Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika who seems to be dancing to the tune of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Director General Bright Malopa was Thursday night to fooled at the ‘Our People Our Pride’ event that was supposed to showcase some of the country’s untold stories done by people who have no name is society at all.
Instead, the MBC Director General invited all the way from South Africa one of Africa’s richest men, Richard John Maponya to receive an award in Malawi for being so rich in his rainbow nation.
Malopa claimed that Maponya, who owns the biggest shopping mall in Soweto that is described as the biggest in southern Africa, originally comes from Nkando in Mulanje but his father married a South African woman.
Awarded for being so rich in South Africa, Maponya received K100 000 cash, a medal and a bicycle from MBC.
The items were received by Maponya’s son, who flew in from Johannesburg to get the honour.
Mutharika seemed to have been confused seeing that an award was being given to a South African billionaire instead of poor Malawians who deserve recognition.
As if to dictate to President Mutharika, Malopa announced at the function held at New State House in the administrative capital, Lilongwe that the senior Maponya will be visiting Malawi next month.
“He has told me that he would like to have two days with you, Your Excellency and that in those two days you tell him the areas you would like him to invest in Malawi,” Malopa told Mutharika on live television.
However, social commentators have condemned Malopa for treating the Malawi leader without any respect at all.
“How can a mare MBC Director General instruct the whole president in public that a foreign businessman would like to meet him for two days and even tell him what to discuss,” said Alick Kamwangabe commenting on Facebook.
Apart from showcasing himself as the man behind MBC’s Our People Our Pride annual programme, Malopa took time to cleanse himself before Mutharika.
He portrayed himself as the only person who can lead the national broadcaster.
Most of the people who witnessed the event said that it left a lot to be desired including MBC announcers many of which failed to read their prepared scripts. Apart from Noel Chimkwende, Joyful Paliani and Deliby Nyale who did very well.
The two main anchors were Timpunza Mwansambo and Chimwemwe Banda. The charming Mwamsambo outshined his Director of Programmes and News as she kept on fumbling from one line into another. She was an embarrassment of the night.
Even her ‘close friend’ MBC board chair Fr. Alfred Nsope could not help but bow down his head in shame as the ‘madame’ failed to tick.
The most shocking event of the night was probably when MBC management and board decided to conduct the entire 7 hour live broadcast even without mentioning the loss of Rehanna Surtee Nyamirandu Manda, the broadcaster’s Public Relations Officer who died the same Thursday.
Manda was one of the pioneers for Malawi’s first national television and worked in different positions at the organisation before her shocking death.
Although her body remains in the mortuary waiting for burial, Malopa, Fr, Nsope, Mutharika or any of the people who spoke at the event none called for a minute of silence or at least mention of her passing.
Ironically when an invited band at the function of Edgar and Davis came of stage, they started by remembering one of their departed band members, Fred Muphuwa who was buried on Wednesday.