Malawi failed state indeed – columnist

One of Malawi’s leading newspaper  columnists on topical issues, Raphael Tenthani, has underlined the fact that the country is indeed a failed state.

Last year John Kapito, who chairs the state funded Malawi Human Rights Commission, grabbed newspaper headlines when he described Malawi as a ‘failed state’. Kapito noted that there clear signs that “government has collapsed” and has completely abandoned management of the country as demonstrated by the economic problems being experienced.

Writing in his Muckraking on Sunday column published in one of Times Group titles, the Sunday Times, Tenthani who is also Associated Press and BBC correspondent, highlighted that the state has almost collapsed and that no one is in control.

Mutharika: Failed laeder

“If you think I am lying about no one being in control, did you hear about the whole police service tear-gassing primary school kids in Lilongwe whose only crimes were simply protesting against lack of classroom space and teachers? This is their right under the Constitution,” writes Tenthani.

“If the whole police service has to teargas five- to 10-year-old kids – who were simply asking what rightly belongs to them – do you have to when 19 unarmed protestors are killed in cold blood? Do you think anybody is in control here? May be that is why we invite the whole army to control even toy-toying vendors, we ask the military to control fuel queues. My foot!”

“If that isn’t a sign of a failed state, then I don’t know what a failed state looks like,” Tenthani writes.

Mutharika worst leader

In his column, Tenthani also highlighted that President Bingu wa Mutharika “just might succeed in becoming the worst of the three presidents we have had since independence.”

He argued his point, saying: “Dr. Banda had his own issues on human rights but at least people had food security most of the times. Nowadays bumper yields are just on government files while the real Malawians are starving silently. Bakili Muluzi too veered off the script in his second term but let us give credit where credit is due; we never spent two years and counting on fuel queues.”

Tenthani said after experiencing the first two years of Mutharika’s second term “whoever dubbed Muluzi’s era as a ‘lost decade’ are surely busy revising their views.”

The Mutharika administration has become under fire since forex and fuel shortages hit the poor nation a year, leading to hikes in prices of consumables.

Tenthani says Mutharika has slightly over two years to “redeem himself” but pointed out that his tendency of blaming everyone but himself “doesn’t inspire any confidence.”

“Muluzi, John Tembo, Joyce Banda – or even Satan himself – might be easy scapegoats but at the end of the day it’s Bingu wa Mutharika who is the tenant in State House and it’s to Bingu wa Mutharika we look up for solutions.”

“We don’t want our president to be heckled by jerry can protestors; neither do we need street vendor or street urchins to insult the modesty of our wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, cousins and aunts. But if he continues to snooze on the job, people will continue to wave yellow jerry cans at Bingu and spread rumours that the Big Kahuna paid people to harass women to deflect people’s attention from the current woes,” writes Tenthani.

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