Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I am informed that White House officials have a way of testing the waters or letting the cat out without putting POTUS (President of the United States) at the centre of the show.

If an issue is sensitive and the US government decides to preempt it to the stakeholders, POTUS will invite his most trusted news correspondents from top media organizations and tell them the story as it is, from his own mouth.

Boom, a scoop is achieved and the next hour will see all major media houses quoting a White House official hinting on US sending drones to Republic of North Malawi for instance.

It has been their tradition and they seem to have mastered it. It is safe in their hands and does not defeat the purpose or execution of their policies.

Now back home, all the planning and "calculation" becomes a clip of animation by characters bent on hoodwinking the populace with lies and manipulation.

After planning and brainstorming, information from State house leaks and newspapers lick the leak.

"APM REJECTS MINISTERS PAY RISE" screams one daily followed by hand-clapping from some quarters.

"What a leader, he has stopped a bad move" they chatter among themselves.

Give me my laughing mask, this is the time to laugh.

First, let me remind you countrymen and women that the 100-day moratorium for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government is fast approaching. Six days from now, President Mutharika will have clocked 100 days in office.

It is at this cutting mark that everybody wakes up and starts analysing what has been and has not been done in relation to campaign promises or recurrent government operations.

Fearing that the new Head of State has not done much on defining the path he and his government want to take to emancipate Malawians from dire poverty, his team is panicking and devising ways to start shifting our minds from the real stuff.

By now we know that civil servants will not have their perks hiked by 50 percent as promised haphazardly during campaign period.

Equally, we are now certain that despite massive registration of names in the Cement and Iron sheets Subsidy Programme, His Excellency has distanced himself from the exercise saying those doing this should be arrested. As far as he is concerned the programme is still under incubation and might only kick off sometime next year.

These, and other economy issues, are what Malawians want to hear from their government.

It is at the back of these promises and the agonizing push towards the 100-day traditional deadline that State House officials are bringing in the concerns by cabinet ministers to have their perks upped by some 583 percent.

I am not moved by this story which strangely has found its way onto the front pages of both credible dailies.

From the body and intuitive language, the new cabinet ministers still feel very privileged to have found a way into a lean structure that was put together as a cost-cutting measure in as far as government expenditure is concerned. 

Without trying to negate their personality, they still worship the new President who they are yet to mind-read on how he reacts to those who try sabotage him.

It would be suicidal for such a team to wake up one day and demand astronomical changes to their perks knowing well that this is not the right time to do so. In short it is too early for a lean cabinet to demand insulting figures like those from a leader who seems cautious of public opinion.

However, I understand that when the moratorium ends on August 31, pressure will start mounting on what the President has done to show seriousness of his leadership.

I know we will be told that His Excellency is a visionary leader who reduced the number of cabinet ministers from 32 to 20. 

We will also be reminded of how his lean cabinet is getting greedy by day to a point of demanding an unrealistic perk increment in the face of economic hardships. 

There then we will be told how the visionary leader has curtailed moves by his "greedy" lean cabinet to derail the much touted cost-cutting measures. 

Believe you me, at this juncture the story will start contradicting.

To be safe, I will perceive your Public Relations stunt with a closed heart and I hope you don't repeat such an act in future.

It either puts the cabinet to the leash of public anger or unearths the uneasiness in the First Citizen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Feminism scholars and commentators have all agreed that men including 'great leaders' have not yet found a remedy for their weakness of failing to stand strong against the power of a woman.

Female power exists; it hangs over every man. Period.

Men that failed to harness Woman Power are numerous to count but even those we manage to count possess phenomenal greatness in many aspects.

Ranging from Bible characters - Samson, David and Solomon; great kings and Presidents - Belgium's King Leopold II, US Presidents Lyndon B Johnson and Bill Clinton; world movers - former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Khan and of course Grey Nkungula. All have had odd episodes with women that led them astray and changed how people perceived them before.

Owing to the above, anything that happens in politics involving a powerful man and any woman is not a trivial matter.

Solomon married many women from other monarchs to expand his kingdom just as former Gabon President Omar Bongo married daughter to Congo President, Daniel Sassou Nguesso as a way of leveraging his influence in the region politically and financially.

Once again, nothing happens for no reason.

As such I will not join the chorus of praising coincidences when my mind can explore other frontiers from which to look at any issue.

My perception is not biased on how leaders fall weak at woman power because one thing I am well aware of is that my President is a happily married man. My worry though is the motive other women might have to bargain for what is not duly theirs personally, socially, politically and even economically.

To be safe, let us stick to political implications of the recent headline material of Jessie. Yes, you know what we are talking about here.

Jessie was in Zimbabwe. The President was there too. Jessie went to see the President. Jessie was offered a lift. End of story. Come on, that's a kindergarten script.

