Postcard to Peter Mutharika: Tenthani’s Muckraking

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the wayJohn C. Maxwell

Your Excellency, while you were away a lot of things happened back here. We know your team of dedicated lieutenants kept you up to speed on these goings-on.

Mutharika: Mist over his US trip

Mutharika: Mist over his US trip

But official reports are always embellished with some niceties to avoid shocking you or wounding your sensitivities. Do we not know that leaders ensconce themselves in some ivory towers of “hear no evil, see no evil”?

So it is the duty of the muckraking community to tell you the truth, Sir, as it is.

But first things first, I have noticed that you are quickly adopting this dangerous “it’s the fault of everybody else but me” mentality.

Let me explain.

At the end of your US tour you took issue with the media for “speculating” that you attended a function that had already taken place a few weeks earlier.

But what you cleverly, nay, deliberately ignored to acknowledge, Sir, was the fact that the media got the information from your office. In fact the original information pointed to the fact that you had a personal invite from the leader of the free world himself, Barack Obama, to the International Conservation Caucus Foundation for the 2015 US Congregational international Conservational Gala.

This, for want of a better word, was obviously a blue lie. But you personally unabashedly gave it credence by also gloating over it on your official Facebook page when you used the same untruthful words like “…at the invitation of US President Barack Obama”.

But, somehow, you realised someone had called – or would call – your bluff and you quickly edited your original Facebook entry without explaining why Obama had crept in into your original post and silently disappeared in the current one.

But, Sir, I used the word “embellish” earlier. I would be presumptuous to imagine that you update the so-called “statuses” on your social media pages. Maybe some overzealous handler among your many aides and advisers decided – on his or her own – to make you look a bit more ‘important’ than you are by throwing in the magical Obama name.

But, before I continue, can I beg you against aping everything Uhuru Kenyatta does? Your Facebook page looks suspiciously like a ‘copy and past’ of the Kenyan guy. But I am at pains not to tell you he is smarter or has smarter aides…

That said, as an academic with nearly half a century of experience to boot, I would not imagine you allowing information in your name to go out without your approval. So I would like to believe the half-truths, exaggerations and complete lies on your page had your seal of approval.

While still at that, as an accomplished real PhD holder and real academic professor, what was this excitement with some nondescript award that makes no sense at all to any one? I could excuse the Big Kahuna for getting excited with some fake Chinese professorship or some of your other predecessors going all over the moon with some honorary doctorate awards.

But how could a real professor like you get excited with an award that is as fake as the paper it was printed on? They say they invited you to DC so that they award you for your conservation efforts. What conservation efforts, if I may respectfully ask?

Granted, I am more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that we have not seen the best of you yet in the field of conservation for you are hardly a toddler in office, as it were. But this is the more reason why this award is wanting, not only premature but also an insult to Malawians.

In fact, if truth be told, if the organisers of this fake award were credible they should have stripped you of it the moment you failed to incinerate that confiscated ivory using the very lame reasons you gave. How could you say you could not set alight the four tonnes of contraband ivory you had already netted because of the two million more tonnes that still had to wait for the courts to ascertain whether they are legal or not?

That, I must say, was executive baloney!

By the way, allow me to ask: what is it with these fake awards and African leaders? Why are these fake awards hedonistically attractive so that they should be acceptable to African leaders as if they have some aphrodisiacal potency in them?

Former British premier Tony Blair was right on the ball when he said “the art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.”

Your Excellency, you should have been able to say, “Thanks for the award but, no thanks, I am yet to deserve such recognition.”

Oh, I have also noted that you, too, have started flying those little hired toys on your joy rides. I recall you complained spending seven hours connecting to Lilongwe at O.R. Tambo the other day. So hired jets they should be. But at what cost, Sir?

The figures being quoted for you flying one of those VistaJet birds are obscene, trust me, considering that we have just graduated from a “zero-deficit” to his more ominous cousin “zero-aid” budget. Considering that you went to collect a nondescript award ten days too early you just might have to explain this needless expenditure to your impoverished citizens.

But, hey, we got carried away by your US joy ride. Let us get back to issues of the day.

Honestly, Your Excellency, considering that you flew to DC just to stretch your legs because the award does not justify both the time and cost, I would have expected you to cut short your visit, head for the Mahlamba Ndlopfu Residence in Pretoria or Nkandla in KwaZulu Natal to have a tête-à-tête with Jacob Zuma on the plight of Malawians who are being butchered for the mere reason that they are Malawian.

