When people start talking bad about you, I think it’s important to do some soul searching—honest soul searching for that matter— and change for the better.
The issue in this article is about Ben Phiri—Malawi President’s special assistant for to be honest, the slim, short young man has always been making bad headlines since his boss Peter Mutharika ascended to the Presidency through the widely accepted 20th May 2014 chaotic tripartite elections.
If you follow current affairs, you will agree with me that Malawi’s credible and independent online publications such as Nyasa Times, Maravi Post, Malawian Watchdog, Afriem and Malawi24 who have reliable sources within state have consistently informed the public on how powerful Ben Phiri is said to be. True stories with screaming headlines such as ‘Ben Phiri orders firing of Mutharika’s ADC,’ ‘DPP politburo mad at Ben Phiri’ and such other stories as ‘Ben Phiri fires—read as redeployed—presidential guards for allowing his political nemesis— Commando Z Allan Ntata to enter Malawi State House.
As if the above is not enough, you see some other shocking headlines such as ‘Ben Phiri orders to put on board his wife and his younger brother (Martin Nkasala Phiri) as part of delegation to the United Nation General Assembly.’ The headlines of such kind of stories are just many.
Now, I know that most uncivilized DPP cadets are furious for stating these facts and will start hurling insults instead of putting a better argument to counter this reality.
But what Malawians need to know is that am not creating these stories myself. These stories are real. They are not coming from Mars. You can Google them and you will read for yourself if you missed them but for those who read such stories; they know that what am talking is nothing but the truth. And to prove that these stories are real, you will not read any refutation or clarification coming from Ben Phiri himself putting on the official DPP mouthpiece platform, Malawi Voice. The only refutation we got was that Mutharika was not lodging in an expensive hotel when he went for the General Assembly.
When you open and read such stories, you will notice some cowardly comments probably from Malawi cabinet ministers and senior government officials commenting using Pseudo names, revealing how powerful Ben Phiri is in this government to the extent that President Mutharika orders them to report to him.
Ask state house officials, they will tell you how powerful this man is. To them, Ben Phiri is like a lion. They say he has presidential like powers of making and breaking; appointing someone in a position and disappoint whosoever is not dancing according to his favorite tune.
Ben Phiri, so they say, is the way to the Presidency and no one meets the President except through him. Sounds interesting, huh!
This, my fellow Malawians, is the reality our friends who are working at state house and in this government are going through.
Of course it doesn’t concern us, does it? We are not eating what they are eating and they cannot even invite us to eat with them—even for a single day— what they eat even if they can happen to have plenty today! Kumakondana akuluakulu, ha ha ha ha!
But on a very serious note, I must mention that it is against this background that I would like to draw parallels of this already available public information about Ben Phiri and the newly released theory by Z Allan Ntata—the man I have recently christened ‘Commando’ for his expertise in bringing down high value-political targets who happen to be taking Malawians for granted.
In his theory, Commando Ntata has stated that Ben Phiri harbours ambitions to be Malawi President one day. Commando Ntata said this based on the many conversations he have been having with Ben Phiri.
For those who might think Commando Ntata is lying, then think twice for Ntata’s claims that he has been in the DPP inner circle if what he wrote in his book titled the ‘Trappings of power’ is anything to go. So let’s believe that what Ntata is saying that he harbours presidential ambitions to be gospel truth for if it was not the case; Prime Minister Ben Phiri would have already come out of his cocoon and dismiss Ntata as a frustrated liar.
Back to his theory, Commando Ntata wrote “Forget the current vice president, or the much-touted Atupele Muluzi. The Prime Minister has his own plans! I also know that his ambitions have only been boosted by his current influence in the present administration. After all, if he were not to go after politics, what else would he do? But the Prime Minister also knows that it is one thing to have presidential ambitions, and quite another to see them come to reality.
Realizing this, the Prime Minister has devised a plan which in the Malawian political setting is almost fail safe: Control the president, restrict all cabinet ministers and other formerly influential party officials, make as much money as possible, and prevent anyone else from either having influence, or making any money. That way, when the president takes a bow and walks off the stage, the vacuum will naturally be filled by the only man in the room with the financial muscle to support the party. For hasn’t this been the way of Malawian politics from the dawn of this so-called multiparty democracy?” reads the theory as advanced by Commando Ntata.
I know bootlickers will dismiss Commando Ntata’s theory as from a frustrated man but coming to you—l mean you sober minded Malawians— are these statements from Ntata not making sense with respect to the headlines attributed to the Prime Minister as highlighted earlier on in this article?
