Presidential AWOLs and faked photos

Whatever the truth is about the apparition that was captured on camera in Abuja, Nigeria on Tuesday; both Malawi government spokespersons Hetherwick Ntaba and Patricia Kaliati are either in the dark or giving us baloney.

Further, Kaliati was willing to swear on her cabinet post that President Bingu wa Mutharika was here in Malawi on Tuesday, nowhere near Abuja and  that the photo posted by the Nigerian authorities was a fake.

If we are to believe Kaliati’s yarn, the President Mutharika either has a strikingly identical look-a-like or an undisclosed identical twin brother who went to Abuja masquerading as Malawi’s President, in the process fooling Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and his state house staff.

According to the same Kaliati, it is also perfectly possible that the Nigerian State House, for reasons best known to themselves, manipulated a photograph creating one in which President Mutharika strikes a friendly pose with their President Jonathan and while they were at it, posted that picture on their state house website, possibly to tarnish the image of our beloved President Mutharika and Malawi.

The truth of the matter for now is that with the mystery surrounding this rumoured trip, and the reported sighting of Mutharika in Abuja, every Malawian is perfectly entitled to conjure their own theories and not be faulted; or manipulate the president’s photos without anyone hounding them.

After all Malawians employed Mutharika to be accountable to them. They clothe him, feed him, and pay for his travel costs and all and if Nigerians, who do not pay him at all can dare to fool around with his photos, what more with Malawians his employers?

The problem with withholding information, which is becoming habitual with this government, lies with the Mutharikas themselves. The Mutharika brothers do not take very well to rumours. Take for example, their reaction to the rumours that started flying when more than three months ago, when Bingu went AWOL in China; and a month or so ago, when Peter Mutharika copied his brother’s act, doing a missing in action in the US.

With the state of our economy and the general trepidation that has followed the publishing of various prophecies, all Malawians, both out of good or bad will; want, need and deserve to know twenty four hours seven days a week, where their number one employee is.

Specifically they should know if he is enjoying good health enough to deal with the multitude of problems facing mother Malawi. Or if he is flying around Africa, perhaps lobbying for some country to take over the mantle of the AU or if has he gone to search for divine intervention or indeed if he has gone begging for fuel.

There is no shame in all these undertakings, because Malawians know they voted for a human being who can be sick, can seek help spiritual or material help from others and can do all sorts of things. What Malawians do not want and do not deserve is to be told half-truths or even outright lies by people who are tasked to tell them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

And if indeed the Nigerians manipulated the picture and our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet lodged a strongly worded complaint with the AU or the UN, how is the Malawi Government going to take anyone to task who manipulates a picture that depicts the president say, getting a packet of “Chibuku” from Amayi a Bingu?

This is spoofed picture of Mutharika getting opaque beer, Chibuku

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