Malawians will not forever be fooled

It’s quite apparent that  newly-appointed Leader of the House Dr. George Chaponda is a tired man.  He dozed in Parliament while President Peter Mutharika was delivering a state of the nation address. Nyasa Times posted his photo captured sleeping and the images were also shown live by Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) television.

Loose cannon

It is astounding that Chaponda can deny this and blame Nyasa Times for doctoring the photo.

His rebuttal adds yet another shade to the bouquet of adjectives fit to describe the man who made world headlines for wrong reasons – to introduce laws in Malawi  criminalising  fatting in public places.

They say “let bygones be bygones” but not on this one. The sight of the whole Leader of the House fast asleep in his comfortable seat in Parliament while his boss, the Head of State, read out a State of the Nation Address (Sona) cannot just send me away! I will be here; here to either ask the President to know that his ‘bulldozer’ is not only  a tired man but a liar too.

Chaponda was not the only culprit. A number of other MPs on the government benches were conspicuously ‘sleeping’, raising more questions than answers as to the level of seriousness that our elected representatives attach not only to parliamentary deliberations but to the Head of State, too.

I will add my voice to the widespread condemnation of that unprecedented shameful sight. For me, it is only fair to conclude that we have a ‘sleeping’ government in place in Malawi if what happened last Friday is anything to go by.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that Dr. Chaponda is not fit for the new role of Leader of the House. He is either too old to absorb the pressures of his new role or he simply attaches no value to the responsibilities of a Leader of the House in Parliament. A Leader of the House is, essentially, the face of the Executive arm of Government, which includes the Presidency.

The Leader of the House presents to the House and the nation official government position on various issues for discussion in Parliament. He tables ‘Government Business’ in the House.

This is a national role that demands total concentration on the proceedings of the House. Members of the House, which is the second arm of Government, make laws and discuss significantly sensitive matters of the State. You can’t have your ‘Leader’ sleeping in the midst of a State of the Nation Address.

A Leader of the House who sleeps during deliberations in Parliament erodes not only the trust of the appointing authority but also that of the people he represents and Malawians in general. He has no business ‘leading’.

The conduct of the Leader of the House on Friday is an act of great betrayal to the people of Malawi. Malawians pay him to stay awake in Parliament and contribute actively to deliberations that are aimed to uplift their livelihood.

What is more disturbing is to hear the Leader of the House claiming that he was ‘wide awake’ when in fact the pictures point to the contrary. They say a camera does not lie. His rebuttals are a mere insult to the wisdom of the people who are already reeling in abject poverty. Malawi’s economy has been struggling for the past two years the DPP government has in place and there is no hope for the future for an ordinary Malawian. You cannot be adding more misery to them with this glaring lack of seriousness!

Opposition as liberators

After the Chaponda tragedy, Malawians were offered a lifeline by the robust responses to the Sona by opposition leaders, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Uladi Mussa of the People’s Party (PP).

The two leaders showed Malawians that they are selfless, patriotic and above self-serving politics. They bluntly trashed President Mutharika’s claims that the nation was heading in the right direction in as far as the economy and other development indicators were concerned.

The opposition leaders were in agreement that Malawians are not a ‘sleeping’ lot and that they are able to see that the general livelihood is in total decay. Hospitals lack basic supplies; power and water supply is chaotic; education standards have plummeted for lack of basic materials and sky-rocketing tuition and boarding fees; there is not enough maize at ADMARC depots; and the much-touted Malata and Cement Subsidy programme has virtually lost its direction.

Donors are still withholding their budgetary support and have demanded a forensic examination and report of all the ‘cashgates’, not just the cashgate unearthed during the PP regime, but also the other ‘cashgates’ including the MK577 billion cashgate that took place during the reign of Bingu wa Mutharika between 2010 and 2012.

The fight against corruption has worn a new face of ‘shaking up’ political opponents. Security breakdown has reached pitiful levels. Armed thugs are hitting fast and furious including at places that ought to be most secured and albinos are being slaughtered like goats.

With the foregoing, it is a despicable attempt to paint a rosy picture as the Head of State did on Friday. It is now time for the President and his cohorts to eat a humble pie and rally all Malawians, together, regardless of the political leanings to work out real solutions to myriad social and economic problems. The President and the DPP government must listen to the many voices of reason and embark on an economic recovery process that bears no political face. If they cannot do this, they have no business calling themselves a ‘government’.

