Malawi President Peter Mutharika needs help, he needs help now, to legitimise himself as a leader.
As we stand, Peter Mutharika has no fresh mandate to govern. His mandate, as per the Constitutional Court ruling, ended on May 20 2019.
He is in office, now, as an interim person, together with vice-president Saulos Chilima, for two reasons: one, to avoid creating a vacuum in the presidency and, two, to necessitate a process of having a new and legitimate leader in the State House.
But for him and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to maintain power, yes to still be at the helm of power, he needs to avoid creating more enemies.
Mutharika needs to have more friends, than enemies, behind his back to help him win the political battle against the united majority in the opposition.
Unfortunately, interim Mutharika has a flawed public relations team, yes his PR machinery, that is doing best in creating more enemies than friends.
The primary goal of any PR machinery is to ensure that the boss has more people friends behind than advancing enemies. It’s an old rule in the art of war.
Let me give you the facts:
State House uses two blogs – Malawi Voice and Malawi Independent – to, one, defend Mutharika and, two, attack his alleged adversaries.
Judging from how they present their falsities and outright lies against their created adversaries, I can confidently conclude that Mutharika doesn’t have a PR machinery worth the profile of the Head of State.
Mutharika has two political adversaries: one, the UTM-MCP grand alliance and, two, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
Traditionally, you would expect interim Mutharika’s PR machinery to concentrate their political attacks on the grand alliance and HRDC.
To my dismay, Mutharika’s PR machinery is busy attacking everybody—even the people he needs for endorsements.
I have two people in mind that Mutharika’s PR machinery should, at every cost, avoid creating an enemy in them: Khato Civils (Pty) Limited executive chairperson Simbi Phiri and prophet Shepherd Bushiri .
For whatever reasons, Mutharika’s PR machinery has peddled a series of lies against Simbi, a renowned Malawi businessperson but based in South Africa.
Whatever their feelings against Simbi, going public and fighting him is a worst mistake because Simbi doesn’t need Malawi government to survive—he is well endowed.
But, in one way or another, Mutharika needs Simbi for two reasons: Most of his Cabinet ministers led by DPP director of elections Ben Phiri and MPs go to Simbi for political financing; and two, Simbi is well connected and interim Mutharika needs such connections for his political validation.
In going public attacking Simbi, interim Mutharika has lost a viable and needed resource he and his party needs at this critical time when they are hungry for support.
Secondly, interim Mutharika’s PR machinery has also gone on offensive attacking Bushiri.
No reason is being given for attacking Bushiri who neither nurses political ambitions nor has expressed any statement in disdain of interim Mutharika.
But just as Simbi, in attacking Bushiri, interim Mutharika is just digging his hole of fall even much deeper.
Most of interim Mutharika’s cabinet ministers, sitting MPs and former MPs flock to Bushiri for their political financing.
Not only that.
No matter how you view him, Bushiri is a mobilizing figure in Malawi. He is popular and he has a capacity and muscle to destabilise—what with all his successful maize projects.
In Simbi and Bushiri, interim Mutharika is losing a critical resource he needs for his political validation.
Bushiri and Simbi do not need interim Mutharika to survive; but interim Mutharika needs them as political friends who can help him achieve political validation and support.
His PR team, hence, should do whatever it takes to avoid keeping these two guys on the enemy side. It’s suicidal for the already diminishing reigns of interim Mutharika’s presidency.
That is the help his PR team should render to him. In fact, let me end where I started:
President Peter Mutharika needs help, he needs help now, to legitimise himself as a leader.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :