A critical review of Mzati Nkolokosa’s ‘scarce common sense’

By Wise One From The East

Foreword:

This is an abridged response to the above. In quotes are extracts verbatim from the above re-titled by Nyasa Times as  “Mzati Nkolokosa argues that northeners are tribalists”. To get the full essence of the debate below, one is advised to begin with Mzati’s article available on Nyasa Times.

1st Term vs. 2nd Term

“How come both Presidents Dr Bakili Muluzi and Mutharika’s first terms are praised and second terms despised? Can it just be a problem of the presidents? No.”

Mzati is wrong. There are big and many problems with both presidents. While there were and are a few factors out of their control, Muluzi and Mutharika very much deserve what they get from their critics.

*       The most glaring shortfall in the case of Muluzi, corruption and lack of prudent management of resources aside, was pursuing a third/ open term and the way he handled succession.

*       As for Mutharika, he has failed to maintain the standards that he set in his first term. Granted a parliamentary majority, he has opted to abuse it. Eradicating corruption is no longer on his agenda: Mrs Kaliati (Vwaza) Goodal Gondwe (fertilizer subsidy scam), and the MHC houses are examples. And like Muluzi before him he has spoiled his legacy by getting entangled in the succession issue well before its time.

Middle Class vs. Ruling Class

Am surprised that Mzati’s thinking parallels Callista’s; one would have expected Mzati to do a bit better. Critical thinking has never been one of Callista’s strong points and hence many were willing to give her the benefit of doubt on her recent absurd outburst.

*       “Shortage of fuel, Load shedding, Poor governance, New laws that are said to be undemocratic” affect each and every Malawian.

*        On allegations that when “this country had no food, there were no drugs in public hospitals and nobody, repeat, no civil society or opposition leader, mobilised resources and people to demonstrate” this is not true. Kamlepo Kalua for one marched to Sanjika and on more, this is the reason why people have no kind words for Muluzi’ s second term.

*       “The President’s sin is that he has chosen to spend forex on subsidised fertiliser and drugs for public hospitals.” This is blatant lie: the president chose to spend forex on a Luxury Jet we did not need and on global gallivanting that has not been worth its while and these are the twin geneses of the forex problems.

Christ vs. Anti-Christ

This is the shallowest part of Mzati’s article. The Catholic Bishop’s Letter of October 2010 did not promote same-sex marriages, neither have Nkhoma and Livingstonia Synods lamented about gay rights in their complaints of the shortcomings of Bingu’s government. Therefore, it was not wrong for the Church to partake the demos.

As for the gay right organizations, it would have been supreme hypocrisy for the other NGOs to bar them from participating. This would have just been a futile display of a holier-than-thou attitude.

Mzati: Government journalist

Tribe vs. Tribe

“This was an expression of anger by the people of the North against the people of the South.”

Am not sure where Mzati was in May 2009 because if he was following developments and the results of the elections, he would have noted that in the northern Bingu got 95% of the vote while in the south it was only 66%. This was also mirrored at parliamentary level: the north has 97% DPP MPs to the South’s 62%.

The fact that the north is now displaying more anger is a reflection and result of just how much Bingu has gone off-track in his second term.

“The question, now, to be tackled should be: How come some people of the North are leading a fight against President Mutharika? The answer lies in another question: How can it be when the North largely voted for Mutharika?”

The answers to these questions lie in the fact that the North bravely and selflessly set aside regional politics to vote for Mutharika who has turned out to be an unthankful fraud. I fail to see what Mzati expects of the north right now, another title perhaps?

Opposition vs. Ruling

No comment on this one except to say that Mzati has just defined what politics, everywhere, is all about.

West vs. China

The Chinese Ambassador Pan Hejun was very clear on the role of China and the role of the UK in Malawi’s development. He even advised Bingu on what to do unfortunately the advice like all other advice fell on deaf ears.

Mzati should not try to pull cotton over eyes. The Malawi mass demonstrations are neither a battle of the West against the East nor a Cold War incarnate. The demos are about poor economic management and bad governance.

Individuals vs. State

On this one, Mzati has cunningly omitted the other side of the coin. What about characters like him (and Goodal Gondwe) who we thought were professional, rational, and moral who are being blackmailed to support the Mutharika family interests because of fear of the Anti-Corruption Bureau?

Is this too close home for Mzati?

Conclusion:

In Mzati’s conclusion one sentence sums everything up:

“We are seeing more anger than analysis.”

Am surprised that Mzati who watches, listens and soaks-in all the contradictory performances of Bingu fails to observe and realize that all the anger that he sees in the analyses is a reflection of the anger and hate that has its roots in none other than Bingu wa Mutharika, his minions and the MBC Tv propaganda.

The writers and analysts reaction is just a reflection of Mutharika’s table-banging and mouth-foaming antics.

All I can say is that keep it up Mzati, I do hope that when you read your writings and compare them to the time you were writing under the tutelage of the late Aleke Banda, you are able to recognise yourself. I fail to recognize you, where is the integrity that used to ooze from your articles brother?

*Wise One from the East – for Nyasa Times

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