Rating Peter Mutharika 7 out of 10 so far: ‘Cut-the Chaff’

The National Assembly reconvenes [in Lilongwe] for the Mid Term Budget Review, a legislative norm and finance management requirement that happens, or is expected to be fulfilled, six months into the budget implementation.

President Mutharika with his dutiful Vice-President Saulos Chilima providing a rare glimpse of political leadership to deliver his boss’ vision.

President Mutharika with his dutiful Vice-President Saulos Chilima providing a rare glimpse of political leadership to deliver his boss’ vision.

It is that time when the Executive must report to the people of Malawi whether the ship remains on course, or whether through the turbulence on the widespread sea has changed course.

This is the time when the people of Malawi expect their representatives to hold the Executive accountable on all the excesses that may have occurred in its spending patterns, demand answers for all overflows that happened and reprimand it for going overboard.

The chaff cutter will follow those proceedings keenly to see whether the legislative sitting will provide dividends to the people of Malawi. The people of Malawi will also not be expecting anything less from their representatives.

The MPs can never be in a better mood to tackle national issues having just had their pay revised.

This happened despite the fact that the economy is in bad shape. The interest rates and inflation figures are still way up into the sky. The currency had been in free-fall before it stabilised and started picking up recently.

The national resource envelope remains troubled and overstretched because donors are yet to lift their suspension of direct budgetary support.

This has affected the entire social fabric clearly represented by the worsening scarcity of drugs in hospitals to the rationing of resource allocation for the fulfilment of campaign promises.

The disposable incomes have shrunk with inflation pushing the bar of affordability beyond the reach of the spending comfort of many households.

Life is hard and in some cases outright unbearable, which should explain a manifold of strikes that typified the last several weeks among different public workers.

But truth be told, President Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) has done nothing untoward to create the economic challenges besetting the country. These are inherited problems.

The questions he will not avoid are based on his management style of those problems. He has appeared to be hesitant and uninvolved to confront many preventable storms as they appeared on the horizon of his administration.

He only showed up when the Judiciary strike, for instance, had already worsened after several weeks of silence.

He may have employed silent diplomacy as a tool for conflict resolution, but in crisis times the Judicial staff strike became, for instance, people die to hear sentiments of assurance from their leader that something is done behind the curtains.

These came late.

But that is chuff where the President scored miserably in the period under review. In terms of the grain—as measured by his campaign promises—he has scored remarkably well.

He promised to run a small government. He has delivered on that promise. Including the President and his deputy, the full Cabinet has 20 members.

Never make a mistake about it, reducing to 20s a Cabinet that previously kept oscillating between the 30s and the 40s is significant in terms of prudent resource management when one considers what goes into maintenance of a Cabinet minister.

He promised to devote more of his time as President to office work. This he has done. Ministers too have had their foreign travel restricted to only three trips in a year.

What is more? He has also placed a freeze on willy-nilly attendance of public functions by public workers, directing that only those directly concerned should grace the functions.

Compared to his predecessors, APM is the least travelled leader in the context of his duration in office.

The economic value of these decisions is that huge sums of money have been saved, helping to feed the public purse in lean times.

He promised to reduce presidential powers with regard to making public appointments, which ideally should be independent of the Executive influence.

He has started doing this. Senior technical positions will now be filled through a competence and suitability vetting process to be conducted by an independent and professional body.

This is important because it gives the public officials so appointed the latitude to fully exploit their potentials and talents, retain their objectivity and work without checking over their shoulders if in what they are doing they are scoring on the political scorecard.

He promised to institute public reforms. He has delivered on the promise, with his dutiful Vice-President Saulos Chilima providing a rare glimpse of political leadership to deliver his boss’ vision.

The Malawi Public Service Reforms which he constituted has cleared a lot of ground already.

He promised to implement a building materials subsidy programme. Admittedly there are teething problems, but which new initiative does not have problems at the formative stage? He is delivering on that.

