Of MCP’s botched and hoodwinking primary elections; Is isn’t towards death bed?

By Falles Kamanga
The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on going primary elections have been characterized by  maladministration from day one.
The continuation of electoral problems the party is entangled with is serious reflection on the quality and capacity of the oldest party’s mandate to lead Malawians in 2019.
The party has obviously been thrown into disrepute and derailed credibility of the party, National  Executive Committee (NEC) above all  the presidency.
The idea of holding primaries early was the right one the party made for better preparation of the next year’s polls.
But the path looks rosy and hoodwinking and botched as the leadership has the list of individuals in circles it needs to promote or deal with at local and national level.
All party members labeled as “NKHOLOKOLO” or labels are the many culprit of these primaries as their punishment by the party.
This is a continuation from  the party’s convention that dealt completely with rebels
In these primaries there is also  a cartel of sitting MPs led one Richard Chimwendo Banda who the National Director of youth Chilondola, Elias Chakwera and Willard Gwengwe, to do injustice to new aspirants who have clearly beat them in primaries and they are out to blatantly steal from them.
This man, Chimwendo is truly selfish and wicked to win extent that he is single-handedly destroying MCP chances of doing well in the parliamentary polls next year. Many of us in the party have tried to reason with him but he is so pompous and arrogant that he has successfully pushed us on the wayside.
The self proclaimed bulldozer has really bulldozed his way into the elections directorate despite being the youth leader.
The man who was previously our regional elections director, voluntarily stepped down to opt for the bigger position at a national level but would still not want to take leave of his former office.
He is up and down every day fanning violence and putting MCP in bad publicity on a daily basis with his evil handling of the primary elections.
He is the only party official who is assigning himself daily errands to preside over the primaries. But almost everywhere he has gone there has been controversies. He is using this process to deal with his political threats and favouring his friends and sponsors. He can even call off a primary election mid way upon noting that his friends are losing.
Because of his bad attitude and temper, both the regional and national directors of elections are not able to tame his lavish ego. He has made himself incharge of the rigging team together with Hon Ezekiel Ching’oma.
No wonder Chimwendo constituency was the very first to hold primaries without any notice to his challengers. That’s how evil he is. The case is currently in court. The aspirants in his constituency were only told of the elections just a day before the polls. What a coward!
Below is just a sample of his many botched up primaries he has presided over:
1. He presided over the primaries in Dedza north. This is the constituency of the regional chairmen whom he had to protect at all cost. Upon noting that his master was very unpopular to real party delegates who wanted Savel Kafwafwa. He barred them all and instead allowed the RC to bring non party delegates on the queue. This did not please the bona-fide MCP members and went on rampage vandalising his car and house. Chimwendo was behind all this mayhem because of his arrogant stance against a peaceful process.
2. Chimwendo refused to preside over over the botched up primaries in Dowa Ngala simply because Arthur Sunrise is his pal in the Youth Directorate. This is a constituency of the National elections director.He influenced crooky Peter Chalera to do his job. Meanwhile,inside source have revealed that Chakwera will be crowned winner without an opposer after disqualifying Sungitsa who has stood his ground and poised to win the constituency even if it means standing on an independent ticket.
3. Chimwendo cancelled the primaries any the eleventh hour in Lilongwe Msinja North constituency of his rigging peer Chalera after carefully observing that the ground was in favour of an aspirant Edgar Chipalanjira. This he did without convincing reasons but everyone knows he simply wanted to protect his fellow.
4. Chimwendo can even handle two primaries in a single day just to accomplish his evil mission. This other day he went to Dedza to promote his two friends Ishmael Onani and Bon Malunga. In Dedza South he and his team successfully created an intimidating atmosphere for those who were against Onani though he won. But Chimwendo and crew quickly drove to Dedza central east where their mission was implemented. They went their to support Malunga who was losing the election. Actually he finished 3rd. But Chimwendo simply cancelled the election on flimsy grounds calling for a rerun in order to advantage his loser friend. And indeed he has won the re-run yesterday after corrupting the constituency membership and instilling fear in supporters of the aspirants.
5. Chimwendo yesterday went to Mchinji East with one purpose: To support his long time financier Maxwell Chimkokomo. And indeed after seeing that his buddy was a distant fourth, Chimwendo swiftly called off the primary. This was just yesterday. On first position was Kayo.
This is just a small sample of how Chimwendo is destroying the whole process. Just this session, he has already been to about 10 constituencies when other NEC haven’t presided over even one ward.
Just to  add more, the Chiphiko/Nancy elections which were clearly won by popular Nancy Tembo. But the Presiding Officer, Abraham Liwinde  twisted numbers for Chiphiko because he had earlier been corrupted by Chiphiko with huge some of money .

