Dzuka Malawi: Public Affairs Confusion- why APM scored major points

I have been quite busy to write on many current events. I don’t really like politics, but every other week, our cartoon politicians force me to write something. So within a week I was engaged, we now have a lawyer in the Ministry of Agriculture and an engineer managing our Foreign Relations and a Church Minister looking after our Transport and Infrastructure needs. How soothing to know we have the best of our world saving us.Dzuka Malawi

I did not read much into Cabinet reshuffle. There was nothing really save for power balancing and the President reminding his political boys who is in charge. Poor Dr. Alan Chiyembekeza, the only Minister from Thyolo he had to be a sacrificial lamb. I will talk of DPP internal politics in a few weeks’ time. I have three drinking sessions with some officials in all the major camps that will give me a clear picture of what is going on in the ruling party.

There is very little to write about the MCP save for the “birthday” of party leader Lazarous Chakwera and his recent reshuffle of executive committee. I always thought you reshuffle shadow cabinet not NEC members. But anyway Reverend Chakwera has brought many firsts, remember the Shadow-Commander-In-Chief title that puzzled even the hard-core supporters. It meant there was a shadow army and shadow Police. MCP seriously needs political strategists and communications team that does not keep journalists two hours before a meeting as journalist Jacob Nankhonya complained recently.

So really, as I am trying to get head and tails of camps and write what would be the best outcome for all scenarios? Yes I will soon be analysing chances for MCP, DPP and a new third party. The Peoples Party and UDF have no serious chances in 2019. It is a waste of time to believe they will garner more than 10 MPs next elections. A third party formed between disgruntled DPP, MCP, PP and UDF officials can be an alternative to DPP and MCP main parties in the next election. I will talk about it next time I write.

With such a blank plate. The live broadcast of President Peter Mutharika and Public Affairs Confusion (PAC) was a welcome development. I should give all the great points to President Peter Mutharika and his team for out scooping PAC, which was left with a damaged face, no facts and looking really stupid that Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, yes that old computer we threw away and think can’t be upgraded was given a chance to razzle dazzle them.

The broadcast of the APM-PAC meeting revealed the way Malawians do things in every sector. We are unprepared, not serious and fail to work out what we want to gain from each encounter. We are far away from being competitive in many sectors because of the attitude that PAC leadership displayed.

The meeting with the President came almost 60 days after PAC held the much publicised conference, and for a respected institution like PAC which had earlier indicated the President as being unavailable to meet them, it was shameful to hear them submit documents three hours before a meeting and Chairman saying live there were more documents to be submitted.

I could not believe my ears when going through their 19 point resolutions-which by the way are just too many for any one to expect them addressed realistically in 30, 60 or 365 days, they did not have details or points which they could have defeated the President.

I buried my nose in an Ice Cream as Father Mulomole could not say what they were demanding for Northern Region. Reverend Nyasulu did a bad job, no figures, no statistics and could not counter the Presidential input that out of the five Chinese projects, one went to North, one South and three in the central region. These are facts, but PAC leaders could not say anything about appointments, projects and resource allocation. They came empty headed for such an important showdown.

Then there was the question of including in the constitution the term “ruling or governing party.” PAC, the same institution that championed transition in 1992/93 did not do adequate research on the topic why it was not included in the multiparty constitution.

Mutharika reminded PAC that in 1995 during the finalisation of the new constitution, everyone agreed that Malawi had a Presidential system that will be independent of Parliament. Meaning the President will be elected directly and cannot be a member of Parliament.

This, as Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba had to school our dear PAC, meant that a President could be elected without MP’s, hence the term governing party cannot be inserted in the constitution as a President can rule without a party. Veteran Francis Mphepo reminded the religious body that even DPP went into power without MPs as such it could not have been a governing party, the same with Peoples Party.

To my little knowledge, the PAC who were confused themselves reflect what our society has become. Government is looking for investors when the laws like those of energy sector are not changed and allows ESCOM monopoly. Our civil servants will always tell you I have been here long instead of adopting new ideas. The use of email in Malawi Government communication is still not authorised.

PAC, confusionists did not have time to research or delegate who will answer which points. They reminded me of how some donors laugh at our negotiating teams, they go blank, no position and always accept all conditions. Our friends in Kenya and Mauritiius are fearless negotiators.

Look at Minibus Association, they have duty free for minibuses abiove five years, it is Indians benefitting. We have better beaches our tourism officials are yet to get more tourists than even Mozambique. Mozambique is now developing the other side of the lake.

I always laugh when we have Ministers give useless speeches. When our private sector is always demanding conducive environment when they cant expand outside Malawi. Our NGOs talk of governance when themselves have personalised the NGOs to extent the whole family is with them.

President Mutharika left the PAC meeting smelling good, PAC were confused, unprepared and a shame of civil society. Even their donors must be hiding in shame. These guys made noise without back up facts. I wish President Mutharika let the majority of meetings live including Cabinet Meetings that we should judge people straight.

Dzuka Malawi, the state of our unpreparedness or lack of in-depth research to enable us bargain our positions as reflected in PAC-APM meeting should worry all of us. The issues looked more like Public Affairs Confusion, that even students could have done better.

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6 years ago

Let me come to the defense of the PAC. I am sure that the writer of this article has never come face to face with a state president. Those who have will agree with me it is a daunting encounter. The state president is not only very powerful but is also protected by the laws of Malawi including the constitution. There is no way PAC could have engaged in a shouting match with the Head of State live on MBC.

Eduardo Happy
Eduardo Happy
6 years ago

I even wondered if the PhDs that some of the PAC delegates hold are earned or honorary. It was really shameful for PAC to go into a meeting of that profile blank-headed. May be these guys underrated APM-forgetting that he is a Law Professor, who actually participated in the framing of out constitution. Basi apa PAC yasuluka-it is not worth the salt any more. Mayi kalanga ineeeee. Once upon a time there was an institution called PAC in Malawi.

6 years ago

Bolanso ubwelere ku sukulu mwananga, ku State house unapita APM wakugwetsa, apa ndiye bolanso tikanutumizako ana a pa chanco a fourth year akanakayesela

Jelbin Mk
Jelbin Mk
6 years ago

Thats exactly how our nation is, without good planning. If you fail it means you failed to prepare because there wad no reason pac could fail to demonstrate how the north had been neglected, facts are as numerous as there is sand in our river banks

6 years ago



Nyani wa ku Mwananyani
Nyani wa ku Mwananyani
6 years ago

PAC, and their ilk, risk embarrassing themselves by their lack of strategy and credible tactics in these political fights. Lack of capacity; ie. more than lack of preparedness. They continue to undermine APM at their own risk: Did PAC not know, or did they simply forgot that APM was one of the framers of the post-dictatorship constitution (he tool time off from Washington U)? Arguably, APM was the most prominent law scholar among the framers, and he probably knows that document inside out, and the rationales better than anybody. Detractors would be advised to pick their fights wisely. Rather than… Read more »

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