Speaker wonders why Malawi leaders are treated with too much respect, fear

Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya on Friday took the government by storm when he said Malawians treat their Presidents and other leaders with too much respect and fear that impedes on transparency and accountability.

Speaker Msowoya: Leaders should be scrutinised

Msowoya said this in parliament when he made a ruling on a contentious issue when government chief whip Henry Mussa demanded a withdrawal of a statement from Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera.

Chakwera had said the sacking of George Chaponda as Agriculture minister was too little, too late, asking why it had taken so long to act, saying this reflected badly on the moral standing of President Peter Mutharika.

Chakwera described the delays to fire Chaponda as executive arrogance.

However, did this not go down well with Mussa and other government ministers who argued the standing orders, rules governing the House, do not allow members to reflect on the Head of State.

Msowoya, in his ruling, said it was high time leaders allowed themselves to be scrutinised.

“In this country, leadership—starting from the Presidency, ministers, those of us in this House, councillors, civic and traditional leaders —are treated with far too much respect and are, sometimes, feared such that it becomes a convenient barrier to accountability, ” said Msowoya.

He said 53 years after independence, things should not be allowed to continue like this, holding our Heads of State as semi-gods.

“53 years after independence, and 24 years in the multiparty dispensation, this cannot be allowed to continue and we, in this House, are the people who have to lead in changing that,” Msowoya declared in Parliament.

Msowoya wondered how debate in the House would go without mentioning the President.

He said in other countries in Commonwealth, Heads of State are summoned in their respective parliament’s to answer questions but said this was not the case in Malawi.

Chakwera and the opposition Malawi Congress Party and Peoples Party back benchers welcomed the statement but there was silence from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and their political bed fellows, the United Democratic Front.

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35 thoughts on “Speaker wonders why Malawi leaders are treated with too much respect, fear”

  1. Njou says:

    Richard, How l wish l had a chance of thanking you in person for the wise, intelligent and nation building statement you made. Malawi cannot move forward with hero worshiping. You remind me of the brave, courageous and intelligent patriots who stood for justice and peoples rights during the cabinet crisis. All of the were much young in age. What you have said will go down in the history of Malawi. Let me say this; Kamuzu was called ‘Mkango’ lion and Ngwazi. On landing at Chileka Airport he was an ordinary person. Overzealous support decided to give him these titles without realizing the implications (Over-respect has bad implications) So, because the nature of a lion is to kill fellow animals even without provocation, Kamuzu the Lion acquired that nature and instinct which resulted into so many innocent Malawians being killed. Don’t you wonder why our presidents want everything special. They sit on a special chair and drive special cars. Even when they attend funerals at grave yards, the presidents chair will be special. Look at what happens when they want to plant a tree or lay foundation stones? Carpet and ribbons everywhere. When they outside the country, they sit on the same chairs and drive same cars just like everybody else. Look at the exaggerated security details! Police standing on top of vehicles with mounted machine guns…lo! this is insanity and ridiculous!! The security risk in Malawi is very low. Even Kamuzu would not do that at a time when many people were baying for his blood. So Richard, Bravo! Fellow Malawians, Richard has simply started the move to change things. Let us pick it up and finish it. The silence on the Government benches meant one thing; ‘Agreement” They are also tired of hero worshiping but not courageous enough because of fear which is an ingredient of hero worshiping. NGOs, churches etc, let us join hands and do away with these evil traditions which are detrimental to the development of this nation. We are condemning kulowa kufa and other cultural practices why not with this. GOD BLESS HONORABLE RICHARD MSOWOYA and may he live long.