The corruption took place at the Woodlands Hotel in City Centre. Rhino Chiphiko was accompanied by Mr Chipuwa to the corruption venue.
The bribe was shared with Richard Chimwendo, Abraham and other guys.
The guys had a party sort of at the said venue till wee hours celebrating THIEVING OF VOTES.
Another instance worth noting is where,  Boniface Kadzamila is going alone to preside over other primaries including in  Hon Chinkhondo’s Area. No NEC member nor observer accompanies him. Is this democracy the MCP way?
INTERESTINGLY, in all this, the President is so quite and a dead stone, not even commenting all intervening despite his full knowledge of the happenings. He is known to fear his sitting MPs.
The truth within the party is that the MCP sitting MPs are stronger than the docile Chakwera.
Chakwera fails to condemn any unruly behaviour and always hopes problems will just vanish away on their own. In public he speaks as someone who is in charge yet he is not.
This is the party that wants to paint themselves as angels of hope when they are crooks, thieves to the bone.
e,
In light of the above we calling for the immediate resignation of the entire Elections Directorate and their function reverted to the Presidency.

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Z Allan Ntata’s Uncommon Sense: A PROFILE OF PETER MUTHARIKA AS PRESIDENT (PART 2)

Peter Mutharika
Malawi President Dr. Peter Mutharika

Was it the fact of Peter Mutharika being a blood brother to late Bingu wa Mutharika that banished our initial thoughts of the limits of his leadership background?

Ben Phiri
Ben Phiri

Early in Peter’s political career, Mutharika was happy to criticize his brother’s intractability and give an impression that he was more prepared to listen to opinions of others other than have headstrong convictions about his own ideas as his brother was. This boded well with the DPP insiders and they saw him as a mellowed down, more sensitive edition of the autocratic Bingu. Later, when trying to convince people that his presidential candidacy was what the party needed, he placed high hopes on his meetings with almost anyone who wanted to meet him, regardless of the fact that Ben Phiri, his gatekeeper at the time, had other ideas as to whom should be allowed to meet the “important man”.

I realize now how people were led on by these hints; I was led on myself by the hope that Peter might make a more listening, less autocratic leader, and that his academic background would make him more open to debate, suggestion and advice.  As a matter of fact, never did I feel it more strongly than after my first meeting with Peter Mutharika, then aspiring candidate for a parliamentary seat in Thyolo, sometime 2009, when he was meeting strategists and listening to views on the then upcoming election.

From around 6 P.M. until around 10 P.M. on a chilly night, we sat at his operational office in the accountant general’s building in Blantyre and discussed the forthcoming campaign.  There were criticisms of how things were being done, and criticisms of his brother’s approach to the handling of various issues. “The president must control, from his first moment in the new term, the influence of the Mulakho wa Alomwe so that it does not become a political influence but remains essentially a cultural issue,” Said Peter. “He must avoid the ancient practice of having only one strongman control all his moves. He should be more accommodating of diverse opinions and have and have a policy think tank just like the way it is done in the states. And he must constantly search for ways to make the people in government feel that he was looking over their shoulders day after day, encouraging, inspecting, reproving, an ever-present focus for loyalty and healthy fear.”

This is the kind of thinking we need in our leaders, I remember telling myself in my exhilaration that night. Government and the executive is not the place for Mulakho officials and political party strongmen to be prancing about giving orders and thinking they are the ones running the country. Perhaps this is the kind of thinking that will finally put an end to days of Inspector generals and MRA commissioners general fearing for their jobs because they have crossed Party regional chairmen and secretary generals.

I told my friends then that Peter seemed to have the potential to leave the government forever changed by his presence: Perhaps not by implementing an expansive economic development agenda, but by helping restructure and reform the country’s corrupt governance framework. Peter radiated confidence, or the illusion of confidence, to a nation ready and eager to be reassured. Peter Mutharika—so I thought—might be able to point out a new political direction to a nation all too ready to be led. Yes. The way Peter came across that night, I was convinced he would stay one step ahead of staff jealousies, information blockages and the monopolization of our politics.

Perhaps this list is a testament to nothing more than my own naivete; but here and there among the items the reader may recognize a signal that he also picked up from listening to Mutharika speak, especially after the death of Bingu and when he took over the DPP leadership and embarked on a campaign to wrestle the presidency from Joyce Banda.  Those memories may be refreshed by looking back to Mutharika’s speech at the funeral of Bingu, where he demonstrated not only his poise under pressure and grief but also his ability to make contact, to communicate, to lead with determination.

But by the time the anniversary of his first 100 days in office came around, most of the original hopes had well withered and died. Those of us that were close to the innerworkings of the system discovered very quickly that Peter Mutharika’s leadership by and large consisted of delegating all his responsibilities to Ben Phiri, his then presidential assistant, and that Phiri was using this newfound power to his benefit, to oppress his perceived enemies, real and imaginary, and to enrich himself and his cronies. The leader we all thought was his own man had somehow become a figurehead and a puppet.