Surely it was insensitive of you, Your Excellency, to be imbibing Kentucky Trace in Washington while accepting an award nobody can explain when your countrymen were being butchered like pigs ready for the Christmas braai stand.

Some dimwits in your administration will tantalise your impressionable self that you were still in charge thousands of kilometres away in your US $7,000 villa. Actually some crazy minister in the team of clowns that made your big brother soil his otherwise illustrious first years actually lied to the Big Kahuna that because of the wonders of technology he could still be in charge while being thousands of kilometres away.

That old chap is still in your circle and he might be feeding you with the same executive balderdash.

But why do leaders where technology is light years ahead of us still cut short their holidays or official trips to hanker down with technocrats during emergencies? Ask David Cameron or your fictitious host these past weeks Barack Obama.

You yourself, Sir, showed some rare leadership traits when you cancelled a scheduled trip to Maputo when half your country was submerged in water. Was it perhaps because the Mozambican 2M and prawns were less nutritious than the Washington’s champagne and caviar?

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49 thoughts on “Postcard to Peter Mutharika: Tenthani’s Muckraking”

  1. kusyeje says:

    Anthu inu tangibvomerani kuti M’Malawi nzathu akutha kutilankhulira bcoz Malawians are dunderheads we dont ask these pertinent questions to our leaders be it at constituency level up to our employed head of state.

  2. Mfwethu says:

    So just because the government can foot the hired plane bills then waiting for a connection has become something inimical to APM? Has he done that all his ADULTHOOD life when going to the same destination? Power really corrupts completely even to those we thought would better understand what Malawi as a country needs.

  3. mdk says:

    Muzingokhalila kupwetekedwa mtima till 2019 and beyond.i feel sorry for you guys kkkkkkkkkkkk

  4. Kenkkk says:

    Remember last time he went to USA, he promised us investors will flood malawi. Where r they? No different this time except that he smelled some serious conservation dollars coMing our way to thank us for promising to destroy the ivory and miraculously he becomes a staunch conservationists. Since when Peter? Just following where the money is kuti Abe bwino, enrich themselves and beef up dpp coffers.

    The money will be squandered unless you tell us now how it is going to be used so that we can verify on the ground.

  5. Malindima says:

    I heard that APM doesn’t waste his time reading stuff pasted on Nyasa as JB . JB cited the reason why Bingu collapsed was the trash being pasted on Nyasa.
    Good move!

  6. Vimbuza Masekese says:

    Komatu inu obwana oLafayele mudzagwetsa munthu ndi bp

  7. Teacher says:

    I wish I had the ability to articulate issues as the Muckraker does. I salute you Mr Tenthani. These are the questions each and every sane Malawian ought to be asking. For the sake of patriotism and developing Malawi. We indeed have leaders who still believe in cheap politics.

  8. What about? says:

    I haven’t finished reading. I have a question. Is “copy and paste” synonymous with “copy and past”?

  9. grea says:

    This is a great article i have never read, its just sweet reading it, But would you put it in print media for more coverage

  10. jimbo says:

    This kind of journalism is essential in a democracy. The President and government must be challenged and held to account. The article is well written and demands a response from the President’s Office. Erukuruku at No. ! also speaks truthfully. With Malawi’s very poor infrastructure, uneducated workforce and lack of resources, who would want to invest in the country? The educational qualifications in Malawi are not worth the paper they are written on. The standard of English spoken/written by Form Four graduates is extremely poor and the knowledge they gained during their education is skin deep. I am afraid Malawi has a very long way to go before it becomes attractive to investors.

  11. H Kamdidi says:

    Well written!

  12. Aaron mwansambo says:

    Vas true

  13. MCP says:

    Amene mukudana ndi zomwe zalembedwa apazi nde ndi mbuli zachabechabe, munthuyu amatha and anthu ngati awa ndi ofunika kwambiri mu dziko

  14. Chituka says:

    Love him or hate him , this guy can write hands down!!!!

  15. north says:

    Kkkkk

  16. Chigawenga says:

    I love your writing muckracking !! You are right on!! you couldn’t have put it any better. Great job its about time some one told these clueless greedy bastards what time it is. Malawians are not that daft!

  17. mkunda says:

    a T/A go bak to xul u will see kuti muli nzeru pa zimene zalembedwa apa, mwina vuto ndichingerezi chakupitani

  18. Nkhuwawe says:

    U Partsval. Jst forest of words, no sense in it. Ulibe choti ungatiuze iwe.

