Nowadays it seems that (rightfully so) everybody has something critical to say about the country’s President, His Excellency Abraz Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and the ruling elite that surround him whether that is cabinet members, members of parliament, aides and other Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials.
Some are raising up the ante and have now started attacking the First Lady, Madam Gertrude Mutharika. Like really?
Ca’maan people, you can seriously do better than that.
The other Sunday I had a chance, now that I reflect over it, I would rather call it the displeasure, of reading a certain column in one of the local papers, the Sunday Times titled “Uncommon Sense,” by former DPP die-hard Z Allan Ntata. The topic the columnist presented that weekend was about the awarding to Madam Mutharika by a Chinese University, an honorary doctorate degree for her services in the health sector.
The arguments made by the columnist, were among other things, that;
This was just the ‘pampering the ego’ of another politically ambitious first lady and that she had no academic expertise to merit this award and an earlier one from the University of Malawi.
He also stated that this award was just a clever ploy by the Chinese to warm the hearts of the First Couple so that Chinese investors would be granted favorable terms and conditions when setting when investments in the country.
And another point which really astonished me was that, if the first lady truly is deserving of these awards and has the intellectual capacity these degrees require in order to possess them, then why she is not advising the President on all the economic and social hardships the country is going through and pressuring him to deal with them.
I honestly I find the above arguments absurd, and that article, as a whole as a low-level mediocre and a somewhat pathetic poor excuse of ‘journalism’ and irrelevant to the current economic and social crisis in the country, and in my eyes the writer has a personal vendetta against the First Couple. The editor for the paper would have gotten better value out of the page by using it for adverts.
So in justification to the total repulsion of the above mentioned form 2 level essay, I would like to begin by asking, what activities, comments, has the first lady carried out and made that suggest that she is politically ambitious and that she is positioning herself to take over from her husband?
Ntata and his friends are hell bent on confusing Malawians and now want to make us think that the Zimbabwe scenario (first lady trying to grab power) is going to happen here.
Mwatchera ku mwezi, nkhanga zawona a Ntata.
Ever since becoming the First Lady, the majority of functions I have seen her attend and be the guest of honour/speaker of are charity or public events which fall in line with the mandate of the duties of a first lady. The award from China was in accordance with this because it was for her service to the health sector and I see nothing wrong with a first lady promoting good health access for women and girls in the country.
Mr. Ntata also made a point that I believe is quite ridiculous and probably joke of the year. The statement that this award was a ploy by a Chinese business man to be allowed to construct a mall and casino in the country.
This argument makes no sense at all. Mr. Ntata let me explain this in laymen’s terms ; the Chinese are bringing money into the country and creating jobs and building infrastructure plus nobody is putting a gun to anyone’s head and forcing them to go to a casino and gamble their money away.
I mean the casino’s target market could easily be the Chinese community and other expatriates and not local Malawians.
The issue would have been a whole lot different ballgame if you would have told me that this businessman had benefitted by being awarded a lucrative government contract without following procedures or indeed corruptly.
This might be a bitter pill to swallow but the country needs foreign direct investment and today China is the superpower that is bringing meaningful investment to Africa and unlike the west the Chinese don’t tell us how to govern our country.
The role of the first lady is quite clear here in Malawi, but I do believe as wife it is her duty to give her husband good and sound counsel. What I do not believe however is that it is her role to be the number one political advisor.
Mr. Ntata has already said that he doubts her intellectual capacity therefore how could she be qualified to advise the President on crucial national matters?
With all his so called supposedly ‘too much education” and his self-proclaimed intellectual acumen, did Ntata advise his former boss, the late Bingu wa Mutharika anything sensible? Is he not the first guy to flee from the country when Bingu died? Munthu wamtundu wanji othawa maliro?
The first lady is not a political office and nor is it a cabinet post, therefore it is not her duty to be at the forefront of reprimanding the Head of State and advising him on what to and not to do in order to run the country successfully.
There are cabinet ministers and advisors who the Head of State has delegated to be his eyes and ears and hands on the ground on issues of development and it is these individuals we should hold accountable when we feel things are going in the wrong direction and the President is making bad decisions and not taking proper corrective action to fix the economy.
Let me finish by saying that even if the First Lady wanted to run for office there is absolutely nothing illegal about that.
Malawi is a democratic nation and I believe the DPP or the Malawian constitution doesn’t bar her. The power to be President of the Republic of Malawi is not with her, it is with the people and from where I am standing and the last time I checked, Malawians can be anything but not stupid when it comes to choosing a tenant for the Plot number one. Ask Joyce Banda.
The fact that she’s married to the current president shouldn’t be an issue really. Za ziii!
Mature democracies do this all the time – take The United States of America for example, George Bush Senior served as president of the US, his son George Bush Junior also served as president of the US, his brother Jebb Bush also recently gave the presidency a shot at party level.
Hillary Clinton, who was the first lady when former president Bill Clinton was in power went on to serve as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama and she also run for president against President Donald Trump in 2016.
And it’s no secret that Michelle Obama is going to run for president in the near future. Nde enanu mukufuna kunena kuti chani kwenikweni? Fotseki!
If your battle with DPP is personal please don’t drag the first lady into your mess and please do not involve Malawians. Let the First Lady, Gertrude express her desire to stand as president and if that happens, let Malawians decide her destiny or is it fate?
The Penpusher doesn’t like DPP and everything that represents them but we do not ask others to hate DPP and its leaders and supporters including ma Cadets with passion on our behalf for we know that in a democracy people have the fundamental right to freedom of choice and that freedom extends to making mistakes, its their choice.
Mukufuna a Malawi mpaka avulire majekete ndewu ya inu ndi a DPP? Zisatikhudze. Sizoonayi!