The first jarring note was struck after two months in office, when the appointment of Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet was made at the instigation of Phiri and the president’s task was simply to sign it off.   Many other such appointments to important government positions followed.  The control that we all had hoped for with baited breath never came. The Molakho wa Alomwe grew more and more powerful and influential, and appointments made on tribal and political party affiliation basis remained the order of business just as it had been all the years before him. There was no change of any kind except for the worse.

The signs that Mutharika was not alert to bureaucratic perils caused by the over-influential assistant were everywhere. If there is any constant in the literature of presidential performance, it is that the President must husband his time and be in control. In a word, lead. If he is distracted from the big choices by the torrent of the conflicting interests of assistants and advisors, the big choices will not be made—or will be resolved by their own internal logic, not by the wishes of those who have been elected to lead. Mutharika seemed to have come into office without any clarity as to how to be in charge. This may be because in his previous world as a professor and an academic, he was never the leader and the decision maker with the final say except perhaps when giving grades to his students. Otherwise, there were always other people in the university administration above him making the big decisions. Thus, on reflection, Mutharika was never in practice the detail-man capable of running his own warehouse, nor the perfectionist accustomed to thinking that to do a job right you must do it yourself.

It often seemed to me that “history,” for Mutharika and those closest to him, consisted only of the Joyce Banda presidency; if they could avoid the errors, as commonly understood, of Joyce Banda, then they would score well. No devaluation of the Kwacha, no obvious Cashgate Scandal, no giving chickens and cows to families in exchange for votes.

But just like Joyce Banda, Mutharika fell prey to having his major decisions made by someone else, and allowing someone else pick the people that surrounded him and who soon became his confidants and sounding boards.

The result of this kind of leadership should be clear to anyone. If you surround yourself with dull paranoid people bent on enriching themselves rather than serving the country, you soon begin to think exactly like them.

(To be continued…)

Allan Ntata
Z Allan Ntata

Allan Ntata’s Column can be read every Sunday on the Maravi Post

 

The post Z Allan Ntata’s Uncommon Sense: A PROFILE OF PETER MUTHARIKA AS PRESIDENT (PART 2) appeared first on The Maravi Post.

Corruption denying President Mutharika the legacy he desperately needs

 Peter Mutharika
Malawi President Peter Mutharika

By Patseni Mauka

On Thursday, 13th September, Malawi President Peter Mutharika officially opened the Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College. The college is one of the community technical colleges being built in the country as one of the electoral promises of Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). One of the few things that Peter Mutharika passionately talked about in the run up to the 2014 general elections was the construction of technical colleges. Even now, DPP apologists are calling the technical colleges ‘the DPP flagship project’.

According to reports, Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College has been constructed to the tune of 446 million Kwacha. Knowing the rampant corruption in the construction industry, the actual figure should be much lower with some millions of Kwachas lost in the process. When I saw the 446 million Kwacha figure, I immediately remembered a similar figure being mentioned recently.

Earlier this year, the country learnt with shock that DPP and Mutharika benefited from a Malawi Police Service fraudulent procurement deal. The party pocketed K145 million in a procurement scandal masterminded by some senior police officers that defrauded the taxpayers of K466 million in a ration racket of over K2 billion through a fraudulent contract the police entered into with businessman Zameer Karim trading under a company called Pioneer Investments. The Police paid him an extra K466 million on the contract without following procedures. Out of this money, Karim paid K145 million to DPP through an account which President Peter Mutharika is a sole signatory.

Most of the times, when figures like 466 million Kwacha are mentioned in corruption scandals, it is not easy for some people to visualize what such money could have done if it was used properly for the development of the country. The 446 million figure mentioned as being the amount used to construct Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College helps to visualize the magnitude of loss of resources due to corruption. In short, the amount of money lost in the Police scandal could have built another community technical college!

There is one name which is the common denominator in the construction of Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College and the money lost in the Police Scandal. That’s the name of President Peter Mutharika. The same person that is being applauded as being the one who made it possible to build the 446 million Kwacha technical college is the same person mentioned in the loss of 466 million Kwacha in the Police scandal.

The significance of this can not be overemphasized. By being involved in the misappropriation of taxpayers money, Mutharika is denying the country the same things that he ‘passionately’ wants the country to have. He is also denying himself the legacy that he desperately needs.

At the official opening of Aida Chilembwe Technical College, Mutharika said by December this year, all districts in Malawi will have technical colleges. This would have been good news had it been that the colleges opened so far were built to high quality standards, with good equipment and constant flow of funds for managing them.

