‘Fit’ Mutharika must lead in building robust Malawi economy

To be lied about as having died, or that you are in some ICU in a US medical facility battling for your dear life, is both hurtful and callous. It is simply unacceptable.Loose cannon

Two weeks ago, rumours went round, in Malawi and abroad, that President Peter Mutharika had died in the USA where he went to attend this year’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

But as Malawians eagerly expected the arrival of a ‘dead’ President Mutharika, the‘unexpected’ happened. The Head of State arrived, alive, in Malawi through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) on October 16, 2016. APM, as he is fondly called by his supporters, alighted from the chartered Qatar Airways jet, waving his left hand and shaking officials’ hands with the same.He did not seem to be in ‘robust health,’ but he had arrived in Malawi, alive, anyway.

We were to learn later that his traditional right arm was “numb” due to an injection he received hours before he arrived in Malawi.

APM, as Mutharika is fondly called,  was whisked away in a waiting limo to Kamuzu Palace in no time at all. Speculation about his health persisted, though, with some suggesting that APM’s return was stage-managed to temporarily array any fears that the President was incapacitated, which could have called for his stepping aside as Head of State.

But on Friday, October 21, 2016, the President made his first public appearance after his‘historic return’ to Malawi. He addressed a news conference at Kamuzu Palace, purportedly to brief Malawians about the UN General Assembly trip.

However, as it turned out to be, the news conference was meant to ‘confirm’ to Malawians, especially the ‘doubting Thomases’, that the President was in control of the country and that any attempts to force him to step aside were bound to fail big time.

With much vigour and energy, APM told the nation he has nine (9) lives like a cat and that doctors in the USA had assured him his health was as ‘robust’ as that of a 30-year old. He was not kicking the bucket anytime soon.

While admitting that he suffered rheumatism and that while in the United States, he underwent a minor operation on his shoulder, the President ridiculed all those that wished him dead.

In a familiar tone, he promised Malawians he would contest for President, again, in 2019 when the next general elections are due, and that he would successfully campaign for the DPP presidential candidate in 2024 when he retires. Sounds magical!

APM’s story is not unfamiliar to Malawi. It is not unfamiliar to our Zambian neighbours.

In Malawi, his own brother, the late president Bingu wa Mutharika was also rumoured to have died (or that he had some deadly illness such that his days were numbered). He dismissed such talk as “total fabrication” and that he would stay long enough to see the second coming of Jesus Christ. As they say, the rest is history.

In Zambia, the late president Levy Mwanawasa was also rumoured to have died when he was still alive. He scorned at all those that spread such rumours, telling the entire world that he was “as fit as Mike Tyson”. The rest is history, as well.

Mr. President, from the above two scenarios, it will be imperative that you desist from engaging in predicting your own future as such power is the exclusive domain of God, the Almighty.

President Mutharika should know that many Malawians wish him well and that he should live long enough to see what the future holds for Malawi.

Many of us are much interested in seeing the President understanding his core responsibility, which is to serve Malawians to ensure that they enjoy a decent livelihood.

Malawians are currently facing social and economic challenges never seen in the history of our independence. They now live in a country that the World Bank recently rated as the “poorest in the world”.

Delivery of basic services is almost non-existent. The people wake up every morning wondering where the day’s meal shall come from; yes, every morning.

The DPP government is clearly at a loss about how it can go around the social, economic and political challenges.

Instead of indulging in a senseless fight with political detractors about how long he shall live on the face of Earth, we expect APM to be seriously pursuing avenues and remedies that shall lead to an economic turnaround.

Needless to outline the specific challenges that have negatively impacted on the general  livelihood of Malawians as they are well documented.

What is of paramount importance now is the realization by all of us, led by APM that we are sitting on a time bomb and that the sooner we addressed the current social and economic crisis the better for us and the generations to come. It is simply bad.

Malawi economy is stagnant and deteriorating faster than the Usain Bolt hundred meters dash.

