Misgovernment in Malawi: A case of majoritarian mediocrity and moral bankruptcy

Not long ago, we celebrated the passing of the infamous one party era and trusted in a new-fangled political life. Affirmatively, we were gripped by the airstream of transformation and subsequently a fresh political realization fashioned manifold rival parties electorally outperforming each other to form government. This change has come at an economic expense necessitated by blind conformism of the majoritarian.

Cashgate suspects walk in shame covering their face

Cashgate suspects walk in shame covering their face

Not surprisingly, we are now besieged with a new maladministration staunchly rooted to the fiscal grounds of our newly found democracy. This time, it is all around government treasuries and there from the mass media has been crammed with chronicles of monkey business in the form of money laundering, corruption, ‘cashgate’ and other associated fiscal infamies.

What characterises this misrule is the mediocrity of the majoritarian instinct to put up with political fraudulence. I have thought of the best characterisation of the contemporary misgovernment and it all convincingly boils down to a case of mismanaged democracy underwritten by majoritarian mediocrity and moral bankruptcy. No wonder, even the best pilfer, as identified by the trial of beneficiaries of the “cash-gate”, has the boldness to employ testaments of personality re-characterisation in her pursuit for clemency in sentencing. Hey! Hoo! This is Malawi and everything is possible; a suspended sentence is graspable in this republic of “Cash-gate” irrespective of the enormity of the financial indignities.

Beyond the fiscal greediness that is remodelling the new political era is the proliferating insecurity as evinced by killings of Malawians who for all sensibleness are going about their life innocently and, where possible, speaking out on matters of national prominence and others are merely complying with their professional ethics. The latest tragedy engraved to the new political dispensation is the heart-breaking ACB story that has in its account one of its frontline anti-corruption boffins brutally murdered by anonymous assassins. One can only speculate about whom the slayer is and the most unfortunate phenomena, as initiated by the government, is the lacklustre approach to investigate the matter as evidenced by the seemingly mismanaged crime scene. .

The ACB has taken a heavy blow to its anti-graft operations and I know for certain that there are voices of fear within its ranks. It only shows that, if corruption is left unchecked, it breeds a sense of fear and the murder of ACB staff sends a strong memorandum to those who seek to fight the cancer; the monster is on the loose and skulking about ready to pounce on those it considers its enemies. This is against the unresolved backdrop of the unforgettable July 20 massacres that had the very establishment designated the role of providing security turn its ordnances against innocent demonstrators. These murders are no lesser than the one party era assassinations hence our liberation efforts have simply replicate done party era forces of dehumanization. All these murders have the markings of the majoritarian tyranny and its tendency to abuse power.

I for one find it disconcerting that to-date the nation goes about its business imperturbably in the wake of spine chilling murders. Where interest has been demonstrated, the consequential investigation has been shambolic; much to the aggravation of the bereaved families. I have in my mind the murder of Chasowa and, to-date, the inquiry report is being tossed around like barbecue. Yet, this is about a life brutally taken away and, without doubt, there are relations out there awaiting answers.

In all fairness, we need to reflect on the killings that have taken place in the post one party era and, ask our politicians, if enough has been done to provide answers to the citizenry. If we don’t act to heal souls traumatized by the murder of their loved ones, I for one do not see the necessity of classifying our country as a warm heart of Africa. We are gradually degenerating into a nation of inhumanness and our claims of God fearing nation are mere echoes of wishful thinkers who in their true sense constitute the devils alleyway.

A critical analysis of the inhumanness characterising our newly established multiparty democracy is the incompetency of the majoritarian that is now creating a fertile ground for dirty politics akin to what we saw during the one party rule. There is one factor that characterises each majoritarian decree and it is utter lack of thoughtful political analysis and, quite often, we have elected governments on the principle of conformity where rational thinking is lacking and we tend to blindly go along with regional or tribal derivations.

There is one retrogressive factor that has been manifested in our electoral process. That is, a typical mind-set that esteems wrongdoing as the mainstay of politics. It is clear that if you ask Malawians the question; who should rule the country? In theory, the answer would be ‘the best’ or the astute or ‘the born to lead’ The reality which has followed every democratic election is that we have been left with no choice but to make do with ‘the worst’ or ‘the accomplished fool’ or ‘the taught moron’ elected as a leader. This happens in a country that claims to be founded on canonical morals with over 90% of the populace claiming to have some kind of connection with some form of religiosity.

Typical of a two faced nation that says one thing and does the other. All this points to the fact that there is something deeply immoral ingrained in our nationhood. Something overtly owned that works counter to those who seamlessly seek to uphold the truth. No wonder we are now faced with political patchiness, leadership dysfunction and comical governance.

There is no denying that the electoral basis of the successive governments in the post one party era has been fashioned on regionally driven tribal trivialities and barefaced nepotism aimed at sustaining the spirit of self-glorification. As expected, we are now recompensing for majoritarian mediocrity and pitiable decision making.

As exemplified by the sale of MSB with our parliamentarians hoodwinked, it is quite clear that the centripetal forces of accrual are unrepentant of antecedent vices that brought economic troubles to our country and are now back in earnest refashioning clannish enterprises in pursuit of their elitist vision.

All these evil happenings smack of a broken political system blossoming atop the disintegrating socio-economic capital. If we are to salvage what remains of our fiscal reserves, we need to rise above such socio-political ordinariness and equal our moral passports in pursuit of authentic and transparent statehood. In all fairness, as a nation, we need to denude ourselves of clannish and narrow-minded attitudes and reconnoitre the expansive agenda as the preserve of our nationhood. It is about time for the majoritarian to see the essence of choosing morally judicious political leaders.

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Peter Muthanyula

Use accessible language my friend from Hoho. You never used such difficult language while at BLM. Mwachitika wuli bakulu?


This column is for the educated!

chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa
chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa

If this column is for Malawians, then simplify the English further. Let standard eight pupils know whats going on in the country.


It seems you want to put forward some good sense. But vocabularly is a problem here. Otherwise U h’ve smart ideas.

Optic Computer

Writers must understand that they write to inform their audience (readers) and not to impress on their language mastery. If your readers cannot tell your side, it is as good as singing a song in a maizemill hut with the engines running….


Ok did you just say mapwevupwevu government has destroyed everything in this country that we are now known as the most impoverished country in whole world?

Malawi wa Lero

3 stupid dull readers before me. Maybe you should read the whole piece slowly, mwina mumva pakono. Koma mMalawi muno tili mmavuto. Majority and Governance = Mob Democracy.


Mr Nhlane, if this was your first article you need to improve your writing skills, however if this is how you write then I say bye, bye.


Study your audience before putting your article here. You are a poor communicator in all senses. Just read your last paragraph. Best writers use short , simple, clear sentences.This article is in meant for those in different world not ours. Brievity is also the important factor to consider, we don’t have the whole day to read your nonsense.


That was a waste of time

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