The stories so far are disappointing. Earlier this year the nation newspaper reported that inadequate funding had slowed down the push to provide quality training in the community technical colleges. The newspaper reported that Ngara Community Technical College in Karonga, where Mutharika officially launched the skills development initiative in March 2015, is one of the affected colleges.

It further reported that during a tour, Ngara Community College Principal Green Nyirongo said inadequate funding force instructors to contribute money for the running of the institution, especially settling utility bills. Can you believe that? The billions of Kwachas being lost to corruption could have gone a long way to make the community colleges successful. It’s unfortunate that the same leader who want’s to develop the country is presiding over unprecedented corruption in the country.

The community colleges are a good initiative which, if implemented correctly, would indeed help in improving skills for the youth. However, with current implementation strategy, the students will come out half-baked or worse still without any improvement whatsoever.

It seems, the DPP government is just interested in numbers. “We have built community colleges in every district as promised and many students have already graduated, here are the photos, DPP woyee!” Poorly equipped colleges, lack of highly trained instructors and perekani perekani type of funding means that the students graduating from these colleges can only manage kuperekera matope during brick making. This project, as being implemented now, is a failure.

In the remaining eight months of his Presidency, Muthakira and DPP should  stop concentrating on benefiting from proceeds of fraudulent deals and get back to the work of fulfilling the many promises they made in 2014. The billions lost so far have denied Malawi the necessary development that would enable it move away from the status of being one of the poorest countries in the world.

Opinions expressed in this article are not those of the editor nor the maravipost

 

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Corruption denying President Mutharika the legacy he desperately needs

 Peter Mutharika
Malawi President Peter Mutharika

By Patseni Mauka

On Thursday, 13th September, Malawi President Peter Mutharika officially opened the Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College. The college is one of the community technical colleges being built in the country as one of the electoral promises of Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). One of the few things that Peter Mutharika passionately talked about in the run up to the 2014 general elections was the construction of technical colleges. Even now, DPP apologists are calling the technical colleges ‘the DPP flagship project’.

According to reports, Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College has been constructed to the tune of 446 million Kwacha. Knowing the rampant corruption in the construction industry, the actual figure should be much lower with some millions of Kwachas lost in the process. When I saw the 446 million Kwacha figure, I immediately remembered a similar figure being mentioned recently.

Earlier this year, the country learnt with shock that DPP and Mutharika benefited from a Malawi Police Service fraudulent procurement deal. The party pocketed K145 million in a procurement scandal masterminded by some senior police officers that defrauded the taxpayers of K466 million in a ration racket of over K2 billion through a fraudulent contract the police entered into with businessman Zameer Karim trading under a company called Pioneer Investments. The Police paid him an extra K466 million on the contract without following procedures. Out of this money, Karim paid K145 million to DPP through an account which President Peter Mutharika is a sole signatory.

Most of the times, when figures like 466 million Kwacha are mentioned in corruption scandals, it is not easy for some people to visualize what such money could have done if it was used properly for the development of the country. The 446 million figure mentioned as being the amount used to construct Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College helps to visualize the magnitude of loss of resources due to corruption. In short, the amount of money lost in the Police scandal could have built another community technical college!

There is one name which is the common denominator in the construction of Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College and the money lost in the Police Scandal. That’s the name of President Peter Mutharika. The same person that is being applauded as being the one who made it possible to build the 446 million Kwacha technical college is the same person mentioned in the loss of 466 million Kwacha in the Police scandal.

The significance of this can not be overemphasized. By being involved in the misappropriation of taxpayers money, Mutharika is denying the country the same things that he ‘passionately’ wants the country to have. He is also denying himself the legacy that he desperately needs.

At the official opening of Aida Chilembwe Technical College, Mutharika said by December this year, all districts in Malawi will have technical colleges. This would have been good news had it been that the colleges opened so far were built to high quality standards, with good equipment and constant flow of funds for managing them.

The stories so far are disappointing. Earlier this year the nation newspaper reported that inadequate funding had slowed down the push to provide quality training in the community technical colleges. The newspaper reported that Ngara Community Technical College in Karonga, where Mutharika officially launched the skills development initiative in March 2015, is one of the affected colleges.

It further reported that during a tour, Ngara Community College Principal Green Nyirongo said inadequate funding force instructors to contribute money for the running of the institution, especially settling utility bills. Can you believe that? The billions of Kwachas being lost to corruption could have gone a long way to make the community colleges successful. It’s unfortunate that the same leader who want’s to develop the country is presiding over unprecedented corruption in the country.

The community colleges are a good initiative which, if implemented correctly, would indeed help in improving skills for the youth. However, with current implementation strategy, the students will come out half-baked or worse still without any improvement whatsoever.

