One year after Malawi’s 2014 elections: ‘Are we not a presidentless nation?’

This week marks one year since Malawians ‘spoke’ – in those chaotic May 2014 tripartite elections. Well, it is now twelve months since Pres Peter Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) assumed the helms of power and since Joyce Banda and her now ‘disbanding’ Peoples Party (PP) waved Plot No. 1 goodbye.

Peter Mutharika

Peter Mutharika

Perhaps, it is imperative that – at least during this significant time – we do a little bit of stock-taking. Do some soul searching, and map our way forward as a nation that for the last half century since attaining self-rule is still being listed as one of the poorest countries in the world.

Today (Tuesday), our ‘self-styled’ political analysts have given their verdict on President Peter Mutharika’s performance in the last year (http://www.nyasatimes.com/2015/05/26/analysts-give-dpp-average-mark-one-year-ruling-malawi/). Analysts in the names of Chancellor College based lecturer Associate Professor Blessings Chinsinga and Livingstonia University based economist Dr Collen Kalua gave Mutharika’s one year rule an ‘average mark’.

But as I pointed out earlier the issue of us having political analysts in the country is verily debatable. There was a case once where the same analyst once said something negative about some ruling party and two days later he was back at the same radio station talking positive about the same party.

Well, I stand to be corrected. But, in my own sincere opinion, DPP did not deserve the so called average mark. What for?

 Teary end to tripartite elections’

DPP rule was ushered in with tears from our good’ol Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chief Justice Maxon Mbendera.  According to journalist Raphael Tenthani (May his soul keep on resting in peace), Mbendera’s tears announced an ‘end to chaos.’

According to Tenthani, Mbendera’s tears were an admission that the elections were “fraught with problems, some of which could have been avoided with proper planning from his secretariat.”

Good’ol Mbendera himself had admitted that “we were let down by our own secretariat.”

Now, that told a lot. While our good observers from world over said our elections were largely “free and fair” the fact is that, honestly, they were not – if reading between the lines of what I have noted in the two last paragraphs is anything to go by.

Lo! Those elections were marred by a number of inconsistencies including violence at polling centres, lack of requisite resources and missing names on voter registers for would-be voters who had already verified their names prior.

Now, that was least to be called “free and fair” to be utmost truthful.

Mbendera’s tears told it all. There was something wrong with those elections. Search me!

 Failed public reform programme, others

Well, the public service reform programme was something the DPP government would have gotten an ‘average mark’ for. But like most of some other failed projects such as poor implementation of the Farm Income Subsidy Programme (FISP), the public subsidy reform programme has been a flop.

To-date, we are told, it is only Vice President Saulos Chilima that will report at Capital Hill at 7:30 am, and retire at way after 10:00 pm – five hours after knock off time of 4:30 pm.

The rest of our civil servants – both at Capital Hill and in the districts – simply play ‘bawo’ or ‘Facebook.’

But the reform programme was a distinct idea, but one that is dying a natural death.

I have never been surprised though. It is easier to say than to do.

‘Shadows of Bingu’

The shadows of Bingu, I must underscore, are the ones that have kept the Peter Mutharika’s administration alive and noticeable. Otherwise, there would be nothing to talk about for the DPP, Peter Mutharika leadership.

The official inauguration of Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC), a few roads and soon the inauguration of the international ‘Bingu Stadium’ in the capital Lilongwe, and the inauguration of the Reserve Bank of Malawi regional headquarters in Mzuzu – all brainchild projects of Peter’s brother Bingu, who died of cardiac arrest in 2012 while in office, have kept Peter’s government in the limelight.

It is the shadow of Bingu that is keeping Peter going. Otherwise what would have? Some graffiti writing at some police station in Lumbadzi?

‘A presidentless nation’

It would not be very wrong if one described Malawi as a ‘presidentless nation.’ Peter Mutharika has visibly failed to comment on issues of national importance including those concerning our kwashiorkor-hammered economy. Instead, he has chosen to recoil at the posh palaces of Sanjika and Kamuzu – probably “reading on the internet” as he said in that report regarding his brother’s death.

But, look, a president is a voice of a country – of a people. Much as we appreciate his not moving around locally too much, which means saving a bit on our coffers, we would like to hear our president’s voice on pertinent national concerns – the strikes, the economy, and what have you.

If you asked me, his silence has been unhealthy if not dangerous. It has only helped overzealous gentlemen like one Ecklen Kudontoni to make noise as if they were CEOs of Malawi Inc.

Conclusion

That Peter Mutharika deserves an ‘average mark’ for what he has done in the past year surprised if not shocked me. For what?