And given, DPP, being a party which champions the interests of one ethnic group, cannot allow an outsider to take the driving seat of the party. Taking this into account, you can agree with me that, Ben Phiri, is the only party official from the Lhomwe belt who according to his already exposed actions so far, seems to be strategically positioning himself at the centre of political influence.
According to Ntata’s theory, he is trying as much as possible to amass more wealth -a necessary tool in politics- which will help him to control other party officials -of course, some ministers, already, have become proteges because of his unconstitutional power.
Although he may not be an intelligent man by our standards (according to Ntata), the prime minister can make it to the hot seat of the DPP presidential candidate at some point cognizant of the fact that intelligence matters less in the prospect of the Lhomwes.
As long as you are a Lhomwe by tribe and you are in blue attire, a victory is obvious in DPP’s internal elections. So, Ntata’s theory cannot be entirely dismissed. Of course there is nothing morally or legally wrong with habouring presidential ambitions but that must not be done while gossiping to the president about others.
So before you come with an axe to grind Ntata’s neck of unfairing branding Ben Phiri as a prime Minister; just bear in mind the fact that Times TV Journalist Innocent Kachitosi cornered Ben Phiri on the same during Tcu Tchu programme recently before the Ntata tantrums. So, hold your fire those of you who think it’s fashionable nowadays to attack ‘smart, suave and sharp’ guys like Commando Ntata simply because he is enjoying his freedom to express himself.
Should Malawians be worried of one Ben Phiri?
Fine, I will quickly solve this puzzle by posing the following questions to you, right thinking Malawians. By the way, am saying to sober Malawians and not some bootlickers. Below are the questions.
Since the dawn of multiparty democracy;
- Who was Personal Assistant to President Bakili Muluzi?
- Who was Personal Assistant to President Bingu Wa Mutharika?
- Who was Personal Assistant to President Joyce Banda?
I am deliberately asking you these seemingly obvious questions for it truth be told, I actually don’t know who served these presidents. The only one I know is this Ben Phiri guy. However, if they existed, I don’t think they were unconstitutionally calling the shots as this current personal assistant is doing today.
Unless you prove me otherwise, I hope that personal assistants to these former leaders—if indeed they had personal assistants—were doing their rightful job of being a personal assistant i.e. being a Chola boy/girlof the President—nothing less, nothing more.
I don’t think they had such control and influence on government affairs as this Ben Phiri guy is said to have in this current government.
By the way, I must confess that one person I heard who was behaving as a prime minister at was one Ken Zikhale Ng’oma who at some point during the Bingu Wa Mutharika administration was appointed State House Chief of Staff—the position occupied by Peter Mukhitho today. We learnt from the same media that Zing’oma grew wings at State House and was mistreating junior officials. However, he ended up been given the boot by then no nonsense late President Bingu Wa Mutharika.
Perhaps we can now start believing the extension of Ntata’s theory which has branded President Mutharika as a ‘puppet’ and the prime minister as a ‘puppet master’ for its unthinkable for a personal assistant—who is a non entity to Malawians for he was not elected by any Malawian to any position to be a puppet master of this puppet president.
By now, I think any right thinking Malawian can agree with me that this prime minister cum puppet master is indeed on a mission to be where his puppet is today.
Do I hear someone saying this is impossible? Wow, you must be joking, huh! DPP operatives advance political moves from far.
Remember how they launched the Peter Mutharika bid to the 2014 Presidency way back after the 2009 elections?
DPP political strategists are not like the retarded MCP strategists who introduce an unknown Presidential candidate at the eleventh hour and worse still gather some strange courage and convince this political novice that he will be basking in glory at Kamuzu Palace come 20th May 2014 even if he will skip over 30 constituencies in the southern region of Malawi from featuring Shadow MP’s. Is Malawi only central region, your stronghold? Anyway, we will discuss this issue some day.
But the point is, DPP Strategists up their game from the start.Perhaps Malawians should be happy for one of their trusted strategist Commando Z Allan Ntata seems determined to systematically dismantle what he put together during the 2014 elections.
So make good use of him for instead of joining the chorus bashing him as a frustrated guy, you instead need to encourage and support this Commando else this country will surely be ruled by a Chola Boy—a mere personal assistant to the President and experience such developments as goat and cow distribution when we had that Mandasi woman calling the shorts at state house.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are entirely my views and do not represent views of this respected publication. Be civilized, don’t shoot the messenger!
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