  2. winston msowoya says:

    The recent atrocious mayhem and brutal slaughters of the African people in South Africa,is a shocking occurrence of our time by a black State.However,this is not the first time such a horrible massacre has happened against African brothers.These victims are improvised in their own countries and are in South Africa to takeup jobs that are ignored by South Africans themselves,these jobs are lowly paid and underling by nature.During South Africa’s liberation struggle against apartheid,thousands upon thousands of South Africans sought refuge in independent States apart from Malawi which was part of South Africa’s BANTUSTAN,SHAME!!! South African refugees were received well in Tanzania,Zambia,Botswana,Uganda,Nigeria,Ghana and lately in Mozambique,they were accommodated in decent homes,were sent to colleges to further their education in these countries,some were offered decent jobs in the government and parastatal organisations,indeed,they were treated decently as blood brothers and sisters.What is happening to day in South Africa,is the manifestation of South African brothers and sisters in dealing with their brothers who were there at needy times.In Malawi today,we are experiencing the rising tide of tribalism orchestrated by political leaders for their own economic and political greed.In essence,the overwhelming majority of Southerners and Central Malawians,do not agree with their confused leadership.When travelling back home on holidays,I visit my relatives and friends in Lilongwe and Blantyre,Iam pleased and proud to say that what I experienced is totally contrally to their leaders’ views on tribalism.The majority of our people in the South and Central Malawi,are genuinely patriots and nationalists beyond doubts,therefore Muthalika and his quisling serviles,have failed to divide our people for their own political and economic gains.Lastly,I would like to admonish our brothers and sisters of South Africa to stop killing their fellow Africans who used to care for them during apartheid era,mind you,this is Africa,today it is you and tomorrow it is me.Ask your neighbours in Zimbabwe when they used to harass Africans from other countries and deported them back from where they came from,today it is their turn.WATCHOUT SOUTH AFRICANS,TOMORROW IS YOUR TURN,THIS IS AFRICA!!!!!!!!

  3. concerned Citizen says:

    Thank you Mr. Speaker sir. You are very right. We Malawians, we worship our leaders for nothing. We don’t need to worship them because they are our servants. This is democracy but what happens leaves a lot to be desired. The ruling party thinks they own the country and everything in it. We need to change if we are going to hold our so called leaders accountable. Well spoken Mr. Speaker, I hope wakumva wamva.

  4. Garvey says:

    I wish you lecture more on this. I think it takes a brave man like u to stand on the ice road without fear of negative zero degrees. look at the eyes of many when they ar wth president. u will see fear coz they are nt brave.

  5. james says:

    where are you the analyst….can’t you say a word?

  6. winston msowoya says:

    Mr.Msowoya,well written.You are right on the point.The respects bestowed on the so called President and his cohorts,are beyond imagination.This is the sort of political trend in Malawi that has become its characteristics among Ministers and high ranking government officials and Party luminaries to attract favours from their bosses and hence,are used as gate or door bouncers.In Malawi,this started in the early years of the MCP formation when Orton Chirwa formed the MCP,became its first President and finally vacated the Chair for the spoiler Hastings Mphonongo Banda.The fact of the matter is that,my personal friend and leader Mr.Knyama Chiume mislead Banda by coming with a song that said ‘EVERYTHING IS FOR KAMUZU BANDA”hence,the start of the autocratic tendencies and used to call Kanyama and Masauko ”HIS BOYS”.Kanyama realised that he had committed a vehement political blunder that Banda could use against him in near future.Indeed,Banda became arrogant and vicious against his most able Ministers Malawi had ever produced,in fact,its first Cabinet was on par with Nkrumah’s Cabinet in the Continent.So time has come for our MPs and the likes,to hold Peter and his henchmen accountable,for our country is on the edge of falling apart,we need selfless people like Mr Msowoya to lead a revolutionary path to take power from few corrupt and misguided hooligans and place it in the hands of our people the nucleous of our revolutionary endeavours,we are blocking the future of our children and the generations to come.Muthalika and his aphonic surrogates are in the government to amass wealth for themselves and have nothing progressively to contribute to the development of our nation. Time has come to forget about the divisive and atrocious tribalism which Muthalika and his tribesmen have embarked upon to sustain their ambitions.President Kaunda once said ”BANDA WAS RULING ZOMBIES”.Fellow Malawians,Muthalika and his surrogates are dangerously bent to divide us ethnically and then rule us as Banda did successfully for 32 years.We need hundreds of the Msowoya’s courage and patriotic zeal.

