Mutharika has so far failed, out of sync –Dulani

University of Malawi political professor Boniface Dulani says President Peter Mutharika has so far failed to demonstrate he is that elusive transformation leader.

President Mutharika:  Out of sync with reality on the ground, says Dulani
President Mutharika: Out of sync with reality on the ground, says Dulani
Dulani:  Mutharika out of touch with mood of Malawians
Dulani: Mutharika out of touch with mood of Malawians

Dulani observed that the instead of dealing with the core political issues that can potentially transform the country towards a prosperous future, the leadership is “constantly attending to peripheral matters that only satisfy individual egos and pockets.”

In an interview published by Malawi’s flagship daily, The Nation newspaper, Dulani said there is no evidence that Malawi politics is likely to move in a new direction.

He stated that within a few days of entering State House, Mutharika quickly resorted to the “default settlement” that the majority of existing crop of politicians is most accustomed to.

“So, while I did not envision the current settlement, I am not at all surprised it is what we have. Change will only come from below, not from above,” he stated.

The political analyst pointed out that despite claiming he would move away from the politics as usual model at his election victory speech, President Mutharika “has not demonstrated an understanding of the nature of the existing settlement or laid out any clear agenda for taking us towards a new direction.”

He stated: “The only time we have heard from the President at length was during the State of the Nation Address. However, even that came across as a hodgepodge of ideas that did not provide a clear sense of what his priorities are.

“I will go far and say that at least under Joyce Banda administration, government policies were geared towards economic recovery, even if the reality on the ground was often different. In Mutharika’s case, there is simply no clear overarching agenda that would suggest a capacity to take the country on a new path.”

Dulani also joined the chorus of criticising President Mutharika for approving his salary hike to 80 percent which has been deferred, saying the decision and its timing speaks more to the President’s lack of leadership skills and political astuteness.

“At a time when the economy is in a free-fall, a good leader should have led by example and turned down this salary hike. In this regard, Mutharika could have learnt from his predecessor, Joyce Banda, who took a rather symbolic pay cut at a time when the economy was in similar dire strait,” Dulani said in the published interview.

He said by increasing his salary by a hefty 80 percent, with matching or even higher increases for Cabinet ministers, leader of opposition and Members of Parliament, Mutharika’s government has lost “any moral ground” for saying no to the demands by the striking Judiciary and university staff, whose demands for 45 percent salary increases “now look very modest.”

The university political scientist stated that when put alongside the stories about First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika’s Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust obtaining funds from the National Aids Commission, the President’s salary hike suggests “a leader that is completely out of touch with the public mood.”

He said the government’s claims of insufficient resources for salary increments will no longer sound credible.

“ After this blunder, the government should brace themselves for more strikes,” warned Dulani.

Dulani said Malawi has been seeking for transformational leadership and gave a verdict that “Mutharika has so far failed to demonstrate that he has the personality or skills to be that elusive transformation leader that Malawi has been seeking.”

He continued stating that Mutharika, he has not made any notable decisions, especially on the economic front, that suggest he has a vision or agenda for transforming the country.

“The majority of his decisions and actions have so far followed the old script, mostly placating his DPP co-partisans and a palpable favouritism of his Lomwe co-ethnics. Despite claiming that his government would hit the ground running, the Peter Mutharika administration has actually gone the opposite direction, with the President becoming well known for his now-patented approach of making piece-meal appointments and slow decision-making,” Dulani commented.

Dulani said it should not be a surprise that President Mutharika has chosen to insulate himself from the many challenges that the country is facing.

“During his late brother’s administration, he equally failed to demonstrate leadership when such was required from him. Indeed, one recalls a Zodiak Radio study that found Peter Mutharika was among a dubious group of six legislators that never uttered a single word for two years in Parliament. Expecting such an individual to change now that he has become President is perhaps a tad un-realistic on our part as voters,” said Dulani.

Dulani comments comes hot on the heels of the accusations by leader of opposition in Parliament  Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwera  who  described President Mutharika as a hypocrite,  saying his government is run by “distractions and deceptions, not leadership.”

Chakwera accused Mutharika of taking a “blind eye” of are so many critical issues facing Malawians.

Minister of Information, Kondwani Nankhumwa and presidential spokesman Fredrick Ndala said they will make a reaction to Dulani critique.

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7 years ago

These people are good at criticizing others, but when given a chance to perform they are trash. We all remember how Jessie was: When not in the political arena her criticisms were sweet and most of the dull believed and backed her up the same way others are doing in lifting high this political prof. These UNIMA professors are less minded and they always take us for granted. I think they lack seriousness. If you look at the events critically you will realize that every year since multiparty started UNIMA falls apart with the government for reasons better known to… Read more »

7 years ago

Eeeee tiyeni nazo tinkanena adathira msiyizi.

7 years ago

it is such stupid people with stupid ideas that fail to make the university self sustaining only waiting for handouts from government because the lecturers are busy seeing problems elsewhere when they have lots of problems within the university. Dulani you fail to manage a small institution and you think you can manage a country.Peter knows delegation and his boys are working on the ground.

7 years ago

I have noted that there is a growing tendency of critising the President. The salary demand in the judiciary is selfishness being sponsored by the Queen of Cashgate because she wants to frustrate progress. Now that the judiciary has abandoned work in a way they are saying the constitution has been suspended because government functions on three stones. its now time the president declares a state of emergency and use his executive powers to put this greed to a stop.If parliament is not working.

Simeon Nyapala
7 years ago

Those who have disputed Dulani’s assertions are the ones who are benefitting from the current presidency but any level headed person will agree that things are not working in this country. Firstly Dulani is not saying these the problems which have befallen us are new but that the govt does not show that it is solving these problems. I applaud Dulani for his well written arguments befitting a professor. Secondly, I want to let the people who support DPP not to support blindly as if this football club. Running govt is serious. The president hasn’t shown that he can handle… Read more »

7 years ago

and chanco is closed,malawi is on a cliff,lets be honest with each other here,we may love mutharika and dpp but the issue is there is no future in both of these,events are driving dpp and mutharika to where they belong so fast

7 years ago

Anthu akudandaula ndi utsogoleri wa pitala ndiye kumawamvera inu okhudzidwanu

George Masida Mhone
George Masida Mhone
7 years ago

Malawians need to learn to be patriots and stop identifying themselves by their tribes. Negative energy will not take us anywhere. Let us be positive in our thinking and ensure that our comments build our country. Let us be part of the solution to our problems. Time is not on our side and therefore, let us work towards bringing love, unity, hardwork and development to mother Malawi. Let us spend time on thinking on how we can work together to create jobs, how we can replant trees on the bare mountains, how we can implement the many projects that are… Read more »

Steve Kamkwalala
Steve Kamkwalala
7 years ago

Nobody is insulting the Tumbukas. You are the ones who are insulting an internationally recognised and accepted head of state. You are calling him all sorts of names and you expect us to keep quite. No that will not happen. Iam one of the 36 percent of the people who voted for him and I will not take it lying down while you are abusing my president. If it is fighting we are ready to fight. Tumbukas are more educated? aa that’s a fallacy of 20 years ago. Don’t talk as a group talk about yourself. Are u educated yourself.… Read more »

7 years ago

Foolish people always keep on holding a stick of a foolish person.Continue supporting him but what you should bear in mind is that a rat that joined a lizard for floric(playing) in a rain,realised at the end that it will nt dry as quicky as a lizard will do .Stop insulting the Northernas just become they are minority or more educated than you matenat a tumbuka.ashule inu kulira nthawi ya mvula (madzi) yokha.

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