Peter Mutharika still not inspiring confidence: One year as Malawi President

You know the progress rate of a nation, sometimes, from what dominates their public debates.

President Mutharika clocks one year as Malawi leader

President Mutharika clocks one year as Malawi leader

What are people often talking about in public spaces—say the media, social networks, academic gatherings, public squares, social unions, etc? And what are their discussions telling us about their level of maturity or immaturity as a nation?

You see, real development—not the Bingu wa Mutharika’s second to Qatar propaganda we were smeared with—begins when a leader unites a nation and leads it to common constructive debates about progress.

In the 1960s, while poor, dirty and stuck like Malawi today, South Korea, began its development journey when strongman Park Chung-Hee, their leader, bulldozed his people to a discussion on how they should industrialise.

In the first two years of his leadership, every South Korean understood the industrialisation anthem and national debates—from top government official to ‘peasant’ in the countryside— was on how to industrialise. This, fellow Malawians, is a mark of visionary leadership. Osati zinazi.

What Park achieved in just a year when he reunited the nation toward a common development discussion, represents what in development studies is known as a ‘critical juncture’. A critical juncture is a moment when a nation takes advantage of a situation to correct their previous wrongs and chart a new, progressive way forward.

Park saw a critical juncture in the 1960s to reorganise his nation towards a purposive movement. He isolated the intelligent few and exported them to developed kitchens of the West to learn and steal their ways of progress.

He selected a group of entrepreneurs and companies, eased their ways of manufacturing, gave them access to international loans and set production targets for them. He could arrest them for failing to meet agreed targets. In schools, and all other social gatherings, he encouraged through threats and arrests sometimes, the spirit of hardwork and discipline. Thousands of parents, not idling children, were arrested and detained without trial for keeping their children idling, not in schools. Mwamva?

We should not be surprised, today, that South Korea is not investing all its energy, like here in Africa, blaming the IMF, World Bank, the West and the EU for neocolonialism.

Malawi, just like South Korea in the 1960s, was poor, dirty and stuck. The stark reality of development differences between these two countries, today, is a testimony of Malawi’s leadership failure.

Trust me.

Do not, even for a moment, believe visionless and power hungry dictators when, in defence of their excess, tells us we are poor because of the so-called neocolonial policies by western agents such as IMF, World Bank, EU and all that.

If this were true, then we could not have seen the rise of countries such as India, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Brazil, Guatemala, Mauritius and all these are fast growing economies. For none of these was spared from the same policies that, here in Africa, we cannot stop getting excuses from.

We are poor, today, because we have failed to utilise every critical juncture we have had since 1964. The granting of independence in 1964, the return of multiparty democracy in 1994, the rise of Bingu wa Mutharika in 2005, the return of lost governance sense by Joyce Banda in 2012 and the current spate with Peter Mutharika represents lost critical junctures that, with sensible leadership, Malawi could have taken advantage of.

In all these junctures, you can agree with me, we have witnessed leaders riding on their predecessors’ failure, making rosy promises which, with days, sink with the setting sun.

  • The article appeared in the Weekend Nation newspaper
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Nyondo Ukufuna Adzigawa Ndalama Just For U To Be Inspired! Chendere Chakufikapo Nyondo.

Hardwick Mwenda

Alinafe Mzungu; do you know that leadership is given by God? Were you a ware that Bingu would die in 2012? How sure are you that APM will rule us beyond 2019? Becareful when expressing your views much as we have freedom of expression, tommorrow belongs to God and who will rule us only God knows not Alinafe Mzungu.


lets just make this nyondo guy president! He can rule better!kkkkk. Iv been with people with such surnames as a graduate heath worker aaa ambiri mwaiwo makhalidwe awo ndi omwewa a anyondowa.

Alinafe Mzungu
Much as I respect people’s rights and writings, I beg to differ. My argument reflects on what Gerald Viola has written on Malawi Government Official website, he has clarified the One year of APM administration nicely . Yes he works for APM and he has to pat APM for his bread but Malawians, we should sometimes accept reality. A lot of us are just full of hate. We hate our leaders and we commend foreign leaders. It is us who kicked Amayi out of Office,opting for APM and today, APM is bad others suggesting Chakwera would be an Angel, alas!… Read more »
Umphawi S.I. Wabwino

Aptly expressed mate! Lackluster leadership is truly a lingering and haunting refrain. But how do we begin to transition towards meaningful progress? Are we resigned to fate? Is this the curse of a plurality?

The example of South Korea and her leadership approach to development or industrialization when used in Malawi by any leader is likely to raise a lot of outcries. Human rights are the centre of everything done in Malawi. Many will agree with me that even investors are of recent reluctant to invest in Malawi because of unwarranted criticism that they receive. Look at the mining sector, Kayelekera for example, Paladin has been at the centre of criticism and no space to breathe. Recently, Mota Engil proposal to build a modern international tourist attraction facility in Mangochi, people have vehemently encouraged… Read more »

nothing, the leader of opposition is just like the president!


The things said here are wise though those that support the system wont agree. However, I would have loved if mr Nyondo would have also translated his article into our venecular langauge so as those locals in the uneducated should also be able to grab something from the things said,for they are the ones most fooled by politicians.

Malawi @ my heart

Nice article and thumbs up… luck of vision ally leadership and unproductive citizens is a major drawback to our economic advancement


To our leaders; please read such articles. They are food for thought even if you may not agree with.

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