudes from his mouth that the guy is sheer daft. Yet we entrusted him with a more challenging position of state president. This position ought not to be for the average thinker of his calibre. Anyway, because this is Malawi where voting is determined by tribal lines, we are in for problems.

  10. Berson says:

    a mtambo; anzanu adazisiya zimenezo,pena kumakhalapo ngati mwana woleledwa mwachiMalawi.ikafika nthawi ya gay,musapota gay,ikafika nthawi yazipani,mutumikira a cashgate.over my dead body!

  11. Alungwana says:

    Mavuto Bamussi was also at bed thats why he cant agree with these NGO’s

  12. Magang'a says:

    Those two NGO’s are being headed by idiots. Where were they pamene dzikoli linali pa Auto Pilot peni-peni? Pamene kunachitika cashgate mtsogoleli akukhalira kuzungulira dziko lapansi and akuyenda daily Ku Malawi kuno kugawa zingwe zang’ombe? These two have personal vendetta with APM and the DPP remember they were also the Same people who were making noise when late Bingu was in power but when JB took over they went to bed leaving only Kapito to take on JB. I remember a Mtambo akunenetsa kuti iwo akufuna JB awinenso. So don’t take these idiots seriously.

  13. chatonda says:

    Now you will listen to one man DPP supporter Mwakasungula. He will come to criticise all these realities as if he was outside the country backing the president. sHAME ON HIM. kEEP IT UP mTAMBOA AND TRAPENCE. CALL A SPADE BY ITS NAME.

  14. Ngosi says:

    These homos have been asked by their paymasters to write their end of the year report otherwise they will not be paid their Xmas bonuses. Anthu oyipa

  15. chiwa chimo says:

    KkkkkKkkkkkkk pliz CSOs give the president a break.

  16. Kanyimbi says:

    Nothing on earth is 100% good or bad. Would you please tell us the good side of APM?

  17. Charombanthu says:

    Mr Mavuto Bamusi, chi sikono chakuthimbani pakhosi. All that has been said and written here are facts, both positive and negative. Which ones show hatred? Learn to accept criticism so that you can become better leaders. Don’t expect praises all the time even when you are going astray.

  18. thinktankmalawi says:

    Auto pilot?..Thats you know what you are talking about or you so obsessed with making noise for the sake of it….Get a need activism 101….you are ill serving malawians you bastards

  19. Jimbo says:

    The ‘good image’ of the President cannot be tarnished if he doesn’t have a good image. If he fails to show leadership and is not proactive in dealing with the serious problems that the country faces, the people have every right to criticise him and hold him to account. This is not showing a lack of respect for the President. He has to earn respect, it is not a right just because he is the President. He needs to get down from his high horse and start showing leadership.

  20. Waxxy says:

    Iyi nde mbuzi ya presdent ndithu,,aliyense akungopanga zake imagen a Viola nawo akupanga zawo momwe akufunila koma a Peter,, ndiovetsachisoni ndithu in short mbuzi ya mano kusi.!! Gay pipo are worse than dogs iyeyo okhala ntsogoleli akulephela kulankhula koma mbuzi imeneyi aaaaaa. Munkabela mavoti musakudziwa chochitanalo bomali?

  21. M.Bamusi maRani, kusalemeza od konyoza pali kuti.lnuyo ndiys amene mukunyoza dziko ndi a malawi.fe chifukwa mutunsz zedi! Muona anzanuwa akunena zoona , dont judicialize politics, 2015 mwagona mtulo zedi

  22. mtumbuka1 says:

    A joke of a leader leading a joke of the nation. He’s just a clueless president not worth wasting people’s time, he’s worse than a clown and one wonders why he chooses to stay put even if it is evident enough that he has successfully brought the country on it’s knees. Funny enough most idiots can’t wait for 2019 to vote for him again.

  23. ANTI-GAY says:

    The only achievement for diphiphi is mathanyula legalisation

  24. The Analyst says:

    “Thinking needs patience.” – APM (at 2015 MBC Annual Innovation Award event)

    Should we be surprised that Malawi is in deep economic turmoil, poverty is still wholesale and the leadership seems not to be ashamed or care? We shouldn’t be coz . . .

    “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” – Confucius (Chinese Philosopher)

  25. FBI geniune. says:

    I agree with u guys.palibe chachitikapo mu 2015.kwawo kunali kuyendayenda ku america ndi mapwevupwevu basi.osalabadira za wanthu ayi.Even nkhani ya 400million inakhuza ku police akadayikhalirabe,koma sizitheka ndiyizusa basi.ingachedwe bwanji tsiku lina nkhaniyi izayamba basi.

  26. crazy stuff says:

    We are never going to get servant leadership.
    Keep dreaming fellows.
    Our country has gone to the dogs

  27. mbuje says:

    These two immature gay supporting mouthfuls should just shut up!

  28. I say yes to all who say Malawi without leader

  29. Morris says:

    econiny is a complete mess kwacha is depreciating every day the rate changes twice in a day.chuka is favoriting exporters changing the rule in 2015 allowing exporters amzungu like Limbe leaf and all tobacco companies to send forex from Malawi tobacco to there own countries this is hurting the kwacha watch out do chuka is doing this to make dpp unpopular he is secretly a pp supporter by devaluing the kwacha he wants Malawians to hate dpp. Act before it’s too late reverse that export police introduced this year or inflation and deprecation will be out of control and all Malawians will think it is dpp mess and blame the party for the economic woes

  30. Prince Edward rsa says:

    Since malawi is being led by aperson who is sucking the anus malawi will never succed.

  31. Mulhomwe Wankulu says:

    Lyolyolyolyolyolyolyolyoooooooo, wakunva wamva koma osamva onga Chimabvuto Chibamusi chikhale. CHRR and CEDEP tiyeni nazoni zimajaila ziwanthu zimenezi.

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