It seems, the DPP government is just interested in numbers. “We have built community colleges in every district as promised and many students have already graduated, here are the photos, DPP woyee!” Poorly equipped colleges, lack of highly trained instructors and perekani perekani type of funding means that the students graduating from these colleges can only manage kuperekera matope during brick making. This project, as being implemented now, is a failure.

In the remaining eight months of his Presidency, Muthakira and DPP should  stop concentrating on benefiting from proceeds of fraudulent deals and get back to the work of fulfilling the many promises they made in 2014. The billions lost so far have denied Malawi the necessary development that would enable it move away from the status of being one of the poorest countries in the world.

Opinions expressed in this article are not those of the editor nor the maravipost

 

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My Take On It: Overzealous supporters should refrain from mistakes in election campaigns

Chilima and his wife

I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, Isaiah 45:5

Malawi’s Vice President the Rt. Honorable Saulos Klaus Chilima has pulled a mighty, grand stunt, out-performing all the country’s former Vice Presidents. Having launched the UTM in all the regions of the country, he is galloping around from north to south to east to west, literally leaving no district untouched by that Chilima fever-pitch frenzy in the race 2019, a lot of zealousness is afoot on all sides in Malawi’s political arena.

Chilima’s style reminds me of Kamuzu Banda tactic in 1958-1963. From the time he arrived in Malawi on July 6, 1958, Banda went all over Malawi (then known as Nyasaland), and literally introduced himself to the Nyasa people. This was a good thing. Chilima’s close to daily nation-trotting, is also a good thing; in 2014, the brand that trotted the nation was APM; now that SKC has his own ticket, he needs to orient the voters to the new kid on the block.

Likewise, Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and his new Veep, are sweeping the countryside with their repackaged duet, aka Chakwera-Mia. This too is a good thing.

On their part, the Malawi crowd is packing the political arenas, many professing they want something new. Malawians are as tired as their forefathers before them were tired and so ushered in a tumultuous yes vote in the 1993 Referendum that killed the one-party state.

As usual the party zealots, in a bid to outdo each other as they jockey to be party leader favorites, are greatly outdoing themselves; some of them taking their politicking to ridiculous limits.

On the government side, maybe because he is a minister, Nicholas Dausi many wonder who he is talking to; he never fails to amaze his audience with his book-version rhetoric. Someone should shout out: “Hey Nick! Stop spewing the Socratic lingua, most Malawians don’t understand your diction!”

Also, on the government side, the spate of violence that is meted to members of the opposition during campaign period, is deplorable; and it must stop immediately. The Police has been repeatedly called upon to address the issue of violence especially against women tat are either running for positions in the elections or are human rights defenders.

The DPP-led government must also not sit quietly but officials are called to act on the reports of violence.

But hey, thanks to social media, a lot of information passes through the internet like the speed of light and there is information overload on what is happening in Malawi in relation to the 2019 elections. I pay attention. This brings me to some party zealots in the UTM camp that reminded me of a similar zealousness during Kamuzu’s reign. One day, at an MCP political rally at Nansawa MYP base, a high-raking party official stood and declared: “Ngwazi, in the West people there have a Messiah called Jesus, but here in Malawi, you are our Messiah.”

Many people, I included, raised concealed eyebrows: we could not believe the statement by this politician. We were highly relieved when President Banda, addressed the crowd, he dealt with the issue before speaking on the function at hand; he pointed out that he is not the Messiah and that it was against the Christian belief to say that he was. But zealots are zealots; variations of the same, although weaker, continued to be made in the aftermath of the MYP base incident.

Last week, among the social media forwards coming on my phone was a group of party zealots, in blissful abandon dancing away to the tune of a popular Christian song with the changed words that of priest and God. The song is usually sung at funerals; it is a message to the priest that the dead person has moved from his hands and is now in God’s hands.

The video clip shows UTM members dancing to this tune and has changed the word and address APM (called Agogo) and that they are now in Chilima’s hands. The song is funny, it is fun, and humorous; but it is also irreverent and sacrilegious. In simple terms, the words f the song is against the Christian faith and elevates a man to the level of God.

“Why don’t these party people take some of mbumba music that were sang for Kamuzu?” one critic asked.

Janet Karim
Janet Karim The Maravi Post senior Editor

This is a very good point. there are many songs that were sang during Kamuzu’s leadership and some even during Bingu’s rule; let the party zealots use these songs. However, more than just taking old mbumba music and singing them at political rallies, it is important for UTM leaders to speak on this development.

The post My Take On It: Overzealous supporters should refrain from mistakes in election campaigns appeared first on The Maravi Post.

