Mutharika must stop playing double standards on foreign trips, cashgate

It is not a secret that in the last 15 months, President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) has attended SADC, COMESA and African Union (AU) summits (twice).Loose cannon

APM has also spent luxurious nights at the legendary, upscale and historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, in Midtown Manhattan while attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the United States last year. I can bet he can’t resist the temptation of having another go on Waldorf Astoria when the world converges on New York for another UNGA this month.

Larger than life entourages have accompanied APM on his foreign sojourns at the expense of the poor taxpayer and against the backdrop of a deteriorating economic order in Malawi, ranked the poorest country in the world by the World Bank.

The entourages have included women members of his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who have accompanied him to as far as New York. They have danced for him before world cameras while clad in blue party regalia. The more things change, the more they remain the same, so goes an adage!

In June, 2015, APM flew to Maputo to attend Mozambique’s National Day Celebrations. Two months later, in August, 2015, the President delegated Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. George Chaponda to fly to Gaborone, Botswana to attend the SADC Heads of State Summit, on his behalf.

He claimed he will not afford to flying around when the Malawi economy is in bad shape owing to theft of public money at Capital Hill, popularly known as ‘cashgate’.

Now wait a minute. Who does APM take Malawians for? Surely for fools, I suppose. When did our President know about ‘cashgate’ and that it had negatively impacted on the national economy because all along he has been flying around? In fact, the President has just returned from Dalian in China where he attended the World Economic Forum when the Malawi Kwacha continues to nose-dive against major world currencies.

His delegation in China was huge. He had invited remnants of the civil society to accompany him, including the remaining voice of the voiceless such Mr. Fryson Chonzi, who this far appeared one of the strongest who would refuse to be bought at any cost.

The President will in the next couple of days be on the plane, again, heading for New York for UNGA on a completely taxpayer-funded trip. My goodness!

So, all talk about austerity measures and failure to travel to Botswana for the SADC summit is about playing double standards. APM is simply being pretentious and sending wrong signals to Malawians and Malawi’s cooperating partners to attract undeserved goodwill.

The President doesn’t simply care about the serious economic malaise that has attacked the very livelihood of an ordinary Malawian. Today, an ordinary Malawian has to grapple with the disturbing effects of frequent electricity blackouts, water shortages, rising commodity prices, shortage of medical supplies at public medical facilities, drastic cuts in food rations at hospitals and the list is endless!

One may ask, when APM talks about ‘cashgate’ having negatively affected the economy, which cashgate is he referring to? Is it the K24billion ‘cashgate’ of 2013 that the Joyce Banda administration investigated through Baker Tilly or the K577billion currently under investigation, that happened between 2009 and 2012 when his brother late Bingu wa Mutharika was President and he was Minister?

Under APM’s watch, an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) senior official Isaa Njaunju was brutally murdered and very little seems to happen to bring the murderers to book. This has raised eyebrows of Western ambassadors that someone may deliberately be interfering with the process with a view to pervert the course of justice, the rule of law and good governance in Malawi.  As this is not enough, robbers broke into the house of a German embassy staff to steal documents related to the K577 billion ‘cashgate’ audit.

Memories are still fresh that in 2011, late President Bingu wa Mutharika did not attend UNGA following some worst economic challenges that time.  What is going to take APM to accept that he has taken our country to the lowest level ever and that it is not time to bury his head in the sand?  When is APM going to understand that as a leader, he needs to make sacrifices and he must appear to be suffering along with Malawians other than jumping from one Mapwevupwevu to another.

APM must sit up and listen to experts on how best he can repair the economy. Instead of wasting time accusing his predecessors for the current economic mess, APM must go to work. Instead of attending UNGA and meeting provincial premiers in Dalian, China, APM will do Malawians a huge favour if he speeds up investigations into the death of the policeman who died at Goliati following DPP-orchestrated political violence. The police told us they had found the deceased mobile phone with an employee of Ndata Farm, which is clue enough.

Malawians deserve to know why Mr. Njaunju of ACB was brutally killed; we must know who broke into the German’s residence in Lilongwe to steal the K577billion investigation documents.

“Promising too much can be as cruel as caring too little.” –Bill Clinton

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peeping lizard
Guest

Amalawi timagomere kuti maprezdent adzitchedwa Dr,professor, tiyeni tione maiko monga USA,RSA,China,RUSSIA,amangotchedwa mr prezdent.kuonjezera apo kodi petulo anapanga professise chani kuti akhale professor

Nyachi
Guest
there is no harm for the president to travel but there should be limit in the number of trips and people accompanying him to cut costs moreover its our taxpayers money boma lilibe gulosale as Bakili said. secondly the trips should be followed with tangible success stories to beneft malawi as a country osati kugopita ku china kukadya nkhono nkumati dziko lamalawi lipindula ayi nyasi zimenezo, we need those promises to be turned into realities infrastractures should be visible sizomangokamba mutakhuta njoka zam’madzi ku chinako ai. Pitala should not be wasting time talking about JB cashgate era leaving Bingu’s cashgate… Read more »
Makwasa
Guest

Lets take to the streets, this fool is taking us for granted.

Nyenyezi
Guest

You DPP gurus shut up your big mouth and keep quite, dont pretend that inu ndiye zikukuyenderani yet mumakhala tsiku osadya chakudya akusangala ndiamene ali m’maudindo okha, tasiyani zomangobereka kumbuyo Pitala, zikuthandizani chani. Malawians lets come together and chop pitala out of presidency in 2019 moreover anachita kubera, it doesn’t matter kuti he overstayed abroad ndiye amabwera kuti azalamulire anthu woti sakudziwa mavutoo awo, ndiye atithandiza bwanji, azipita ku UK komweko azikaphunzitsa dzikoli alamulire anthu amene angamvetse zamavuto amene amalawi tikukumana nawo ndikuchitapo kanthu.

Ndatani
Guest

The demise of one professor (APM) will improve the livelihood of millions of Malawians. Let us wish for a cardiac arrest or whenever necessary to forget about the professor so that our beloved country gets back on track. It sound brutal but it is a necessary evil deed for our survival.

victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi
Guest
victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi

Some of us, in DPP, do not blame the President, but his advisers. Are they afraid of telling him the truth about the suffering Malawians or he does not listen. All the same, possibly it may be due to the fact that he overstayed in the US. He is now improving in getting the reality about village life or town slum difficulties in Malawi anyway. All class teaching is not the same as running a poor nation. I believe we should give him time.

Dwambazi
Guest

Only 36% voted for him. 64% can take him out, let’s mobilize folks enough is enough.

Watcher 30
Guest

Malawi is dead with this clueless professor.Why hoodwinking Malawians with Joyce Cashgate while himself also is a beneficiary of a collosal cashgate during his brother’s time?How many cashgaters have been prosecuted from his failed Dpp party?.Mutharika should stop playing saint.Malawians are watching.The economy has totally gone in shambles.High rate of unemployment at the moment and life is becoming unaffordable for an ordinary Malawian.He should expect massive demonstration very soon!!!!!!!!! B

Donald Malanga
Guest

Its my prayer that may God finds the way of throwing Jonnah back into the sea. Our country is now in tartus because of few political elite who cannot listen to the plite of Malawians. All politicians shud read ezekiel 34 vs 1………….

khisa kayoka
Guest

owayz a opposition will remain the most stupid in the world of politics,the president z trying day n night to different stakeholders to help our poor Malawi some says akuononga ndalama,kkkkkkkkk nanu anyasatimes solutions mukapanda kulemba za Peter sitingawelenge nkhani zanu,tithakuwelenga,nde osamangolembe zilizonse.

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