President Peter Mutharika is where former leader Hasting Kamuzu Banda was in 1993 when Malawians were agitating for multi-party democracy.
The only difference between the two is that Banda moved quickly to act as a Head of State unlike Mutharika who appears lost and helpless—presumably watching a nation sink in a sea of chaos as he, cowardly, watches the scenes from a small hollow at an elevation.
In moments of political chaos, like the one we are watching in Malawi, you need a leader to stand up and make tough and unpopular decisions not just to save his political grip; but to stop the nation from sinking further in the mud of wreckage.
The case of Mutharika is, please, not a complicated one. He is not facing demands of a system of government change like Kamuzu. Protesters are demanding the removal/resignation of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) boss, Jane Ansah.
One, of course, would argue that what has, Ansah’s resignation demand, has to do with Mutharika?
Well, that is where he comes in as a Head of State. When the entire nation descends into the chaos we are watching, the Head of State needs to intervene.
Banda quickly stood up and granted the people the medium to choose between continued one party-state or adopt multi-party democracy. By that decision, Banda acted as a Head of State and saved the country from burning.
Mutharika must move now and remove Ansah from MEC.
Further, he needs to start engaging HRDC leaders and opposition gurus to begin a process of give and take.
Hiding in the State House and watching the nation burn is potent act of cowardice not expected of a Head of State.
President Mutharika must rise up and save the nation he swore to defend.