I think, as a country, we should not simply leave the ‘verdit-giving-job’ to one Kalua and Chinsinga. It must be done by all of us – on air, on the social media and portals like these.

Does it not sound funny that the average mark was given on the pretext that Peter was not as ‘reactive’ to CSOs and thus avoided political instability?

The DPP, and Peter must take their twelve months to re-think their way of doing things, and if possible get back to their drawing table for re-strategizing.

Let Peter and the DPP not be flattered by ‘political analysts’ who give marks they cannot explain. We need to move Malawi forward.

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31 thoughts on “One year after Malawi’s 2014 elections: ‘Are we not a presidentless nation?’”

  1. mulhomwe waku Lomola says:

    Munthu akulephera kuyankhula @ that age angawauze chani Amalawi chogwira mtima????? koma kunyambita lilime basi munthu wamkulu!! SHAMEEEEEE!!!!!!! Litata lamunthu wamkulu kupangitsa manyazi kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk DPP Woooooyeeeeee

  2. mulopwana says says:

    A Peter munatinamidza koma tizaonananso posachedwa 2019 sikale bola moyo, Mmalawi samaiwala ask Acheya

  3. wakumudzi kwa Jali says says:

    He has done allot indeed, malata otchipa, cement otchipa ma civil servant kupasidwa 100% increment, mukhaula munya muona mpaka 5 yrs

  4. nankungwi says:

    I just wish Malawians were more positive than tghey are negative. I think Peter Mutharika has worked in the last 12 months and has improved Malawi. Donnors left Malawi unceremoniously under Joyce Banda now they are talking positive and they are considering in some have already come back to our aid! Reforms have taken place Saulos Chilima had worked his guts off with his committee to bring these reforms about which no other government ever managed!Peter Mutharika in definitely a president who listens to his people! when they no we dont want you to buy a plane now even though this is highly incovenient to him he listens. Abroad we are now beginning to get the respect we lost under Jpyce Banda. Why can you not look for the positives? why do you always want to discourage. He is DPP what is wrong with completeing idease that his brother started? I give him 80%!

  5. Sapitwa has really astounded me with his/her comment. I agree with you Sapitwa that given the circumstances in Malawi now Peter has really worked. Presidency is not judged based on the way he coins his/her words or how loud he/she is. For me Peter is quite different to his brother but as a president he has really proved a lot of wrong.

  6. Pee says:

    Kusupa chosavina……

  7. observer wamkulu says:

    The most useless elections to happen in Malawi.The overseer Mbendera was weeping like a baby like it has wetted itself knowing to have let down Malawians putting wrong people to lead us.Sanjika gateman Dausi was defending all the fires started with the dpp people during elections.Every ballot box that needed recount was catching fire by then.Dpp stooges were very happy with these fires.

  8. kapolo wamuboma says:

    Malawi doesn’t have the president.President Ben Phiri has resigned.Now his puppet is pleading with him to remain at the state house.Saulos knocks at 10pm because he knows there is benefit in it.I get K50,000 and i live at simchimba in area 23.Why should i waste time knocking at 10pm while there is nothing to motivate me?I don’t each lunch most of the time and i walk on foot most of the time and you expect me to work like him living in a house with no electricity,chimbuzi kutali,bafa yazikatoni panja.Civil servant wapa Malawi ameneyo.

  9. manxo says:

    im suprised with the cretaria used on awarding the marks. How come u give him (mr president) average marks, what has the guy done to deserve those marks
    to be honest my fellow malawians its not true coz the guy has achieved nothing but only to finish the project started by his bro
    during campaign time the guy promised alot of things to malawians which brought confidence and asurance in the hearts of poor malawians
    see how many complains have been adressed during his adminstration to list afew
    the selling of malawi servings bank
    miss using publick funds which was donated to NARC
    resistance to increase wages
    the false trip to USA in which u decieved malawians and so many in which if im to list i’ll take pages and pages
    of all these i dmt see anything that colify him to have average mark

  10. Patriot says:

    Malawi on AUTO PILOT mode.
    God save us.
    Ku banja la a Mutharika mtsogoleri anali Bingu BASI.

  11. tuvitwana says:

    BEN PHIRI WOYEEEEEE

  12. truevoter says:

    mukatha kulankula munena. Mufuna Farao??????????????

  13. Sapitwa says:

    Bingu’s achievements were through his DPP. APM is proceeding from where Bingu left as he has said before. Some idiot thinks he should have disconnected himself from DPP and start doing projects in his own manifesto instead of that of DPP. It is DPP in progress! I gave APM 6 months only by which forex would have been dry, fuel would have been dry, hospitals could have been completely dry with drugs,schools could have been closed due to lack of resources but He has proved me wrong. I have therefore scored him 9.999/10 given circumstances impacted by no donor funding.
    His team is that of great men and women who are going into Year two with a remarkable difference of success.

