Ntata: Who is controlling Peter Mutharika

Anyone familiar with Malawi and the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s presidency will testify to the fact that one of the issues that aroused the anger and disapproval of the late Bingu for many Malawians was his eagerness in allowing himself to be influenced by the Muhlakho wa Alomwe ethnic grouping.

Mutharika being protected from a swarm of bees during voting day last May: There will be first annivesary celebration on this innit

Mutharika being protected from a swarm of bees during voting day last May: There will be first annivesary celebration on this innit

The invasion of this grouping into the affairs of state, especially the presidency, led to the kind of cronyism and nepotism that reminded people of Dr Hastings Banda’s days in which the Chewa people had over 90% of the national cake. Such behaviour was certainly one of the reasons that late Bingu’s second term ended on a note of severe controversy.

Peter Mutharika should not be deluded into thinking that Malawians have forgotten the DPP low points; the unjustified authoritarianism, the lack of essential political reforms, the governance challenges, the vain celebrations, and most of all, the Mulhako cronyism.

Although Peter Mutharika seems to have borne in mind that at one point in his late brother’s administration, about half of the cabinet was Lhomwe, he seems to have failed to recognise the danger of trusting too much in one or two confidants without proper justification.

In late Bingu’s administration, we saw at one point that senior cabinet ministers such as Justice Minister Prof. Peter Mutharika, Minister of Education Dr. George Chaponda, Minister of Tourism Anna Kachikho, Gender and Women Affairs Minister Patricia Kaliati, Trade and Industry minister Eunice Kazembe, Minister of Irrigation Richie Muheya, Deputy Finance minister Nihorya, Deputy Lands and Housing Minister T. Gowelo, Deputy Disabilities Minister Felton Mulli, Deputy Information Minister Kingsley Namakhwa, and Deputy Education Minister V. Sajeni were all from the Lhomwe belt.

We also saw that principal Secretaries in key ministries also reflected a pattern that favoured the same Mulhako kinsmen and that within the Executive big institutions were also assigned to Lhomwes. These included ADMARC General Manager Dr. Charles Matabwa, ADMARC Finance Director Foster Mulumbe, ADMARC Head of Administration George Bakuwa, Auction Holdings CEO Evance Matabwa, NFRA boss Edward Sawelengera, Immigration Chief Elvis Thodi, Anti Corruption Bureau Director Alex Nampota, Director of Intelligence Clement Kapalamula, Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito, Chairperson Malawi Electoral Commission, Anastanzia Msosa, Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, Clerk of Parliament Maltilda Katopola, Attorney General Jane Ansah, Secretary to Treasury Randson Madiwa, General Manager Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) Mondiwa, MBC- Director General Patrick Khoza, Reserve Bank Governer Perks Ligoya, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Commissioner General Lloyd Muhara, Blantyre City Assembly Chief Executive Ted Nandolo and Malawi Savings Bank CEO Joseph Mwanamvekha.

More importantly, late Bingu was controlled to a significant extent by Leston Mulli and the top Mulhako wa Alhomwe brass that included individuals such as Jean Namathanga and Noel Masangwi. These people formed the President’s unofficial advisory council on governance, public appointments and political strategy.

The fact that Malawians are quite now should not delude the current Mutharika into thinking that Malawians are not noticing that a similar trend has already emerged. Speaking to ministers and government insiders, it is apparent that the country is not really being ruled by Peter Mutharika, but the power behind the power that is a clique of special assistants, bodyguards and certain relatives.

But surely the learned professor of Law knows that Malawians gave a governing mandate to Peter Mutharika, and not to any of his personal assistants, doesn’t he? Does the Professor not know that the ruling mandate was given to him and the DPP on the basis, in part, of his solemn pleas that the DPP had changed and should be forgiven for past mishaps such as the nepotism and cronyism mentioned above? Does he not realise that Malawians expected that the DPP would honour that forgiveness by following a new political path, a different style of political leadership and governance, with appointments based solely on merit and in recognition of the contribution that various individuals have put towards supporting this country and their bid for the presidency?

The simple fact is that as learned as he is, the professor knows these things. The problem appears to be the fact that his administrative powers have been relinquished to his assistants and advisors. This relinquishing of his administrative powers to his personal assistant, and the warmth and cosiness that he is again displaying with the Muhlako old guard is not only disturbing, but may indeed be a cause for worry as to the direction of his presidency, and whether the so-called new and changed DPP was simply such in rhetoric only.

During its two years of exile, many talented and capable young men and women led the DPP push to power. These need to be given an opportunity to now utilise their talents in promoting a national development agenda. It will be an affront to public trust demonstrated in the vote to ignore and overlook these able individuals simply because one or two personal assistants, advisors or even valets (imagine that!) are in control and only their cronies can assist the leadership.

Indeed, it would be useful to remind the President that critics are already waiting in the wings and will soon come out of the woodwork with their pens blazing. It seems to rather unwise to provide critics with ammunition in the form of competent CVs overlooked on important positions simply because they were not endorsed by one or two personal assistants or that they fall on the wrong side of the ethnic divide.

Furthermore, certain leadership blunders are already becoming evident: The misguided graffiti painting of Lumbadzi police cells, the seriously dubious asset declaration, the suspicious sale of MSB Bank just to name a few. Are these ideas consistent with a supremely learned professor of law with donkey’s years of experience? The answer is probably No- although anything is possible in politics!

How does one identify a puppet? You know you are dealing with a puppet when every time you try to say something to the puppet, the puppet says: Talk to my assistant, the guy pulling the strings.

Given the high intellectual respect with which President Arthur Peter Mutharika is regarded in the country and internationally, perhaps the time has come to ask the question publicly instead of simply joining those asking it in secret: Who really is controlling Peter Mutharika?

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nkhakamila
Guest

greedy is what is driving most malawians.i thought mtata was at state house by then.may be you want to become a president yourself.pangani zina pliz.palibe nkhani apa.

Jose'
Guest

Allan Ntata, Manyazi bwaa?

Mwana wa Dorothy
Guest

I always appreciate the thinking of very outside the box….continue Malawi we are learning something out of your facts and I hope Allan is learning too.

I mean banda
Guest
Please know that ife a malawi amené timakhala kunja kina be era kumudzi chakandichaka nkumapeza zinthu zisakusintha or zikuyipilayipila ….can have an honest opinion because we do not have the fear the greed the political ambition the duty to praise the blindfold them or any financial benefit or motive. ..In fact I am not a tax payer as I don’t pay taxes km malawi Ko I and I don’t benefit anything from services of the government there. Therefore I would not attack Ntata for changing his tone or for seeming to criticize any government that comes in fact the grass… Read more »
lacted
Guest

l thougt Ntata would be pointing out some issues like defects in national devlpment. National insecurity etc..i think these are personal issues…

hounarabo
Guest

Commentmmm kaya but i makes sence any way

kunthumbo kwa yesaya
Guest

APM might be bad but Ntata is a coward of a decade.

BigMan
Guest
There goes the curly kitted dubiously learned Allan Mtata, bitter, frustrated, in the cold and broke. Barking, barking, barking and barking some more… for nothing!! The reason Peter tells you to talk to his assistant is because he doesn’t want to talk to you, doesn’t need you, doesn’t like you and has no need to waste his time with YOU! You are the problem, not Peter for referring your greasy head to Ben Phiri who doesn’t like you either. Allan, get it through your thick skull we all don’t like you because you are a traitor, a coward, spineless and… Read more »
angoni
Guest

Mizwanya tsopano. Koma yes…. Mulungu simunthu

big boy
Guest

Is victor sanjeni from the south? Verify before you write

wpDiscuz

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