    1. Tione says:

      Azikhomanso msonkho from the president, ministers down to the MPs & the citizens muona Malawi atukuka. As of now Malawi is not developed because these leaders get hefty salaries & claim hefty allowances from the little that people pay as tax from their migre earnings yet they are so selfish & steal too much from the little contributions that Malawians make. They are never satisfied these fools!

  7. Bingu Patriot says:

    Fellow Malawians let us all now rally behind people that are trying so hard to rid our country of corruption and tribalism. What has happened in south Africa this week – killing and burning migrants should encourage us to rebuild our own country and make it a liveable place for everyone as was before.

    What’s nasty and should be cause of alarm for everyone of us is that south Africans are particularly singling out Malawians as the ones who are getting their jobs. Please let’s all join our hands together and stop this barbarism of public plunder of government money – the root cause of our country’s poverty.

  8. namasina says:

    I honestly did not think there is a person in Malawi who could display such an intelligent and honest opinion about the state of our country.Malawi is a frustrating country to live in.People worship leaders like they are Gods. The leaders themselves should stop this behaviour and start behaving like servants of the people which they are.CONGRATULATIONS Mr speaker.You are one in a million!

  9. Ndi Ine Ndithu says:

    Malawi wabwino tsamuononge

  10. Tikudandaula Ife says:

    Malawi wa lero, Malawi osinthika.
    All arms of Government! The Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature. Know that we Malawians now we have known.
    Time for silly issues and things gone. Malawi Police, Malawi Defence Forces and all Malawians we should be responsible and accountable!

    Mr President, Ministers, Members of Parliament, some Politicians, some Chiefs and some Malawians know that Malawians and events can drive or shape things accordingly like what you have seen or known.

    Avoid Stroke or Death that other people ends lying its Cardiac Arrest

  11. Nick says:

    The president is a person who was chosen to lead the country and represent the country internationally. Like the american president or British prime minister, they are servants of the people, they get paid the money which is on their salary and do not seek allowances of deals to become billionaires, it is a job which one must person and report to the people. Like Joyce banda or muluzi, they current president is just an ordinary citizen of the country who must leas in following the law, just like a football manager isnnit a boss just he is the one who teachers the players and is answerable to the supporters. Kamuzu failed the state, muluzi failed it, bingu failed it but at his best he tried before he failed, Joyce banda failed, peter mutharika has failed. The biggest problem in Malawi is very high population, then corruption, employing wring people without merit, than the daddy of them all is , LACK OF DELIVERY OF INSITUTIONS IN ALL SECTORS, TOTAL FAILURE OF POLICE, EDUCATION, HEALTH,SYSTEM AND ALL SYSTEM, WHO TO A SHIT SCHOOL GET ILL GO TI A SHIT HOSPITAL, BREAK LAW POLICE IS SHIT, GO TO A SHIT COURT, ITS ALL POOR SERCICE MARRED BY CORRUPTION AND INCOMPETENCE,

  12. Kaya Phiri says:

    By the way, some MPs have over stayed; why are they left to contest forever?
    Why cant we limit their terms to 10 years just like the President. Having
    recycled politicians is not helping us. They keep on changing camps corrupting
    presidents with their selfish intentions.

    1. Charlie says:

      Kaya, well said! There is need to limit MPs office terms to two – a total of ten years, no more! There is also need to have an upper age limit for cabinet ministers and the president! They should not be more than 65! A president who is over 65 cannot withstand the pressures of a country and is easily cheated and swayed by hand-clapping and boot/arse licking politicians whose agendas are to enrich themselves only. An old president is unlikely to think properly and to focus! Malawi has just got too many old, obsolete politicians, right from the top and in the cabinet. Change is required now.