My Take On It: Overzealous supporters should refrain from mistakes in election campaigns

Chilima and his wife

I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, Isaiah 45:5

Malawi’s Vice President the Rt. Honorable Saulos Klaus Chilima has pulled a mighty, grand stunt, out-performing all the country’s former Vice Presidents. Having launched the UTM in all the regions of the country, he is galloping around from north to south to east to west, literally leaving no district untouched by that Chilima fever-pitch frenzy in the race 2019, a lot of zealousness is afoot on all sides in Malawi’s political arena.

Chilima’s style reminds me of Kamuzu Banda tactic in 1958-1963. From the time he arrived in Malawi on July 6, 1958, Banda went all over Malawi (then known as Nyasaland), and literally introduced himself to the Nyasa people. This was a good thing. Chilima’s close to daily nation-trotting, is also a good thing; in 2014, the brand that trotted the nation was APM; now that SKC has his own ticket, he needs to orient the voters to the new kid on the block.

Likewise, Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and his new Veep, are sweeping the countryside with their repackaged duet, aka Chakwera-Mia. This too is a good thing.

On their part, the Malawi crowd is packing the political arenas, many professing they want something new. Malawians are as tired as their forefathers before them were tired and so ushered in a tumultuous yes vote in the 1993 Referendum that killed the one-party state.

As usual the party zealots, in a bid to outdo each other as they jockey to be party leader favorites, are greatly outdoing themselves; some of them taking their politicking to ridiculous limits.

On the government side, maybe because he is a minister, Nicholas Dausi many wonder who he is talking to; he never fails to amaze his audience with his book-version rhetoric. Someone should shout out: “Hey Nick! Stop spewing the Socratic lingua, most Malawians don’t understand your diction!”

Also, on the government side, the spate of violence that is meted to members of the opposition during campaign period, is deplorable; and it must stop immediately. The Police has been repeatedly called upon to address the issue of violence especially against women tat are either running for positions in the elections or are human rights defenders.

The DPP-led government must also not sit quietly but officials are called to act on the reports of violence.

But hey, thanks to social media, a lot of information passes through the internet like the speed of light and there is information overload on what is happening in Malawi in relation to the 2019 elections. I pay attention. This brings me to some party zealots in the UTM camp that reminded me of a similar zealousness during Kamuzu’s reign. One day, at an MCP political rally at Nansawa MYP base, a high-raking party official stood and declared: “Ngwazi, in the West people there have a Messiah called Jesus, but here in Malawi, you are our Messiah.”

Many people, I included, raised concealed eyebrows: we could not believe the statement by this politician. We were highly relieved when President Banda, addressed the crowd, he dealt with the issue before speaking on the function at hand; he pointed out that he is not the Messiah and that it was against the Christian belief to say that he was. But zealots are zealots; variations of the same, although weaker, continued to be made in the aftermath of the MYP base incident.

Last week, among the social media forwards coming on my phone was a group of party zealots, in blissful abandon dancing away to the tune of a popular Christian song with the changed words that of priest and God. The song is usually sung at funerals; it is a message to the priest that the dead person has moved from his hands and is now in God’s hands.

The video clip shows UTM members dancing to this tune and has changed the word and address APM (called Agogo) and that they are now in Chilima’s hands. The song is funny, it is fun, and humorous; but it is also irreverent and sacrilegious. In simple terms, the words f the song is against the Christian faith and elevates a man to the level of God.

“Why don’t these party people take some of mbumba music that were sang for Kamuzu?” one critic asked.

Janet Karim
Janet Karim The Maravi Post senior Editor

This is a very good point. there are many songs that were sang during Kamuzu’s leadership and some even during Bingu’s rule; let the party zealots use these songs. However, more than just taking old mbumba music and singing them at political rallies, it is important for UTM leaders to speak on this development.

The post My Take On It: Overzealous supporters should refrain from mistakes in election campaigns appeared first on The Maravi Post.

My Take On It: Overzealous supporters should refrain from mistakes in election campaigns

By Janet Karim, The Maravi Post Senior Editor

I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, Isaiah 45:5

 

Malawi’s Vice President the Rt. Honorable Saulos Klaus Chilima has pulled a mighty, grand stunt, out-performing all the country’s former Vice Presidents. Having launched the UTM in all the regions of the country, he is galloping around from north to south to east to west, literally leaving no district untouched by that Chilima fever-pitch frenzy in the race 2019, a lot of zealousness is afoot on all sides in Malawi’s political arena.

Chilima’s style reminds me of Kamuzu Banda tactic in 1958-1963. From the time he arrived in Malawi on July 6, 1958, Banda went all over Malawi (then known as Nyasaland), and literally introduced himself to the Nyasa people. This was a good thing. Chilima’s close to daily nation-trotting, is also a good thing; in 2014, the brand that trotted the nation was APM; now that SKC has his own ticket, he needs to orient the voters to the new kid on the block.

