Remember that day when Information and Tourism Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa opened his mouth and told journalists that he had delivered to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) video footage from State House closed circuit television (CCTV) showing the then president Joyce Banda meeting Cashgate suspect Osward Lutepo in what Naknhumwa implied linked the two to the conspiratorial looting of billions at Capital Hill?
The ACB quickly said they had not received any CCTV footage while Nankhumwa insisted he had dispatched it even as some strong voices pointed out those CCTV cameras at State House have not worked in several years.
Up to now, only Nankhumwa knows where that elusive video is, probably still on its way to the anti-graft agency, who knows! But we are still waiting for it to surface.
Then there is this latest rumbling about the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s death, which Nankhumwa now links to some ‘JB’ hit squad.
President Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) — the late Head of State’s brother — has since disowned Nankhumwa’s claims, saying he does not believe in gossip.
But that is not enough Mr. President. In a normal country, Nankhumwa would not be a Cabinet minister by now after the shameless remarks he uttered at Ndata at the sombre function meant to commemorate the life of the late Bingu.
Two things would have happened by now: Either the President would have fired Nankhumwa on the evening news on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) the same day or Nankhumwa himself would have resigned.
But because this is Malawi where everything is business as usual despite the President telling us or lying to us that his government is business unusual, Nankhumwa — who appears to have gone underground after the embarrassing episode — will remain minister and a blue-eyed boy to the President.
But truth be told, Nankhumwa is an embarrassment to the nation and the President and these are the people who will destroy APM just like some people did to his late brother.
I am calling him an embarrassment to the President because, come to think about it, if Nankhumwa tells us that Bingu was killed, does it mean that the Information Minister is confirming that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) flew a dead body to South Africa?
Does he also confirm that that Bingu was declared dead at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) on April 5 2012 and not on the 6th or 7th as the DPP insists he was taken alive to South Africa?
Secondly, if Bingu was killed and the last person to be with Bingu or I should say the one who saw Bingu collapse under her watch was a DPP MP, is Nankhumwa telling us that she should be questioned in connection with what the minister says was the Bingu ‘killing’ or was she the hired hand?
Thirdly, why did Nankhumwa not tell the President or the people at Ndata that the defunct newspaper he was holding in his hands was linked to the party?
And was it necessary to utter those words inside a church? As far as I am concerned, that was in church because the Catholic Church was conducting mass right there! Isn’t this an embarrassment to the Catholic Church?
And what does Nankhumwa want to achieve? Joyce Banda is already done and dusted.</p>
All we want from her is to come home and answer some very difficult questions, including whether she played any role in Cashgate.
So, when you bring this madness, aren’t you giving her ammunition to tell the world that the current administration is all up for persecution not prosecution?
Nankhumwa must spare us the national embarrassments.
And again in the first place, why did Nankhumwa speak at that function? In what capacity or role? In a normal situation, was it not the Vice-President Saulos Chilima who was supposed to ask the President to speak in terms of government protocol?
And talking about the Vice-President, we all heard the sound advice from Chief Ngongoliwa telling the President at the same function to stand guard against those telling him to start abandoning his deputy. This is a mistake the DPP should not and must not repeat.
It is unfortunate that it had to take the chief to say this in the wake of speculations that all was not rosy between the two, but it would have been better if the President talked publicly about his unity with the Veep just like Uhuru Kenyatta has done in Kenya — demonstrating strong leadership and publicly announcing his confidence in his deputy William Ruto.
This is what Uhuru wrote on his Facebook page: “…I expressed my confidence in Deputy President William Ruto and those wishing to see squabbles between us will be disappointed… Tell them there is a new generation of leaders whose approach is different.”
Show me a great, strong, business unusual leadership and I will show you Uhuru. Show me mediocrity and recklessness and I will show you Nankhumwa.
- The articles appeared in ‘Cut-the-Chaff’ column of Weekend Nation.