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Monthly Archives: November 2016

To the Chief Secretary of Government,

Sir,

In his recent address to the nation, His Excellency, president Peter Mutharika directed us, Malawian citizens, to write your office and express our pain as well as ideas on how you could possibly run our government. So, here goes.

I would like to first thank president Mutharika for this invitation. I am cringing as I write this because no citizen ever has to thank his president for simply saying what should ordinarily come standard with the job of his nature. But these are no ordinary times and our standards – for the office of the president and the nation at large – have never sunk any lower.

Sir, to find president Mutharika’s address and subsequent call for ideas refreshing, one need has to go through a painful thought process in which only your sense of patriotism is enough to make you believe, hope and look ahead. Anything less than this is nothing short of provocation from a government that, with respect, is out of its depth. All of this was evident in Mutharika’s demeanour as he addressed the nation, desperately trying to sound calm and project the image of a man in charge. Read More

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HE STARTED as a joke and now he is here, as the president-elect of the United States of America, one of the world’s most powerful countries. As the election campaign unfolded, laughter begot intrigue, which then begot despair. And now most of the world is living in suspense, waiting to see what a Donald Trump presidency will look like.

Largely seen as an inexperienced, weak and deplorable candidate, Trump was never supposed to stand a chance against the much-endorsed, experienced and preferred Hillary Clinton. So, what happened?  Read More

media-blackout

THE STANCE recently taken by media owners and managers to give president Mutharika’s government a black out if threats on media freedom and freedom of expression continue is worth supporting. This is a move that should be supported by all progressive journalists as well as citizens who believe in the role of the media in a democracy.

Meeting at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre, these media owners and managers recognised the “highly belligerent attitude that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has taken against the independent media to silence it from telling Malawians the truth.”

As leader of the DPP, Mutharika has not been shy to lead the charge against media freedom in Malawi. Without doubt, his careless and frivolous comments will embolden his supporters, most of whom are given to sycophancy and zealotry. The import of these threats and subsequent action might be too ghastly to contemplate, given what we have seen in the past. Read More

Continued from last week

The epic failure by president Mutharika’s government to release information about his whereabouts while in the US point to the poverty of mind with which successive governments in Malawi have been run. It seems we have remained stuck in the 1964 time-warp, where the government is supposed to be a feared institution, with citizens playing a subservient role in it.

This is very unfortunate and Malawians have to take the blame for allowing this to happen to them. Ordinarily, governments are supposed to be at the service of the people, not the other way around. We do not exist for purposes of stroking the ego of the government. On the contrary, any serious government ought to ensure that it meets the expectations of its citizens by being accountable to them. Doing this is not a favour, it is the ultimate duty of a government towards its citizens. Read More