Likewise, Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and his new Veep, are sweeping the countryside with their repackaged duet, aka Chakwera-Mia. This too is a good thing.

On their part, the Malawi crowd is packing the political arenas, many professing they want something new. Malawians are as tired as their forefathers before them were tired and so ushered in a tumultuous yes vote in the 1993 Referendum that killed the one-party state.

As usual the party zealots, in a bid to outdo each other as they jockey to be party leader favorites, are greatly outdoing themselves; some of them taking their politicking to ridiculous limits.

On the government side, maybe because he is a minister, Nicholas Dausi many wonder who he is talking to; he never fails to amaze his audience with his book-version rhetoric. Someone should shout out: “Hey Nick! Stop spewing the Socratic lingua, most Malawians don’t understand your diction!”

Also, on the government side, the spate of violence that is meted to members of the opposition during campaign period, is deplorable; and it must stop immediately. The Police has been repeatedly called upon to address the issue of violence especially against women tat are either running for positions in the elections or are human rights defenders.

The DPP-led government must also not sit quietly but officials are called to act on the reports of violence.

But hey, thanks to social media, a lot of information passes through the internet like the speed of light and there is information overload on what is happening in Malawi in relation to the 2019 elections. I pay attention. This brings me to some party zealots in the UTM camp that reminded me of a similar zealousness during Kamuzu’s reign. One day, at an MCP political rally at Nansawa MYP base, a high-raking party official stood and declared: “Ngwazi, in the West people there have a Messiah called Jesus, but here in Malawi, you are our Messiah.”

Many people, I included, raised concealed eyebrows: we could not believe the statement by this politician. We were highly relieved when President Banda, addressed the crowd, he dealt with the issue before speaking on the function at hand; he pointed out that he is not the Messiah and that it was against the Christian belief to say that he was. But zealots are zealots; variations of the same, although weaker, continued to be made in the aftermath of the MYP base incident.

Last week, among the social media forwards coming on my phone was a group of party zealots, in blissful abandon dancing away to the tune of a popular Christian song with the changed words that of priest and God. The song is usually sung at funerals; it is a message to the priest that the dead person has moved from his hands and is now in God’s hands.

The video clip shows UTM members dancing to this tune and has changed the word and address APM (called Agogo) and that they are now in Chilima’s hands. The song is funny, it is fun, and humorous; but it is also irreverent and sacrilegious. In simple terms, the words f the song is against the Christian faith and elevates a man to the level of God.

“Why don’t these party people take some of mbumba music that were sang for Kamuzu?” one critic asked.

This is a very good point. there are many songs that were sang during Kamuzu’s leadership and some even during Bingu’s rule; let the party zealots use these songs. However, more than just taking old mbumba music and singing them at political rallies, it is important for UTM leaders to speak on this development.

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Z Allan Ntata’s Uncommon Sense: IS THE DPP’S ROMANCE WITH CHINA BENEFITTING MALAWI?

Malawi President Peter Mutharika and Wife Gertrude with Chinese Business People ON picturesque trip to China Pic by MANA

Pictures of President Peter Mutharika living it large in China, rubbing shoulders with senior Chinese government officials and generally carrying the Malawian torch at the China Africa Summit are meant to impress us that Mutharika is doing well as a leader.

He is not.

These are in fact propaganda pictures. Their sole purpose is to glorify Malawi’s bilateral relations with Beijing and make us all feel happy that more Chinese aid dollars will be making their way to Malawi to help our desperately poor country.

Fiction.

After over 10 years of Chinese Aid, the question must be asked. Is this DPP romance with China Benefitting this country? How are the poor and the vulnerable of this country benefiting from the Influx of Chinese influence?  Is Chinese aid not just enriching a few individuals and helping them cling to the very power they use to oppress the masses?

A growing number of developing countries receive billions of dollars a year in assistance, loans, and investments from China. At the 2018 China Africa Summit, Beijing has committed $100 billion to African nations. In his speech there Mutharika could not run out of adorative expressions to praise Chinese benevolence. He almost waxed lyrical.

Mutharika China Visit
President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika Wednesday met the Executive Management of NORICO, an investment group involved in Agriculture, Mining and Infrastructure development.
#China #FOCAC #Development

As Beijing’s levels of foreign assistance swell and its relationship deepens with countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, a key question emerges: What impact are investments by an opaque and repressive superpower having on governance standards in the developing world?

Findings from a Freedom House analysis, “Countries at the Crossroads,” point to the challenges that many of these recipient countries confront as they struggle to build more transparent and accountable systems. Fighting corruption and safeguarding freedom of expression and assembly are proving especially difficult. The dark side of Beijing’s engagement, with its non-transparent aid and implicit conditions, is tipping the balance in the wrong direction.