  14. Tatyata says:

    some pple were used to hand-out and being cheated!!!!thats why you feel that ur at stans still (get lost)

  15. I support this, otherwise we should not put a yes to any nonsense. The DPP led Government has not done enough to get average mark.

  16. nYAU SITHOBWA says:

    Seeeeeeeeeee the president of Malawi mavuto enanso awa kaya ziyenda four years coming

  17. Dwambazi. says:

    We have a president in Malawi??? ……..Really??? Why is everything at a stand still?

  18. stanly Nkunika says:

    Umh! Malawi wanga sopano,thron kwa achina Sauli (Saul-failures) As Isael wakalero forced to have Saul a king the whole land was cursed.This guy and his friends forced themselves on Malawi and alas! all is cursed.

  19. Malawian Mom says:

    MAGANIZO WA MAGANIZO,

    COMMUNICATION IS VERY VITAL. HE NEED TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE NATION,THAT WAY PEOPLE KNOW HIS PLAN FOR THE NATION. THE NATION DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR IT FROM THE THIRD PARTY.

    HE NEED TO ADDRESS THE NATION EVERY ONCE A WHILE. WITH REAL ISSUES. IS THAT ASKING TOO MUCH.

  20. Kadakwiza says:

    Our president professor Peter Muthalika is still sleeping so please my fellow Malawians don’t disturb him. When he wake up he will comment and may be he will also deal with that issue concerning the Malawi Savings Bank. Ke kgopela lesekamtswenya moetapeli. Malawians please don’t disturb the president, please! He is still sleeping.

  21. Substitute supporter says:

    Bola ku IGUPUTO (egypt) tinkhapula njerwa zamoto koma timadya kukhuta

  22. Tengupenya says:

    that people can comment on the performance of the President in open and natural language is a sign of the freedom of expression being enjoyed. do not take this fore granted. it has been a long journey to get here, …, with some compatriots paying dearly for this to happen, some paid by their blood and dear life; some lost their freedom for long period; some suffered silently- we do not even know about them nor what they suffered. this is dear freedom to be guarded jealously..

  23. Tengupenya says:

    matters of opinion are private intellectual property even when expressed in public through public media. so just debate without attacking the person who has views contrary to yours. it is a sign of the times that our society is becoming more open, with freedom of speech. however, please do not be blatantly vulgar on public media (that is my opinion).

  24. ujeni says:

    We have a Dummy in State House. Who is the president of Malawi by the way?

  25. Matokoso says:

    Pius are you for real. This is a rubbish article with substandard arguments and hurriedly cobbled English hodge podge.

  26. Unfortunately that’s what ppl opted for… Marawians oyeeeeeee….

  27. Guarantor says:

    Dear Mr. Pius Nyondo,

    Please spare us from reading nonsense like this one u call an analysis. This country is in sorry state because of people like you……forget about elections they are long gone and focus on the future….am not DPP but I cant continue moaning after one year. Please understand issues affecting our nation than bring politics here. Even if we could chose you as president u would have done much worse than the people u are accusing…..how would you expect someone to achieve something tangible when we were coming from Cashgate crisis and when donors pulled out. Let us all work togather as a nation and stop this nonsense of pointing fingures at one another, that wont take us anywhre. No one is going to build this country apart from us so stop this nonsense…….mxiuwww I would have done something better than reading this trash….

  28. nYAU SITHOBWA says:

    Honestly Peter is moving because of his late broehr not him nothing tangible on the ground busy stealing cash @ Capital and the noteble things done by DPP ARE AS FOLLOWS – 1-fLOODS-2 fAMINE -3 Killing the albinos -4 Xenophobia in SA -5 Loss of Malawi nation Team in South Africa -5 Late supply of Subsidy to the Farmers- 6 Resignation of Ben Phiri
    Thanks DPP KEEP IT UPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

  29. White Rabbit says:

    Will the REAL president please stand up!

  30. What about? says:

    Ise DPP yomweyo kaya wakwiya ndi mfiti. Mudzalirabe 2019 titailowetsanso mboma.

  31. maganizo wa maganizo says:

    Pius Nyondo,Do you know that I admire APM.He does not comment on anything that does not help poor malawians or that can bring chaos in the country.You have called him pappet and you wanted him to comment on that.I think,you are not a true malawian because those who are malawians appreciate the way APM is running the affairs of this country. APM is a well educated person and is running the country proffessionally.

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