  13. Manyazi says:

    May be he is their God.What a shame Mr Mussa. We ordinary people feel the pinch whilst you are benefiting and no wonder you praise your living Go.
    Hon Msowoya is right let’s stop this praising attitude this is multi party era.

  14. naphili says:

    I have always said the Tumbukas are intelligent and not ass likers. Bravo msowoya for speaking the truth.You are indeed an educated man. Keep it up!

    1. james says:

      There is nothing tumbuka here. Mr. Msowoya is just a Malawian who is SANE and very current in his thinking, just like I would expect any sober Malawian would think. STOP this tribalism Nonsense.

  15. Sailota says:

    Tamva ndipo zamveka. Anyone holding an elected position is a servant. Afune asafune.

  16. Beston says:

    Ntchito zamanja anu zikuchitireni umboni ndipo simuzavutika kuteteza atsogoleri azipani zanu chifukwa okutetezani tizakhala ovotafe.

  17. Timve says:

    If we only had a handful like-minded leaders with mindset demonstrated by the Speaker, our country would not be in such political turmoil and economic quagmire. Four presidents, three regimes, and 23 years later, following the advent of multiparty democracy, our nation is far worse than what Kamuzu left behind; of course, Kamuzu had the worst human rights record. Seriously, after all the bask to back cash gate, tractorgate, etc., our leaders have the audacity to undermine The nation with maizegate? Let’s wake up, and demand justice, accountability, transparency, and security from our leadership. Now!!! The tendency of bringing regionalism or tribalism whenever patriotic citizens sincerely challenge the political system is a cancer. We are all Malawians. 53 years after independence, the quality of life for a villager is so pathetic, yet one individual is laundering and hoarding stashes of tax payer’s money in broad day light. CORRUPTION HAS BEEN INSTITUTIONALIZED. This is a sin! It is murderous! It doesn’t matter whether a president is from one’s region, district, village or not. Malawians have been taken for a ride far too long. Enough already!!! The speaker is absolutely right. Ulemu ndi mantha is our worst enemy. Also, umbuli! Our leaders leaders love the honeymoon. Let’s end this gate-ism party now! Quickly!

  18. Malawians says:

    So what is it that Henry Mussa was trying to defend? These are the type of ministers that spoil presidents through worshipping. Kodi is this not the same Mussa who has staffed Embassies with his family members? What else do you expect from such a bootlicker? Chaponda is gone next its you Henry Mussa and you have contributed to the downfall of Chaponda because you also don’t like him so you have been giving out information about his secret dealings but u r next in line to go. Your wife in Nairobi, your prostituting n drankard daughter in Lusaka n the other in Harare. Is Malawi the estate of Henry Mussa? The speaker is right and Msusa u r very wrong. We need to change. No one is above criticism in Malawi.

  19. zuzo dekha says:

    zoona palibe wakulu amamangidwa koma amangosinthidwa ofesi olo udindo . nde tikukozanji? weldone nsowoya.

  20. ryn says:

    bravo Msowoya!!what an intelligent speaker we hav!!!wake up Malawi!!

  21. Foreigner says:

    Well said Mr Speaker but as you know Malawians are still
    Sleeping 50 years on after independence .

  22. Ngalamayi says:

    Mr Speaker, these are very wise words indeed! Too many Malawian leaders consider themselves above the law, when in fact they are the servants of the people, and paid by the people. Until MPs are elected on merit, not tribe or bribe, Malawi cannot develop. In most countries, leaders consider themselves honoured to serve their people, better their country. In Malawi, many leaders see it as a chance to enrich themselves at the expense of their people, their country.