  19. Thyolo Thava says:

    Ralph, This is real. Evenatabwela ndi $1m. Its nothing. Keep it up. Excavate and reveal the truth. Isaaaaaaaaa ,wandifikapo baaaaasi

  20. Galu WA galu says:

    KODI WANZELU NDI IWE WEKHA TENTHAN? YOU ARTICLES ARE BORING AND TOO LONG. GET THE GRIP.

  21. Mbanangwa says:

    Who told you that Peter is a star performer? The guy is a strange to himsel

  22. Emmanuel says:

    kaya amalawi tinazolowera kumanamizidwa sizachilendo

  23. Chipapwiche says:

    African presidents are supposed to be in their respective countries strategizing on Xenophobic attacks!! Ralph my foot. As a learned journalist,you should have been following what the president what was doing in the States apart from the award you are concentrating on. Munthu ukamakuladi nzeru zimatha. Don’t get fooled ndi awa omwe they just scroll down to write a comment without reading what you have said. You will be surprised they won’t comment if you write something good about this government. Makono its easy to get information and you should have done a proper research to understand and appreciate what goes with an award of this nature!!

  24. willy says:

    Kkkkkkkkkkkkk

  25. Uyo Munkhungu says:

    Fake Awards and African leaders! Very true but take Comrade Bob out. He is the only one we have left worthy feeling proud being African. Thanks Raphael, don’t you let anything happen to you!

  26. Charombanthu says:

    Well written Raphael. Keep it up.

  27. James Phiri says:

    Ralph Tenthani is the more reason I will always part away with my hard earned K300 to buy The Sunday Times (The Muckraker)

  28. partsval says:

    the devil will only come to kill and destroy.Malawians believe you me,these songs which peter is singing of making malawi self reliant are day dreams and their inherited system of compaigning by promising the moon.Bingu had also his promises of six universities to be built in 5 years,ithink they are genes of promises.Mr macraker,thanks,thats what is patriotism.Iwas watching with sense to see may be the jet with somethng like”MALAWIAN AIRINES” since we are encouraging buy malawi to empower malawians later iremembered that it was the same muntharikas,,who take plight of expensive decisions at other peoples cost.The sweet talkers who talk sense and do the nonsense. do you remember “malawi is not apoor country,it is the malawians who are poor”.He later came with another chorus”iwill change this country from apredominant importing and consuming country to aproducing and exporting country”,but till his death malawi was only exporting timber and raw tobacco.like brother,APM is saying,”malawi will be weaned from donor aid in five years to come,”you will be the judges.after eating and sleeping in the most expensive hotels at the expense of poor malawian tax payer only to receive aphotocopied paper,he is here telling us that he will improve the living conditions of the squeezed malawians.yes we are oppressed and squeezed,but who is squeezing us?.Malawians is it this not phariseeism?,has he forgoten when he had once watched university students and lectures being squeezed by his nortorious late brother, what did he do?fly to America and spend eight months there yet he was minister responsible to dialogue the disagreement.Malawians do we learn when we are old?. what would have happened if you malawians had not spoken on his and his ministers dubious salary increaments and yet the oppresed and squezeed civil servants had to tusle inorder to get a 45% salary increament.where was he or may be he was yet to be in aleadership mood? which squeezed malawians is he refering,the ones who are being told to pay ahopital by-pass for by-pasing arural clinic with healthy suverants working as doctors,nurses and pharmatists and etc.The same squeezed people who after failing to resist the oppresion opt for street begging but to their surprise being told that they would face the law if they continue?….to be continued

  29. ujeni says:

    We have a clueless President in our midist. Flying to USA to recieve a conservation award? Conservation of what?

  30. Ndangodutsamo. says:

    I don’t like this munthalika guy, he is not wealthy it to be the president. Mbuzi ya professor.

  31. Wotukwana apa ndithana naye.

  32. Nonse omwe mumati munapita kusukulu ndikumatukwana Komanso kumalankhula zoputsa malo awa ndinu oduka mutu, ndikubwela ndithana nanu. Muzipatsa akulu ulemu. Ndizimapepala zanumulinazozo musamatinyatse ife tilibe koma moyo wathu susowa kanthu.

