Ntata’s Uncommon Sense: To Mutharika with love ‘stop being a puppet, take charge’

Looking at the worsening socio-economic wellbeing of Malawians amidst equally worsening corruption and blatant embezzlement of public funds, I am beginning to wonder if at all you, President Peter Mutharika have in mind a point in time which will mark the turning point of your reign from one of looting with impunity to one that –at least- will go through the notions of serving the people of Malawi.

Mutharika: Mr President, you are losing public trust
Mutharika: Mr President, you are losing public trust

I am saying this because in your first year, there were quite a lot of people who were willing to give you the benefit of doubt; and you failed them.

Having failed them thus, in the second year of your reign, the multitude baying for your resignation increased.

We are now in the third year of your term office, and things have not just fallen apart; but it is increasingly becoming clear that the havoc you have caused in all sectors will take us decades to fix.

The education sector is reeling, the health sector is bleeding, the agricultural sector – our engine room – is not even matching its performance in the years of your pal and advisor, the puppet master of the political grouping, for lack of a better word, called the UDF. Are you even aware that ultimately, as our leader and the head of government in this country, the responsibility to ensure that these things are being looked at is yours?

Assuming you have a conscience, you might be asking, “Allan, what destination other than the chasm am driving Malawi to, should I steer towards?”

Your Excellency, not that you have done anything `excellently’ the answer is very simple: towards economic prosperity with peace and security.

This is what Malawians want and as far as they are concerned is what other leaders surrounding us, most notably Tanzania’s Magufuli and Rwanda’s Kagame, are doing.

Business unusual Your Excellency, not that you have demonstrated any excellence, means using your constitutional power for the weakest of the weak and the poorest of the poor in our country.

Contrast this, sir, with your shameful getting carried away by your political power that your reign is now only benefitting your cronies.

Truth be told Sir, what am finding most disgusting is your obsession with cheap political points at the expense of leading Malawi to economic prosperity.

And when I thought you had hit the bottom, you dig deeper into the sea bed by publicly shirking your responsibility of leadership in favour of protecting the profligates that are recklessly pillaging the country.

The star performers, in your eyes, seem to be those appointees of yours that have proved beyond doubt that they will assist you or your cronies to loot the country and show promising prospects of contributing absolutely nothing to the country’s economic progress.

Your Excellency, I blame you, and I pity you for failing to appreciate the enormity of your responsibility.

Know this:

For every single Malawian living in abject poverty, drinking unclean water, living in blackouts, failing to get drugs in hospitals and dying of hunger because they cannot afford Admarc maize prices, the blame is nowhere else but squarely on your head, sir.

The presidency requires great courage, integrity, ability, and resolve. Leaders that have succeeded are those that have been able to discern amongst their advisors, the hyenas who will without compunction destroy anything they touch with corruption and self-interest.

These types churn out advice that is more political than pragmatic either because they feel guilty about their own misdeeds and fear punishment, or because they are deranged enough to hunger for power just for power’s sake.Because of their moral bankruptcy, they prefer to bring the whole country including you down in flames rather than burn alone.

And looking at you blundering onwards, I see such people using you as a puppet as they carry out their wicked plans. Make no mistake about this, my worry is not about you, but rather that Malawi is now like a battered boat limping on its last journey towards the seabed.

Your Excellency, it is now an established fact that you lack the tenacity, skills and diligence with which to discern these selfish and unpatriotic characters in order to bring them to heel and steer the Malawian ship to economic prosperity. If there are residues of conscience and patriotism in your heart, then you need desperately to search high and low for someone with these skills to assist you in your leadership.

Your Excellency, I know that you are already quite aware that your current closest advisors are shamelessly looting the treasury, accepting bribes and abusing their positions to force decisions in government that are harmful to the country.

You said so yourself.

Wasn’t it just the other day that you admitted that you are surrounded by “judases”? Surely you know as well as I do that those closest aides of yours are openly committing every kind of thievery and plunder without the slightest concern about morality or being caught.  Show some balls and fire them. That is what your late brother would have done. Don’t insult us with empty confessions!

It is because you know this and you do nothing, your Excellency, that I will continue to do my duty to the Malawian people.

I am speaking to you in public here because I want everyone to know that as long as you continue performing below par and failing to convict these looters and abusers of office, I will continue my work and expose both your frailties, and those of anyone who might have offered bribes whether to you or to your advisors, as well as anyone among you who might have brought guilt upon himself by accepting to be used in these despicable acts.

May I suggest that you assist me in telling those who would dare to play their cunning tricks and interfere with my pursuit of justice and my fight against your governance failures and corruption scandals that they should beware, for they must be prepared to deal with me when I expose them to the Malawian people?

My hope is that you will see that I have been vehement, persevering, and vigilant as a fighter of corruption, and that it will take a lot more than simple lawsuits and court cases to discourage me.

Let them know that I will be just as adamant and relentless a good governance activist as I have always been.

The only way to silence me, your Excellency, is to stop being a puppet, take charge, and countermand those that are hurting the country’s journey to economic prosperity.

Z Allan Ntata is a Barrister of Middle Temple, London, and an Anti-Corruption Specialist. He worked as Legal Counsel to the late President Bingu wa Mutharika.

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