Not gentle enough: Critiquing Ntata’s criticism
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”- Frank A. Clark.
Many a person can critique and thus be called a critic. However, the sad truth is that not all that critique merit to be called such; in fact, it is only those whose criticisms are gentle enough by presenting a balanced dimension of the issue in question merit such a label.
There recently emerged a critic of the Peter Mutharika government—Z Allan Ntata, a (or is it former?) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sympathizer. Ntata, a lawyer-cum-politician, has attacked the DPP-led government from all angles, and, so it appears, the Mutharika government is at his mercy at the moment. Central to Ntata’s attack is Peter Mutharika’s supposed ‘puppetry’. It is to this that the article’s attention turns.
In essence, Ntata accuses Peter Mutharika of being a nominal president arguing that real power rests in unnamed State House advisor. That Mutharika is indeed a puppet or not should be left to the politicians to politick and to the lawyers to lawyer on; for us critics, and this be emphasized, the concern here is whether or not Ntata’s accusations are gentle enough.
Are Ntata’s accusations of Mutharika’s supposed puppetry gentle enough? It appears not. Ntata was himself in the remote and recent past a puppet of the current president especially in the run up to the general election. Ntata, as columnist Raphael Tenthani rightly observes, “…used any available art form—be it music, video or prose—to beat up all those who stood in the way of his dear party’s one-way ticket back to state house.” And who was the torchbearer for his dear party? Peter Mutharika of course!
Then Ntata did not flinch in defending Peter Mutharika as a visionary leader with solid education background. He had been a staunch defender of Mutharika’s leadership potential all through the campaign period till the sweet days of the election victory. Ntata was the right hand man in the DPP, and a strategist to boot. Should we say, honestly that is, that Ntata, by his puppetry accusation, is simply confessing to Malawians that he did not know that he was defending a Mutharika who is incapable of controlling the affairs of this noble republic on his own volition and direction?
The answer is most certainly negative. Ntata knew Mutharika that well, as a strategist, that he was a man worth the Malawi presidency. If he actually knew of Mutharika’s puppetry, then Ntata is nothing but an unpatriotic liar who let Malawians be in the hands of a puppet.
But if he really knew Peter Mutharika as a capable man for the presidency then, why accuse him of being a puppet of some unelected advisor today? Frustration; yes, the answer is Ntata is frustrated to the core for not being ‘accordingly’ rewarded by the DPP government. Surely, Ntata is on a mission—a mission he has betted his life on—to prove to the Mutharika camp that he is a strategist who makes and breaks what he makes. For he made (read ‘helped with’) the DPP-led government’s entry strategy he would equally make its exit strategy, and the puppetry accusation and all that jazz are sure evidence of the exit strategy in motion.
Here Ntata, as Chiipira Wachaje in a Nyasa Times article points, is a “Commando” in action.Unlike the Commandos in films however, the Commandos in politics rarely succeedin aiming high-value targets, and truth be told here, this Commando that is Ntata here will, spoiler alert, miserably fail in his aiming for high-value target that is Mutharika.
And why will ComandoNtata fail here? It’s because it is all clear to almost every well-meaning Malawian that he is making this noise simply to be heard by the DPP government.It therefore makes perfect sense to take such a person and their statements with a pinch of salt. In all honesty, Malawians are not that naïve as to fail to realize that he is deliberately arousing public discontentment to get back at DPP.
In the end, however, there are two alternatives; either Ntata did not know that Mutharika is a puppet and is therefore telling the truth or knew that Mutharika is/ isn’t a puppet and is therefore telling lies. Between the two, the latter seems plausible because, being a strategist that he is, Ntata ought to have known that Mutharika is a puppet. But he did not notice the puppetry in Mutharika because Mutharika is not a puppet. Which is why it is tempting to conclude, as does this article, that Ntata wants to get back at his erstwhile friends—the DPP. So, whatever it is he thinks DPP owns him, he shouldn’t drag Malawians into fighting his personal battles.
So next time Ntata, and all other critics, want to criticize this or any government—present or past, let them do justice to Frank A. Clark by making sure that their criticisms, like rain, are “gentle enough” to aid citizens’ objective assessment without destroying the same. Otherwise Ntata’s criticisms of DPP-led government are not doing Malawians any justice as are personal and not gentle enough as to nourish Malawians’ objective assessment of the government of the day.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
Let Ntata n his crue keepon cryin. Balirani simuyitha game. Peter, Chilima ndi azinzao onse ku dpp ndi anthu anzeru ndithu siungawakwanise. However leadershiP is given by God. Nw if u r fightin against u r leader then jst knw that u r against God`s wish.
To hell with you cursed people who despise your leaders. Leaders are chosen by God. Please do not touch the annointed. Just look at those who were against Bingu then make a conclusion yourself. Muzamangidwa nazo ndi unyolo osadziwika komwe wachokera. Mulungu simunthu.
Criticism is criticism, whether its gentle or not that is irrelevant. What you should be telling us Mr. Chinzimba is if Mr. Muntharika is indeed his own man. Surely he is not for he did not even fill his Asset Declaration Forms himself, someone else did it for him.
I like what he has said in his interview with Brain Banda on Times TV Exclusive. If someone tells you that your house is on fire, do you really care who is telling you – whether he is your enemy or your friend, the fact remains – the house is on fire and it is up to you to decide what to do. Take it or leave it. Ntata is calling a spade a spade. THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!!! MORE FIRE!!!!
Haki Mungu,Baba walemba nkhani iyi ndi munthu wa nzelu zedi!! You are the great!! Umatha kuwunikila. Keep it up!!
Malawians and Mr President listen do not turn a blind eget to what Ntatà ißt saying . it started like that with Bingu. Don’t say l did not warn you???
Even his lomwe people know that APM is a puppet. Actually Malawians must be on watching alert for there is a growing pointers of incapacitation of APM. Watch out. Please leave lomwe people out of this. We are equally and much more worried as well
Comment…. …… ntata ukufuna udindo ndye ukulirira
ntata is right,peter mutharika is a puppet of ben phiri and paulos chisale.he listens to everything these uneducated muppets tells him.they even tell him how he should dress.before he got married they even put list of women for him to pick.ntata has hit where it hurts most.no wonder DPP or state house is failing to come up with a solid response.
Zanu zimenezo ine ndi ndadiya kuvota