The point is this: In terms of delivering promises, President Mutharika is good. If his genes in this regard were to be inculcated into the manner in which he responds to unforeseen challenges that affect every President, his leadership would be successful.

Let’s hope this area will improve going into the last six month of this fiscal year.

Otherwise it looks like Mutharika is headed for a strong legacy. That, in short, is how I would rate APM. If you want marks, I would give him a nice seven out of 10 so far.

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45 thoughts on “Rating Peter Mutharika 7 out of 10 so far: ‘Cut-the Chaff’”

  1. BalakaGuy says:

    Well done Ephraim,so far this article is not based on other s minds,it really comes from you deep down your heart,this is the kind of thinking we want,giving credit where it is due,you know journalists can provoke people or can bring hatred based on what they write,so sometimes try to have a balanced criticism,not because one is from such and such region,this will help to build our nation.

  2. bigman says:

    Ephraim Munthali has given Malawians an excellent assessment of APM. Shame to one political analyst from Chanco who gav Muntharika an F without any basis but rather hatred. Basic M&E the starting point is to measure based on promises or targets that the candidates set before. Other PP sympathisers are assessing APM on the basis of PP and MCP promises not and not what DPP promised.

  3. YAKASHATA says:

    STUPID NUMBER 41 YOU MUST BE MAYI’S GROUP. ANTHU OIPA INU.

  4. Ameneyo says:

    Giving our president 7 out of 10 is incredible. This is close to, if not getting a distinction for his performance. Really???? In my opinion, the maximum I can give him is 4 out of 10.

  5. ndangodusamo says:

    Let me join others who say this article is very fair and balanced. Ephraim is very objective and balanced in his analysis. Nor these other haters such as Tenthani who always hunts for negative stories about APM and his government. Keep it up Ephraim. Anthu amaonatu zachilungamo.

  6. KASIYAMALIRO says:

    Ephraim can still be qualified as a respected individual in the journalist fraternity. Can’t he? The other scribes know him better than me. But I do enjoy reading his articles as they expose a little extra time of reflection, good English and some amount of objectivity. I tend to buy the rating this far.APM is short of the aggressive confrontationist who may be more proactive than reactive. He needs time for that. I am proud to say”I feel more confident with APM team than before.” Keep it up!
    Yes, I also give particular credit to the Vice President… very excellent team work and quite sober minds. It is not business as usual. Regards

  7. Kanyimbi says:

    I, Kanyimbi also salute the president and his team. Remember we are operating on zero aid budget. So we can not expect things to be rossy.

  8. Peace says:

    Musiyanitse kufatsa ndi kupusa. Peter is an introvert wopusa. Things are just happening around him and he only reacts. He does not drive things. Bingu was different: he would start projects and even fights. Peter will wait for projects to come to him and just approve. He will wait fro Kikwete to strike and react, he will wait for strikes at Parliament to start and offer an increment instead of averting the strike.

    If we asked him to stay at state house for the next 53 months without getting out, he will be most happy. Akacheza chani ndi mafumu.

  9. Katundumadzi says:

    Hehehe am glad 2 hear dis, t meanz ma vote hs rely a voic and thats y I voted 4 APM, a visionaly Leader. Am expctng alot frm him, am sure he has dis countly at his heart and if dis contnues dis countly wil neva b de same. Keep t up Mr president.

  10. No. 31. Very good article. Thank you so much. But please be patient with those who may not have knowledge of the topic. You are too hard on Waakulu

  11. kiev says:

    The writer is biased. Where are the weaknesses if hee wanted to prove the point. You can not just write strengths which you think in your opinion are and score someone over 5 in your level of agreement. Be genuine, otherwise you are wasting space and our time to read this. For Nyasatimes please low down your fees if you have more space rather than putting these irrelevant writing.