President Mutharika must be pursuing policies that nurture reconciliation and cohesiveness in the country, ensuring equity, equality and the dispensation of justice and the rule of law. Adversarial politics will take us nowhere but to the downstream of misery and backwardness.

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”–Bob marley

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The Patriot
Guest
The Patriot
3 months 27 days ago
The way things are in Malawi at the moment our leaders need to practice politics of business as unusual! This entails having a government where all tribes and parties are included to find solutions for our country. If it was possible, include in government the most skilled and brightest that Malawi has, regardless of tribe or political affiliation. Some of the names we see in our cabinet do not inspire hope for economic recovery. The Western donors will not help us so its up to us to take ourselves out of the poverty trap ! If multiparty politics means tribal… Read more »
Mad max
Guest
Mad max
3 months 30 days ago

I keep on repeating the same. Am waiting for the day that our dear professor wakes up from the slumber and realise that he needs us in the cabinet to propel Malawi in the right direction. not these sleeping characters!

Sol Invictus
Guest
Sol Invictus
3 months 30 days ago

‘The two leaders showed Malawians that they are selfless, patriotic and above self-serving politics.’ I think Malawians will expect to be shown a little more evidence before we are likely to embrace this conclusion.

Mathanyula
Guest
Mathanyula
4 months 3 hours ago

Malawians we need to rise up, we’ve been taken for fools for too long, Dzuka Malawi Dzuka!

LWD
Guest
4 months 5 hours ago

Honestly there were no substantial alternatives offered in the alternative SONAs. Opposition leaders with the same old tone. Their only advantage is that somebody goes first and they find something to speak against.

Nabanda
Guest
Nabanda
4 months 5 hours ago

I pinch myself how lucky I am to have left this stinking country! Sad for Malawi

The Analyst
Guest
The Analyst
3 months 30 days ago
O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O Nabanda . . . You may have physically left home but you are here, some or most of the time. Thus . . . . . . Your thoughts are and shall always be with us, Malawians. And we thank you for that. . . . You shall always be compelled to look back and peep; just to see whats goin on in this country. . . . You shall always find yourself reading newspapers; just to keep yourself updated. You know, why? Unless we choose to lie to ourselves, no foreigner is ever home. That’s why!!!! . .… Read more »
Nabanda
Guest
Nabanda
3 months 30 days ago

I don’t miss home! I am glad to grew up in that country when Malawi was Malawi. Not a stinking place as it is. Stinks, stinks. Don’t miss it at all, just read Nyasatimes like I read any other paper and comment where necessary.

The Analyst
Guest
The Analyst
3 months 30 days ago

Cool

Mathanyula
Guest
Mathanyula
3 months 30 days ago
Nabanda, you may have left the country but I’m sure you have relatives languishing in this poor country that you left. Thank God that you had the opportunity to leave, unfortunately the majority of Malawians have no where to go, may be you and your friends in the diaspora should figure out how to bring back the glory that Malawi was. Kwanu nkwanu mthengo mudalaka njoka! The fact that you read nyasatimes shows that a tiny bit of you is still interested in knowing what is going on back home, it shows that you still care for the stinking Nyasaland… Read more »
Dwambazi
Guest
Dwambazi
4 months 6 hours ago
Malawians as a people we have promoted this environment of sleeping and lying politicians secondary to our inactiveness, we all seem to have resigned to our fate. We do not hold politicians accountable for anything. They steal our money, they get fat and develop pot bellys, they sleep without shame during the most important speeches and we just look away. 2.3 million of our fellow countrymen are facing hunger, the economy is in the shambles, health care is in the toilet, the president’ step son is joy riding in a private jet, the Kwacha has significantly weakened,……..what will it take… Read more »
john
Guest
john
4 months 7 hours ago

INDEED PETER MUTHARIKA AND HIS GOVT MUST EMBRACE ALL PEOPLE OF MALAWI REGARDLESS OF TRIBE OR REGION. NEPOTISM MUST STOP. IF YOU CAN STOP NEPOTISM, THEN YOU BETTER PACK UP AND GO. WE DONT NEED YOU!

Honeycomb Chidyaudzu
Guest
Honeycomb Chidyaudzu
3 months 30 days ago

Honestly with this sleeping leadership Iam a shamed to be a Malawian. There is nothing good to talk of in Malawi. In the foreign press the picture is even more disheartening. When they talk of poverty, disease and hunger the first one is Malawi.Now there is another phenomenon killing of people with albinism. No wonder we are the poorest country on earth though we have not been at war. All these are because of enept leadership the country is having.

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