Mr. President, whether you are sick or not, it is incredibly insulting to Malawians when you ignore the people’s desperate plight and go ahead to buy yourself state-of-the art limousines. It is perfectly erroneous and disregard for people’s suffering to raise the price of maize now.

People get sick and sometimes they get better and sometimes they don’t. And it doesn’t matter if the sickness is cancer or if it’s depression. Sometimes the drugs work and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the drugs work for a while and then they stop. Sometimes the alternative stuff works and sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes you wonder if no outside interference makes any difference at all; if an illness is like a storm, if it simply has to run its course and, at the end of it, depending on how robust you are, you will be alive. Or you will be dead.”Marian Keyes

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4 years ago

Malawi Economy will come right when we get rid of Mutharikas and Muluzis from Active Politics….Baboon is a baboon even in Lion Skins it is a baboon…Even if Baboon moves from a hill to a mountain it is still a baboon… The People of Mangochi, Machinga, Mulanje, Thyolo, Zomba should stop voting for these thieves… Malawi Constitution must come right on Corruption… The Constitution of Malawi is Corrupt it does not entail right people to hold office….. Nothing good will come with Corrupt Muluzis and Mutharikas….Malawi Presidency is not an asset or Private Estates of Muluzis and Mutharikas…

4 years ago

This President is full of Nonsense thus why he always talks Nonsense in Public…. Such Rumours Circulating befits Incompetent President! There is no smoke without fire! When is APM going to put the Malawi Economy inorder? Malawians we are interested in the orderness of the Malawi Economy and not the nonsense culminating his being!

4 years ago

It is good that in your article you have explained every negative thing which people wrote and said about APM and the people themselves have proved that they were big liars. Do all fit presidents have fit economies in their countries?

4 years ago
Reply to  santana

We really shouldn’t be talking of other countries. It is Malawi that is poorest not other countries. Malawians don’t have to suffer because others are suffering. This is a foolish way of looking at things. We have better resources than other countries. So we should sort our problems here regardless of the situation in other countries.

4 years ago

Mr Khalid follow the story. The article here is very clear and doesn’t have any tribal connotations or ill will. Comment when you have substance to comment on. What we need in this country is not about bragging on one’s health but we need improvement in our lives and that is the core responsibility of the president and his cabinet. Its now two and half years in his term what new thing or anything we can call development happening in this country. You mean this whole period we haven’t found a solution to our problems? Why do we vote for… Read more »

Mika Kumbire
Mika Kumbire
4 years ago

Well said Thom Chiumia. I also think it’s high time you journalists, civil society, and the rest of we Malawians; pursued the development agenda with same vigor and enthusiasm; that we displayed the same creativity; when we were pursuing and peddling rumours and gossip about the president’s purported sickness or death. Even when the president showed up alive, some people continued to want to make us believe that what we were seeing was Mutharika’s ghost or some look alike. Let me commend Nyasa Times for their wisdom and prudence for not being in the forefront peddling the rumours and gossip.… Read more »

khalid seleman
4 years ago

Hallo Malawians! do something for crisis of food the money you are getting from the donners, is not for filling up your pockets . Need to make plans for developing the country, why don’t you think about machinery farming, that we can have enough food the country. Malawian depend on Nsima ndi ndiwo that’s all, we heard every time malawi received this and that amounts but never know where the money going why, Stop misusing the government money don’t fill in your pockets.

4 years ago
Reply to  khalid seleman

When I heard the president inability to be accountable, I heard hims saying NGO’s are also unaccountable. Mr President , NGO’s get money from donors and they are accountable first to donors and second to malawians. I have never heard donors complaining and it is you who is claiming unaccountability. Please note that NGOs might have accounted to donors and thus why they have been quiet. you have not accounted to Malawians taxes which you are busy relating. When someone days you are not accountable, respond to that and then pint at some

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