  12. wobeba wanga says:

    Nice article. Big up APM

  13. Nkhombokombo says:

    It’s unfortunate that we as Malawians are easily convinced with petty issues and start rating the Presido and his vice. Which Cabinet did he reduce when he introduced a nother stoodgy of unnecesarry advisors who have to feed thier pot-bellies every month-end to the fulliest? Malata programme, how many do you invesage will benefit from it as we are already likely facing a bad famine and diseases resulting from the disasters we are in? I would rather if they came up with programmes which will counterfight the pending predicaments. This is no time for praising anyone but to fight like a red bull as the VP is striving day and night. People are dying out there, the don’t have time to think of malata alone. Where do they go when they get sick? Where do they find thier next meal? Where do they send thier children to school? And where to sleep at night? We must not be wasting time praising someone but rather help him to secure lives for the suffering. Go to Traditional housing plots, you will lucky not to see four or five houses floored by the rains in our town locations apart from the flooded countrysides. People lets work hard so that God the ALMIGHT help us to stand on our feet alone again. Thereafter we can start again our usual Praise Game since we will be at peace. Mwamva?

  14. The Truthful One from the West says:

    Let me educate Waakulu. Peter Mutharika is not running the country without donors. Donors are paying for a lot of things we cannot pay for on our own e.g the hiv and aids programme. All what donors have done is not to channel this aid through the govt budget because of misuse which started with DPP. You are showing your total ignorance when you say Peter Mutharika is running this country without donor support.

  15. MBAGALA says:

    THATS TRUE MAY BE HE CAN BE LIKE WISE LIKE HIS BROTHER WHO SOLVE THINGS AS FAST AS POSIBLE AND FULFILL THE PROMICE WHICH GIVE HIM CHANCE TO WIN IN 2009 WITH LANDSLIDE

  16. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Truly, APM has scored in those areas and possibly more.

    Imagine, during this lean period, he is able to reduce the depreciation of our currency.

    I can easily see the artificial appreciation of the kwacha, because there is no apparent source of forex right now. May be donations towards flood victims.

    He doesn’t mind the consequences of such illegal or unauthorized borrowing.

  17. edwin says:

    Wait for the waters to dry that is when you can tell the damage. Too early. Remember thats how they start.

  18. maxwell says:

    May b w can c something frm de gvt

  19. makito says:

    Hehehe.

  20. Chingolopiya says:

    This is just a sober analysis. APM Woyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  21. Objective analysis befitting prevalent social economic situation in Malawi.The president is advised to “stay the course!” Better things to come…

  22. nangalambe jimmyName* says:

    Nanga ma salary aphunzitsi sanalandirebetu

  23. Wakulu Wapakati says:

    Zoona zake, APM ndi amdala, zimvere mumtolo iwe wa kaduka, kagwere uko ndi mademo akowo, iwe Mtambo, Sembereka, kabwira, Kwataine,Trapence,ndi zitsiru zimzanu zonse

  24. Anonymous says:

    Izi ndiye zoona APM samayendayenda komanso ndiofatsa

  25. ujeni says:

    Only one reputable journo in Malawi, RAPHAEL TENTHANI, the rest are madeya, scroungers who try all tricks to bootlick and get favours monetary wise and positions. Get out! 7 out of 10 are you on drugs, Malawians are suffering, apart from natural disaster, we have man made disaster we simply fail to sort eg Electricity, Water, unemployment. The President seem to be in sleeping mode. No leadership at all.

  26. Takambilananinso za mavuto omwe ma civil servants omwe sanalandilebe malipiro ao a mwezi wa January,2015.Talephelatu Kulipilira Ana School Fees,Kuthandiza Achibale Amene Akhudzidwa Ndi Madzi Osefukila,Chakudya Tilibe,Titani Nanga? Talakwanjinso Kodi Ife?

  27. Kamwaze Bonomali says:

    This is one of the most objective articles I have read in many years. This is pure ethical journalism that bases itself on fair and balanced reporting. If we had more articles of this nature, those that point on the successes and shortfalls of our leaders in more constructive way then our beloved country would prosper. Ephraim is a very seasoned writer, one of the best if the best in Malawi right now. May younger journalists borrow a leaf or two from this man.