  33. mulungu akuona says:

    I would indeed conquer with you. You’re just spitting out the reallity on the ground.APM is just squandering alot of kwachas for the impoverished malawians.All HE knows is to deter the people talking facts &that must be abated or otherwise must completely vanish from our beloved nation

  34. mlomwe wa fake says:

    mutharika’s fixation on Joyce banda, like a ten months love for boob milk, runs in his very core in so much as most ‘international’ related decisions are concerned. the more international accolades Joyce i.e carting home(or is it hotel?) the more it pisses off peter. he only has to accept that his pursuit and efforts are useless as he will never be a darling on the international scene, whether Joyce really deserves the accolades is immaterial. the president should work on impressing the Malawian masses through actions on the ground that makes them take a longer respite from their wretched lives. otherwise, his claim to being invited by world citizen number one is miserably goonish

  35. bwangazi says:

    Dont expect much from a fake president!!! His presidency is full of stupidity!!!!!! He is a balloon pumped by one bakili muluzi!!!! He gets advice from this kapoloma monster!!!!!

  36. chelinji says:

    Thanks Raphael this man is taking malawians for granted. Malawians wake up osamangokhala dwiiii pamene galu uyu akuononga ndalama zanthu. Its rise up malawians.

  37. Mphenzuzalira says:

    I wish someone could do the cost of this useless trip; it must be a hefty sum that could more usefully have been used on a job creation scheme. APM can cancel a trip within Africa, but when it is the US it is another story altogether. In less than one year in office he has visited the US, for extended durations, no less than 3 times! By contrast he has been to Zambia once (kulamba ceremony, just a short distance from Mchinji) and he has not visited Mozambique or Tanzania even once. And these are our closest neighbours!

    I also find it embarassing that APM seems not to be sure that he is President that he has to hang a potrait of himself in his hotel room. All the people coming to meet him are aware that he is President of Malawi – they do not need reminding by displaying the potrait prominently on the hotel wall…the flag is enough

  38. Elhapo says:

    There are times when I wonder whether there is adequate understanding of the English Language for those in the Administration to grasp this very poignant advice. They probably choose to get angry. Pity.

  39. Dr. butros-butros gurlie says:

    Aah i dont lyk ur articles he has negative attitude towards government,where things are going well u dont appreciate…i thnk ur intention is jst to pull our presidents down..i lyk george kasakula with his articles bcoz he doesnt show his side.

  40. Prophet Justice says:

    A nice piece as usual from Ralph. I enjoyed the article. Talking of real issues and well phrased and balanced.

  41. Wolemekezeka says:

    Bwana Tenthani mwalemba bwino kwambiri. Keep it up

  42. BigMan says:

    Tenthani, we all know you are a drunk but you need to do some research before you write this stupid stuff. The award is for all Malawians and has come with US$100,000,000 which will go towards conversation activities in Malawi.

    I wont even comment on the rest of the stuff that you’ve written, because clearly it was written under the influence of some bitter stuff. Shame how you have fallen so far down, you used to be a respected journalist.

  43. Mtumbuka says:

    Raphael ndiwe mbuzi umazitenga ngati dolo zolemba zako zopanda nzeru ngati zimenezi.

  44. brutsha says:

    Malawi has an asset in Ralph. This is pure check and balance journalism. God bless Ralph. Only atidyenawo, or too ignorant or overzealous loyalists will not heed this. Mediocrity exposed.

  45. honourable says:

    I like ur grammar and content. Tenthani ,u are a real journalist. Was asking myself same questions. This guy is clueless.i suspect he went to correct some fake declared assets in USA. Zoopsatu

  46. Malawiana says:

    He must be one of those hard Malawians this pulezidenti. I think for him pictures like those of Mozambican Sithole could not move him at all, after all his own boys still have Robert Chasowa’s blood dripping in their fingers.

  47. T/A says:

    Palibe cha nzeru chomwe chalembedwa apa!

  48. Aristotle says:

    Shaaahhh!!! But am led to believe that there were other important activities for which he specifically went to DC: Meetings with investors etc.

    1. Erukuruku says:

      Can you name one US investor already present in Malawi? Most Americans have never even heard of Malawi. American investors may consider investing in Nigeria, Ghana or South Africa. We have a tiny market, negligible power generation, an unskilled workforce and we are landlocked.

      Just to be polite ‘investors’ may tell APM that they will come, but APM should be the first one to know that Malawi has nothing to offer any serious investor.

      I can challenge you that although APM will meet countless US investors by the end of his first term in 2019, not a single one will actually invest in Malawi. It is wise to know one’s limitations…

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