Ntata: Evaluating DPP’s leadership and governance credentials

A growing majority of DPP members and Malawians in general are expressing concern about the future of Malawi under the rule of a president controlled by his assistant. Rumblings of dissatisfaction in leadership echo the hallways while the party scrambles to identify the tectonics required to shift them back onto the correct course. The issues facing the DPP are fundamental, and unfortunately it is the same theme that was seen when the DPP was at its least popular in 2012.

DPP supporters

DPP supporters

These fundamental issues tie back to core elements of governance that are key to the quality and effective performance of the government (or any healthy organization)

Strong Governance

The DPP seems plagued with an indecisive leader that is relinquishing his decision making powers to individuals with a different agenda than his own, and that are bringing back a seemingly ocean of corruption allegations. Strong governance is failing for this ruling party, and this is weakening the trust that the already very marginal majority in Malawi had for the DPP.

Leadership has been lacking at key times in this DPP’s short history (e.g. MSB, Public Service Reforms, Natural resources policy), and when a strong confident voice is needed, the President has not exactly delivered a convincing performance. The voices we hear are of assistants, advisors, and brainless praise-singers.

Monitoring and Evaluation

This is a key aspect of any organization to ensure all elements are performing to their goals and objectives. The DPP has demonstrated a very primitive performance feedback system that has been based on reactionary methods, a system usually avoided by any organization that is looking for continuous improvement. Dubious decisions are tolerated and allowed to become unnecessary talking points without properly being explained, for example the Presidential graffiti at Lumbadzi or the postponed ivory burning. This is very embarrassing for the DPP and shows poor planning and exposes their inability to calibrate their efforts and initiatives to accommodate feedback or changing perceptions.

Checks and balances

Notably in the area of budgets and financing seem to have started already to be grossly neglected, opening the door for illicit activities that tainted the DPP’s previous time in power.

Engagement And Well-being

The President is not a good communicator and relies heavily on his more articulate ministers to be his crutch at key times. This lack of engagement with the majority of his supporters does not provide a secure sense of wellbeing. This has steadily become more apparent and is eroding support within key members of the party.

The President needs to connect more closely with his people, especially those who are questioning his presence in major decision, and his leadership style that seems to defer everything to his assistant. The tactics of bullying critics will only serve to further undermine his presidency. The President needs to spend more time talking to the people he represents, not sending his assistant, and re-connecting with his cabinet and the people he is serving – this will instill a greater sense of reliable leadership and direction.

Pathways And Transitions

There is a lack of an articulated long-term vision with the DPP, in terms of succession of leadership and how the country’s cavernous deficiencies are being addressed. The country is experiencing serious economic challenges, and the DPP has not adequately explained how the country should prepare for this.

The economic challenges will be further pronounced by the “scaring away” of large corporations from investing in Malawi due to corruption, political overreach and the levels of neopatrimonialism confounding the commercial process. Never before has there been a greater need for a visionary to grab the reigns and ensure that reason and common sense prevail. Economic Stability driven by industry and not politics, combined with an improved administrative framework that will create the pathway to a new future for all Malawians is what the country is looking for. Amazingly, virtually none of the DPP leaders can properly explain how this is going to occur.

Conclusion

Not until this President and this administration provides Malawians with the confidence that he is in charge and not his assistants, and that he has a clear direction of where he wants Malawi to be at the end of his five-year term, can we say that his leadership is inspiring or that the past one year of DPP administration has been a success.

Otherwise, as long as issues continue to be referred to assistants and those assistants continue to railroad government policy and impute their own agenda on government decisions, there is reason to believe that claims of puppetry have foundation, and that good governance credentials are desperately lacking.

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john wa chilungamo
Guest
Sometimes I wonder why our reporters think that their way of seeing thinks is the only way to go. They dont see that Peter Mutharika cleverly dodge their firing line. Kamuzu had John Tember to face the wrath of critics, Bakili Muluzi had Dumbo Lemani, Bungu wa Mutharika had Akweni Patricia Kaliati while Joyce Banda exposed herself (no wonder she lost). Now Peter barricades herself behind an army of lieutenants and avoids confrontations with reporters who are good at nothing but reading between the lines and distorting one fact here and there just to make news. Reporters accept when you… Read more »
zibwana
Guest

Inu a Dolo, kodi munthuyu ndi ntaba kapena ntata! mukuonongatu dzina la wina. check spellings before you post your comments.

dolo
Guest

Ntaba mwana wa abusa koma khalidwe lako lotaika. Iwe ukukwanilitsa zoipa zonyansa za mmasiku otsiliza read 2 Temoteo 3 vs 1-5 and Mateyu 18 vs 7. Ntaba ndithu kukhala ngati siukudziwa za mmasiku otsiliza. Wandimvetsa chifundo iwe mwana wa abusa and makolo ndi abale ako pano anangokusiya kuti ukwanilitse zofuna mtima wako koma wataya njira ya kumwamba walowerera za dziko ndi ulamuliro wa ………….

Ngati umawerenga ma koment ngati awa< just return back to Jesus ali wolora kukulandila.

Daniel Phiri
Guest

President should spend more time with the people not sending his ministers and assistants”- I have to disagree with the writer here. The president cannot be expected to be everywhere spending time with people. He must delegate some tasks to people under him. This is the way to go, otherwise we run the risk of a president who spends millions on allowances, fuel, security etc just to distribute goats. If I may ask, has Ntata ever run an organisation? Is he not a mere academic?

John Phiri
Guest

Am not impressed with this assessment. Try again!

KHUERE
Guest

SEE WEMEN OF MALAWI WHAT THEY NOW MOST IS TO TALK ABOUT THERE FRIENDS WHO ARE IN POSSIONS INSTEAD OF SUPORTING EACH OTHER VERY BAD WHY NOT START A SMALL BUSSINES FOR THE SURPORT OF YOUR FAMILY.

KHUERE
Guest

KEEP IT UP NTATA YOU ARE OPENING OUR EYES INCLUDING THE POLITICAL GURUS THEY CAN NOT SHOW UP NOW BUT KEEP ON BOMMING YOU WILL SEE THEM COMING OUT.

kazeze
Guest

This country has no LEADER, can APM DENY THIS??? On the presidential jet, can I remind APM that he should not liken himself to the president of America, APM is a president of a very poor country economically and Obama is a president of a very rich country, does APM need schooling on this??? Common sense seems not so common to some of our leaders.

dexes
Guest

yeah guys, you may say ntanta is a frustrated hypocrite for not been considered in the dpp or whatever u think but certainly he is observant. judge not the cover of a book rather the taste in the pudding. wamisala nkhondo anaiona take heed of his saying otherwise you will brand him a prophet for all his backing will come to pass tek his words for your improvements or leave them for your destruction at your own peril.

Tilibemau
Guest
can you imagine Timpunza Mwansambo ,a thief who was drawing two salaries from govt and MBC is now coming to LL MBC as Regional Manager because of Ben Phiri.The President actually said he didn’t want to see him when he discovered that he was involved In salary gate.The govt is full of crooks and thugs.Mutharikas name will be turnished if he just look at these issues without taking any action.The ACB mustard start investigations becoz you are not supposed to be told .ACB is shielding those who are DPP sympathizers.Do your job proffessionally.You must know that mlandu suwola.Concerned employees of… Read more »
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