Some sections of society in Malawi are questioning the merit in London based African Leadership Magazine e awarding President Peter Mutharika an award in exceptional leadership when Malawi is getting poorer than ever before and a myriad of problems, including a broken economy.
University of Malawi associate professor Mustafa Hussein thinks the African Leadership Magazine should have withheld the award.
“There is no exceptional leadership. Malawians are facing a myriad of problems, persistent power blackouts, shortages of water, dwindling economy and the high cost of life,” said Hussein.
He therefore asked organisations seeking to award leaders accolades to come to Malawi, live in Malawi and experience the lives Malawians are going through.
Civil society activist Timothy Mtambo described the award as a “mockery”, saying Malawians are yearning for proper leadership.
Some Malawians on social media have questioned the integrity of the magazine, asking whether the presidential propaganda team did not buy the award, saying the situation on the ground is different.
On the choice of Mutharika for the award, previously conferred on other leaders such as former presidents Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, John Kufuor of Ghana, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Mo Ibrahim, founder of Mo Ibrahim Prize for Leadership, United Kingdom-based magazine’s publisher and chief executive officer Ken Giami said the President was recognised for his “outstanding posturing” as one of Africa’s most distinguished thought leaders and champion of the masses.
Mutharika said the country is making unprecedented progress in development.
Malawi is the second poorest country in Africa after South Sudan and one of the poorest 10 in the world.
Poverty is on unprecedented high and Finance minister Goodall Gondwe admits the gap between the poor and the rich continues to widen.