  28. mmmmhhuuuummmm yellow bans

  29. Bololo Wachitumbuka says:

    Kwamunthu ophunzila, ozindikira mmene mavuto amafikira dziko, ine ndikuona ngati madalawa akuyesese.

  30. wagwanayo says:

    Mutharka brand sinama uyu ndi waphee no noise koma zinthu zikuyee?

  31. Chikopa says:

    Very good indeed koma awuzeni anthu apainty ma building ku bt sakuoneka bwino i was with my brother who has been in RSA and igo around with him when we riched the court he asked what is this building wich look like mogona anthu othyola tea like satemwa tea astate i defended that its part of history he says yes but the building could have been renoveted and painted then what came on mind is why mtambo and his team are trying to sabotage the country

  32. The Truthful One from the West says:

    You have overpraised him. The truth is that in his first six months he has dismally performed as demonstrated below:
    a) Peter Mutharika and DPP already knew the problems Malawi is facing while campaigning and they said they have the solutions. Where are the solutions as Malawians are worse off now than before he became president.
    b)nepostic and tribal public service appointments.
    c) A public service reform commission whose members have never worked in the public service before. Their proposals will do more harm than good to the public service.. They do not know that it is political interference that made the public service inefficient. A person who is not a medical doctor cannot diagonise a disease and prescribe medicine.
    d) Peter Mutharika and DPP have not led a non-partisan debate on why Malawi is still a very poor country 50years after independence. DPP is doing the same things that have not helped Malawi over the past 50years.
    I would rate him 3 out of 10.

  33. wanangwa says:

    In light of what you have said, has the standard of living of the people improved? U already mentioned that MPs are enjoying new salaries. Do u know where the money that has been ” saved” is going?

  34. proust says:

    This is better writing than muckraking. better u put this for us every week nyasatimes. but tell us Ephraim, do u want Goodall to take you back? Just checking, you never know in Malawi where everybody is potentially a strategic or(a non(strategic) praise singer

    1. Zosautsa says:

      You are right indeed. Now I know that should be the main reason for this praise of APM

  35. classmatr says:

    Saulos. You make your parents proud. Your wife proud. Your in-laws proud. Your classmates proud. Stay the course. Focus forward. Persevere to the end. I want you to be my next state president.

  36. proud says:

    Koyamba kumuonako mtumbuka akulemba za mzeru

  37. Elhapo says:

    You must live in a different country, Sir!!!

  38. The faget is a failure! He has done nothing to create the problems neither has he has done anything to solve them. Joyce Banda found the economy n the standard of living at a worse off position than Peter but the woman tried hard. She made changes that made Malawi a livable place again. This American who simply ran away from being put in an old pples home in the USA is a clueless, educated fool. Im not PP n will never b by the way.

  39. Angozo says:

    Good rating, keep it up APM.

  40. Manyeretsa says:

    My president!

  41. Peter says:

    20 cabinet ministers jah, what about advisors who are getting as much as the ministers? What about the blunders made by that lean cabinet and the bloated advisory that has cost the treasury millions in compensations of lost cases due to poor judgements?
    He is not travelling overseas thereby savin us money? Who told you that it is possible to “save” something you dont have? Malawi is broke, there is no money to use, so what is he saving? Unless u mean he should go borrowing money to satidfy that! Please be logical in your assessments and know that, for once, people want to read news that shows that journalists are doing their research. And NACGATE? Did we save?

  42. Mwiza says:

    So far so good indeed!

  43. Waakulu says:

    For the first time Nyasa Times posting a positive story regarding APM’s leadership. The man is great, running a country without donors is not a joke. For the first time, Malawians should trust themselves that they can run their nation without the so called donors.

    Go Peter !!! Dont relax, you can do better.

  44. mtila zomba says:

    Zimvere mu mtolo! APM WOYEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

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