  23. Blessed Banda says:

    Good. Why are we Malawians treated like this by the very same people who come begging us to vote for them and they become so arrogant when elected? We are not a communist state like Russia, China or North Korea where leaders are feared. We are a democratic state like America where Obama was even questioned about his birth place, Trump is being tossed to and from with citizens demonstrating almost each and every day. Check UK too without mentioning South Africa. If leaders want dignity, they must perform, be decisive enough and quickly, honestly and promptly. If you can’t, then resign. Do not take up positions of high offices for the sake of the benefits of the position. DPP,, discharge the duties of the high office of governing the country and you will be respected. Do not beg respect. After all you already begged our votes and we want you to pay back by giving us good services and not indecisiveness, arrogance, lack of medicine, no food in hospitals yet patients are supposed to take medication after eating, worsening blackouts, no salary increment for three fiscal years yet you are keeping millions of cash in your bedrooms, etc. Malawians are very good people. You perform, you will win their hearts. When Malawians become tired of you you will see.

  24. Aubrey Sumbuleta says:

    I like this ruling Mr. Speaker Sir. Indeed it’s high time Malawi as a nation embraced change. Leaders are not supposed to be bosses but rather servants. As such they are supposed to be accountable to us electorates because they are paid pax payers’ money, my money, your money, our money. We vote them in power on trust as such they should not grow wings and become untouchable once they assume office. Time to praise and clamp hands for leaders is gone. In fact I also wonder as to why the President is not summoned to Parliament to answer questions. I’ve watched lately how South African President Jacob Zuma struggles in the august house with The Economic Freedom Fighters party of his once upon a time close ally Julius Malema. Why can’t you put in place laws if the current constitution does not provide for that. We need action not a mere observation. MCP & PP can facilitate that, you can trim the Presidential powers to size. After all, its not all about APM,its about Malawi and all future presidents and our young democracy. Wake up Malawi, let’s not clap hands for mediocrity. I rest my case.

  25. Richard Soko says:

    Treating an elected person as a king is undemocratic..this is why he delays to make decisions on time. DPP you want us to go back to Kamuzu.?

  26. Achimidzimidzi says:

    You are right Honorable Speaker, Sir. Leaders in Malawi should learn to be accountable.

  27. Ostadh Chimesha says:

    You Are Right Mr Msowoya,in Our Country There Are Alot Of Educated Fools

  28. Byron says:

    Any president elected in Malawi slowly becomes big-headed because he or she knows how weak the minds of Malawian politicians are. Instead of worshiping God, Malawian politicians spend more time doing so with a president. When they see or meet the president anywhere or the name of the president is mentioned, they develop fear and chills. Even when it comes to development projects,regardless of being financed by a donor or foreign bank, the name of the president is mentioned and praised. Some fools in the DPP were praising Peter Mutharika and late Bingu for the newly built stadium in Lilongwe and yet it is Malawian tax payers who will repay the loan-matter of fact, the president doesn’t pay tax in Malawi. This habit of having a president not paying taxes is part of a foolish tradition of worshiping presidents. Does anyone think cabinet ministers can offer any policy help or advice to the president whenever there is a cabinet meeting? the answer is NO for reasons best known to the public: Too much respect and fear which equate to president worshiping.

  29. concernd citizen says:

    Bravo Msowoya. Zinayambira pa Kamuzu. Ndiye aMalawi timaganiza kuti ziyenera kumakhala choncho. Even here in Africa , in some countries presidents are asked questions by ordinary citizens in the villages when the president visits there and no body stops them or will harass them after. That is democracy. The people in government are our servants. How then should a servant be feared by his master.

  30. concernd citizen says:

    Bravo msowoya.

  31. Tsalayekha Mzika says:

    Thumbs up Mr. Speaker sir, the leaders come begging for our votes during election campaigns. They promise a lot of things to the citizenry. Why should the be untouchable when we have chosen them? Even those in opposition should hear this, even those in your party Mr. Speaker sir. I hope you are saying this out of conviction not as opposition member. Malawians, let’s wake up. We are not yet liberated. We talk about academic freedom but we are mentally not emancipated. Too bad that even the educated class does nothing practical to help the poor ruled masses to join in a mass movement for change. Selfishness and culture of fear is bringing our country to dark ages.

  32. Congratulations Speaker. Its true its hard time to see that the president is appointed by people and he should respect the people who made him to be. Stop BWANA BWANA.

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