Bingu using quota in public appointments—MBC journalist

By Nyasa Times Reporter

President Bingu wa Mutharika is implementing quota system in the appointment of “high government positions”, a senior journalist at state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has revealed.

Mzati Nkolokosa, a controversial journalist who is second in command at MBC tv, made the revelation in his tribalistic analysis of the July 20 anti-government revolt, in which he shamelessly reduced the fight for economic and governance prudence in Malawi to a fight between tribes from the North against the Lhomwes and other tribes in the South of Malawi.

According to Nkolokosa, people from the Northern Region are leading the battle against Mutharika’s regime because of quota system which, he says, is not only being implemented in the University of Malawi, but also in “high government positions”.

“The President’s administration implemented Equitable Access to Higher Education policy which is commonly called Quota System. The equitable access extends to high positions in government,” Nkolokosa reveals, apparently inadvertently, in a roundly condemned tribalistic article titled ‘Scarce Common Sense’.

Mutharika: Usnig quota system in appointments according to Mzati Nkolokosa

However, Mutharika, whom a former British envoy described as becoming increasingly intolerant of criticism and autocratic, did not consult Parliament let alone his cabinet on the Equitable Access to High Government Positions.

The quota on government positions partly explains why some well trained and highly qualified Malawians have been denied lucrative jobs, promotions and other opportunities in government owing to the home district where they originally come from.

A careful analysis of the appointments into public positions since Mutharika was re-elected in power in 2009 shows a clear bias towards members of the Muhlakho wa a Lhomwe, a tribal grouping founded by the President.

Surprisingly, Mutharika has shared nearly all top and influential government positions among his tribesmen, a move that has left people wondering   as to what is the president’s motive.

Lhomwe dominates top public institutions such as MRA [Malawi Revenue Authority], ACB [Anti-Corruption Bureau], Immigration, Reserve Bank of Malawi and Admarc [Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation], Blantyre and Lilongwe city councils, Police and the military.

However, Nkolokosa has provided the answer that Mutharika has been silently implementing quota system in his appointments, a development that was not endorsed by the Malawi Parliament, neither was it made public as an official government policy.

Nkhoma Synod of the CCAP in June released a scathing statement against President Mutharika’s government in which it strongly condemned him for sidelining people of the Central Region in public appointments and development, despite the region having the second biggest population in the country.

The Nkhoma Synod pastoral letter, which 32 clerics signed for in solidarity with the Catholic bishops last Pastoral Letter ‘Reading the Signs of the Times’, blamed Mutharika for practising nepotism by giving top positions in government to people from his home district, relatives or his Lhomwe tribesmen.

“Those in leadership seem to be bent on satisfying personal and sectarian interests and not the common good. This is at variance with the popular view and expectation that those in positions of public authority have to lead in a just manner in pursuit of the common good,” the Synod said in the statement.

Earlier on, the Weekend Nation also made an analysis of government’s allocation of resources in which it concluded that the South was getting a lion’s share of development and appointments into high positions at the expense of the central and northern regions.

The story and its accompanying editorials angered Mutharika who ordered an immediate freeze of government advertising to the company.

Lawyer and president of opposition party, the People’s Transformation Party (Petra) is on record accusing President Mutharika of compromising his position because he is founder and patron of the Mulhako wa Alhomwe.

But presidential spin doctor, Hetherwick Ntaba said Mutharika has not hidden his identity that he is Lhomwe and that the appointments he makes are on merit.

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