Mutharika prides himself for ‘good show’ on BBC Hardtalk: Kainja begs to differ

President Peter Mutharika has hit at critics who accuse him for failing to handle issues in an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation’s Zeinab Badawi on BBC HardTalk which was aired last week.

President Mutharika with BBC's Badawi after HardTalk

President Mutharika with BBC’s Badawi after HardTalk

Jimmy Kainja, a lecture of media studies at the University of Malawi criticised Mutharika on his blog for the BBC Hardtalk appearance, saying Mutharika approached the interview with pitiful mindset and that at times it was embarrassing to watch.

But the President hit back during a news conference he held at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

“There are a group of people who will never find anything good in what I am doing. That is childish and irresponsible thinking,” he said.

Kainja in his assessment on the HARDtalk interview is that BBC’s Badawi had more facts about Malawi than Mutharika.

“For every question asked about Malawi’s poor economic growth, infinite poverty, massive corruption and poor governance, the Malawi president turned to Cashgate – a term used to refer to a systematic looting of state resources by civil servants, politicians and business persons. Of course blaming everything on Cashgate is more convenient for President Mutharika because Cashgate happened on the watch of his political rival, the former State President, Joyce Banda,” wrote Kainja.

“Yet, Mutharika had no answers why all the country’s economic and governance problems should be attributed to Cashgate when Joyce Banda was in power for only two of the country’s 51 years of independence. This question points to one of the biggest problems with Malawi, as a country. Those in the leadership positions are never honest with the diagnosis of the country’s problems. Wrong diagnosis means wrong prescription; wrong prescription means the problem will not go away. It is akin to wrapping a boil with a bandage – you can only hide it but it will not heal. The solution is to burst the boil and treat it,” stated Kainja

He pointed out that like a boil, Malawi is at a point where it needs to open up to “uncomfortable realities” and that the “deliberate misdiagnosis” of the country’s problems is convenient because majority of the country’s political leaders are either interested in covering their corrupt past; that of their peers or are merely interested in denting CVs of their political rivals.

“Short term, narrow and selfish interests are prioritised in place of bigger, long-term national interests. It is all about political blame game, and at the moment Joyce Banda is unfairly taking all the flak,” observed Kainja.

“Of course Cashgate happened on [Joyce Banda] watch and she must account for it. Yet, there are also unaccounted for millions of Malawi Kwacha that went missing under Presidents Bingu wa Mutharika, Peter’s older brother, and Bakili Muluzi. The latter still has a court case, answering charges of corruption for allegedly diverting government money into a personal account.

“Peter Mutharika and his government will not mention Bingu and Muluzi because UDF (Muluzi’s party) and DPP (Mutharika’s party) are now in a convenient political collation of some sort,” wrote Kainja.

The blogger and media don also noted that Mutharika’s appearance on BBC was in line with what has become a trend for African leaders – granting interviews to Western media and not the local media.

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14 thoughts on “Mutharika prides himself for ‘good show’ on BBC Hardtalk: Kainja begs to differ”


    Kainja, Kachaje and DDPhiri are saying the same thing: our post-HKBanda presidents have gotten the country’s diagnosis wrong, leading to ineffective remedies.
    But then, Kainja maybe wrong in characterising this as a “deliberate misdiagnosis”. Deliberate?? Well, one senses that the job may just be too complex for the presidents. This has been compounded in the current president by a team of his senior officials being picked on the basis of tribe/region and not brain-power.

  2. Honeycomb Chidyaudzu says:

    The fact of the matter is that when JB took on power the country was in a very bad shape.
    No donor aid just as it is now, no fuel,frequent black outs,no forex no freedom of expression you name it but she managed to change the tables within a short time. The DPP found the economy in a better shape and no one can dispute this. Now they are bringing the old woes back again. The DPP is a failure and all well meaning Malawians can see this.

  3. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    A Petala muwonerenso kawiri ndiye mu one mbwerera zomwe munalankhula

  4. Jimbo says:

    APM a Professor of Law? Ha, ha, ha, ha. The only law APM knows is the law of self-preservation. He is totally out of his depth as President of Malawi. He made sure he became President so that he could cover up the misdeeds of his brother’s administration. His title should be ‘Professor Cover-up’.

  5. Prof Peter says:

    Palibe zophunzira apa muyang’ane bwino ma certificate ake paja anzanthu akale awa fodgery too much ask ku SA anagwira wina wake akamulemekeza ndi title za PhD, professor zonse zo zinali za bodza. mayankho ake parallel sankuziwatso njira zotukulira dziko kapena kuthetsa katangale kuchita kuwonekerathu kuti nayeso ndi mbava wankulu

  6. Kola says:

    kkkkkkkkk. koma IBU

  7. yandula says:

    shame APM

  8. Ozitsata says:

    The interview didn’t go as planned because of cashgate.

  9. dadi says:

    Typical of Malawians judging others,why can we not emulate Zimbabweans?

  10. KK says:

    Kikkkkk zovuta kobasi zimenezi,kwatsala zaka zingati kuti tivotenso paja?

  11. Mulhomwe Wankulu says:

    Big up to Mr. Kainja.You have really said the truth. It is not on for him to be blaming JB on everything. Whether there is no electricity he blames jb, no water he blames jb, no medicines in hospitals he blames jb, no fuel he blames jb, no maize in admarc depots he blames jb, skyrocketing of prices he blames jb, depreciation of kwacha he blames jb, robberies he blames jb, coupon distribution delays he blames jb, and so on so forth. So what kind of a leader is he(Peter)? Shame indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Tengupenya says:

    Finding the answers to CASHGATE is a long haul. It was a shrewd industry within government circles. It only came out because someone failed to manage it under wraps. That person’s predecessors were managing it and benefiting quietly with the criminals and the cashgaters. It was somewhat a crime perpetuated with intended or unintended connivance of some sections of the State CEO and the State machinery. As State CEO, APM knows where to touch to unearth more, if needed. In quest for pardon or sanctuary there will be canaries all along the way trying to find shelter from within and from association with State CEOs and State machinery. What is WRONG is to pursue every cashgate case as a criminal case. The higher objective is to get back what was stolen. Undelivered contracts could be pursued using COMMERCIAL Law. In every case, restitution could be pursued to the last tambala plus interest. Wrongfully terminated public servants are getting millions from the government. WHY is the GOVERNMENT not pursuing full restitution plus interest in CONTRAXTS where it was DEFRAUDED or CHEATED? You see, there might be an administrative and an operational cashgate in place and running potently as well!

  13. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    Koditu munthu sudzitamandira kuti zinali bwino kapena ayi amukuuza ndi anzako.To be honest, Mutharika responses were just hogwash. In fact Mutharika performance almost in everything does not much his supposedly unprecedented academic achievement and international exposure. He is just another Mr Clueless. Without the effort of his brother, this dude was not supposed to be any closer to leadership position . He is an expensive liability for Malawi.

  14. Benjones says:

    Shame Peter you have ashamed us as a nation. You need to go to school again that also one of those that are run by Asians since you are too close to them. And maybe they will teach you better tricks.

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