Politically, here was a lift offered by a party and State President to an opposition legislator in his country's August House.

Is that all? May be, may be not.

Jessie is a highly charged and calculative accomplished academic whose moves bring with them a bargain for publicity or more.

Remember the time she made a name by keeping late Bingu on his toes? Do I need to tell you that the woman begged for publicity from her media friends so as to get a platform from which she was going to be relevant to the national ear?

Now about Victoria Falls and a jet lift there might be more to the story.

First we never had a chance to ask deeper what she was doing in Zimbabwe but a few things need probing here. 

A day before she got the lift, Jessie paid a courtesy call at the President in his hotel suite, so I hear.

I am however troubled at how she managed to win this appointment. Let us not fool ourselves that it is easy to see your President regardless of where you both find yourselves. Simply put, an appointment with President Mutharika would still be hard to acquire even on the face of the moon or Mars.

Knowing the people who surround the President now, allowing one of the loudest critics just to meet him simply because they are both in Mugabeland is a thought yet to be born. We all know how these guys are rough towards those who criticize their man.

Fine, Jessie got that appointment. During their discussion, one of them mentioned of the return trip and just like that, their return schedules coincided and they were on the same plane the next day. What a fairytale. 

For goodness sake, Jessie has only been publicly MCP for a less than a year and one would think that she used the party just to get into Parliament.

Is she looking for more than being a mere MP? You cannot rule out Jessie's ambition. Is she trying to bargain for something here?

Two things.

One; Mutharika and Jessie might have planned to hold their talks in Zimbabwe even before they left Malawi. On what issue? MCP should find out.

Secondly, my eyebrows should not be stopped from being raised when another woman besides the First Lady dominates my President's space at anytime.

Is Jessie's closeness to the First Citizen for the past few days borne out of honest motives? 

Only Jessie knows.

Friday, August 15, 2014


The 21st Century citizen, regardless of where he is, has become a very agitated animal in regards to how he is governed. The will of his heart and the power that democracy grants him are two ingredients that make his mind a free zone of thought and a hard tool to manipulate.

For a long time rulers world over have held on to a misconception that "you need to have a majority of the population disenfranchised to lose power".

To the contrary, history informs us otherwise.

For the State to be shaken, it does not take the whole population. It just requires a frustrated yet determined few to swing the pendulum in another direction.

Picture this.

Out of 25 million Malagasies, only 3,000 turned out to the streets of Antananarivo consistently for months to protest against Mark Ravalomanana's government. Despite ignoring the protests as irrelevant, the tide changed up until the military backed the city's mayor and former disk jockey, Andrei Rajoelina and made him President.

Similarly, of the 80 million Egyptians, only a persistent 200,000 who camped at Tahrir Square were enough to bring down Hosni Mubarak's five-decade rule.

Interestingly, even when the struggle is armed, things have taken a similar pattern.  

Fidel Castro had only 82 men to start a revolution while Yahya Jammeh only needed less that 20 of his close friends to plot a coup in Gambia. In leadership, numbers might not always be the holy grail.

Both scenarios of change should always put African leaders on watch for the growth of virtual and real social movements within the normal social order.

When African governments fail to create jobs for thousands of university and college graduates, a collective frustration is born and if not tamed it becomes the very benchmark from which society rises against its rulers. 

Wasn't it a Tunisian university-graduate turned vegetable-seller who set himself on fire and instantly ignited the Arab Spring?

Thus far, my fear for Malawi is that the more government fails to respond to the needs of the enlightened society, the more it sends a wrong signal across the board as this population remains crucial in shaping public opinion.

Better still, even the illiterate have become a conscious bloc on matters that affect their livelihoods. 

As such I advise our rulers against wasting time with politics many months after elections.

Those is government must start delivering now because not many within the general populace are avid activists and adherents of political structures. Millions are simply part of the constituency that forgets about politics once they cast their vote.

For this constituency all it wants is a government that creates a conducive environment for them to excel in education, businesses, health and social life among others.

Simply put; no Malawian went to the polls to see politicians fight for the next five years. People want development period.

Much as politicians always use their own mistakes to manipulate the common man, things might not always work in their favour as before.

Misfortunes like Cashgate should not be looked at as a battle of politicians rather a struggle between the elites and commoners. 

Sadly, we common people celebrate when political mafias shoot one another as they scramble for our hard-earned taxes. We cheer when elites fight in the courts of law in languages way beyond our comprehension. 

I have lived long enough in this world to see the rise and fall of strong regimes both home and abroad. It is my hope that any serving government looks at its population as the very core of its own survival.

If you reject the views and needs of common people, do not be surprised when the streets and squares of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu are used as a last blow to your reign. 

Power at the top is a mystery. Real power rests with the people.
May God Bless Malawi always and keep it a land of good governance.