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.

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