Mutharika has lost his edge – Nawena

The controversial Member of Parliament for Thyolo Thava,  Lifred Nawena on Tuesday took his  time on Capital FM’s hard-hitting flagship interview programme, Straight Talk, to criticise  President Bingu wa Mutharika, saying he has lost his edge as a leader.

In the Straight Talk consisting of in-depth half-hour one-on-one interview with host Brian Banda, Nawena said emphatically – “Bingu has lost it.”

“He has not done well in management of his successes. Success can be difficult to manage. He has not done well with the success he achieved such as fertiliser subsidy [which dramatically improved yields of the staple maize crop.],” he said.

Nawena: Praise the Lord not Mutharika's hands


Asked what he would tell the President if he were to meet him, Nawena said he would say:”With very high respect to Your Excellency I think it was unfortunate that after landslide victory in 2009 and even before he was talking about ‘let the works of my hands bear testimony.’ I would have loved him to say – let the Lord be praised.”

He added: “He should have been praising the Lord first.”

Nawena said apart from losing his edge as strategic thinker, Mutharika is not being helped by his advisors because they are all bootlickers.

“He has been surrounded with yes bwanas,” he pointed out.

Nawena, a former University of Malawi lecturer, said Mutharika should have included in his cabinet critics and move away from patronage politics.

“The problem we have is that we have hand clappers including ministers,” said Nawena.

He said Mutharika “has lost it” because “he refuses to listen to the cries of the public.”

Nawena said ruling DPP MPs do not tell President Mutharika the truth and they are “pretending that all is well”, saying they are not free to express themselves.

“It is not only members of parliament who are not free, even cabinet ministers,” he said, adding “being included in [Mutharika’s] cabinet is slavery.”

Nawena was expelled from the DPP for being critical and opposing the passing of the repressive laws, especially the Injunctions Law stopping any Malawian from getting court relief against government or its officials.

The MP said he accepted his axe from DPP “with a lot of pride and happiness “but he has no intention to join any political party

“I don’t want to join any party, I have decided. Maybe I am not suitable for party membership. I want the nation to know, I will not be joining any party, at least for now,” he said.

“If I were to join a political party today, I would join DPP,” Nawena said ironically.

He said would rejoin the ruling party because all what he has been criticising has proved to be the root causes of the current economic crisis and hopes the party would accommodate his views next time around.

Bingu’s real name

On another note, Nawena told the radio that President Mutharika’s real name is [Ryson] Webster Thom but changed to the current one Bingu wa Mutharika – when he fled the country from dictator Ngwazi Kamuzu Banda.

“Let me mention that the State President’s name which some of us knew long before in the early 70’s is Mr Webster Thom,” he said.

“I have been privileged to have been very close to the State President before 2009,” he said.

“I knew him in 1972 when I was attending a course in Addis Abba, Ethiopia where he was working. I have in my possession his business card with his name Webster Thom on it,” Nawenda disclosed.

He also said President Mutharika “became closer and closer” to him when he was doing Mizwanya programme on state broadcaster MBC.

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