To appreciate the “China effect” on developing countries, it is essential to understand the methods Beijing is using to exert influence and warp incentives for accountable governance.

First, as international financial institutions and donor organizations seek to encourage stronger governance norms, aid from China has become an alternate source of funds. Recipient governments use these as a bargaining chip to defer measures that strengthen transparency and rule of law, especially those that could challenge elite power.

It seems to me that because buoyed by the prospects of Chinese Aid, rather than combating corruption and implementing sorely needed reforms to our governance framework and our public service delivery systems, President Mutharika will be under no pressure at all to effect reform and the government will continue to shrink the space for alterative voices and independent institutions. In turn, western donors, fearful of losing influence, have been increasingly hesitant to penalize the regime for its failures.

If you don’t believe it, just look at Guinea. In October 2010, the Guinean government announced a $7 billion deal with the China International Fund just as the international community was considering sanctions following a massacre of opposition supporters. The case underscores how even investments by a private entity, this one with ties to Beijing, can be manipulated to undermine efforts to support human rights standards.

Bottom of Form

Additionally, while “no strings attached” is commonly used to describe China’s approach in the developing world, the reality is not quite so benign. A combination of subtle and not-so-subtle conditions typically accompanies this largesse. Included among these is pressure to muzzle voices critical of the Chinese government, often undermining basic freedoms of expression and assembly in these countries.  In March 2009, the South African government barred the Dalai Lama’s attendance at a pre-World Cup peace conference at the instigation of China.

And if you have not noticed, Chinese aid funds are frequently conditioned on being used to purchase goods from firms selected by Chinese officials without an open bidding process. In Namibia, anti-corruption agencies had to investigate suspected kickbacks in a deal involving security scanners purchased by the government from a company until headed by then President Hu Jintao’s son. Beijing’s response was to stonewall the investigations and activate its robust Internet censorship apparatus, sanitizing online references to the case Chinese citizens might stumble across.

Observers such as the scholar Larry Diamond have identified countries that are semi-democratic, rather than autocracies, as the most promising ground for expanding the ranks of consolidated democracies globally. The patently negative aspects of the Chinese Communist Party’s developing world influence could deal a real blow to this aspiration. Findings from Freedom House’s global analysis of political rights and civil liberties put this phenomenon in perspective. Over the past five years countries with only some features of institutionalized democratic systems have slipped significantly — 57 countries within the “partly free” category have experienced declines, while only 38 improved.

Beijing’s deepening involvement in these cases may generate a number of effects, some perhaps positive for short-term economic development. But the dark underbelly of the Chinese regime’s involvement — the opacity of its aid and the illiberal conditions that underpin it — means that over the long haul, incentives for strengthening accountable governance and basic human rights are being warped, or even reversed.

And to bring the issue back home to Malawi and underscore it all, it must be observed that of all the structures that are the showcase of Chinese Aid in Malawi, perhaps only the roads can be said to be having a visible positive effect on the lives of the majority of Malawians. The open chequebook approach used by China has meant that the DPP administration has prioritised structures that bring political narrative rather than those that the country desperately needs. I am talking here about the fact that Chinese Aid in Malawi has built a 5-star hotel, Presidential villas, a university, a parliament building and a stadium. I find it difficult to see how the common Malawian’s life has been improved through these projects.

Imagine if Chinese Aid had been used to build rail networks, new electricity generation dams and better water treatment facilities across the country!

This being an election year, I wish to appeal to you my fellow Malawians to pay close attention to the DPP and what is tells us it will use Chinese Aid for. We are already as a country sliding down all the economic and good governance indicator lists. The least we can do is encourage further sliding by cheering when our leaders tell us they will build more stadiums (a football stadium in every district is the goal, I hear), and urban shopping malls and casinos and such elitist establishments. What these country needs is stable, 24-hour electricity, good water services, hospitals that actually have medicines and equipment in them, operational rail transport systems and growth and development in the districts and the rural sector in general. This country needs jobs (yes, 1 million job a year, if possible) and business opportunities for the youths that are presently being used and abused in political tussles.

If China is a real friend of Malawi, perhaps it is time it started helping our leaders formulate their priorities properly, because so far, the DPP’s romance with China has not really benefitted Malawi in any effective way. In the final analysis, we must remember that Chinese Aid is not free money. It is a debt for which current and future generations will have to. Its use must  not be for mere political gain, but with prudence and in areas that benefit the whole of Malawi, especially the poor and most vulnerable among us.

 

Allan Ntata
Z Allan Ntata

Allan Ntata’s Column can be read every Sunday on the Maravi Post

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Of Chilima’s promises and pathological lies

By Nenenji Mlangeni
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi’s constitution provides for a presidential system whereby the president is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system.
 The President chooses his running mate who becomes the Vice President of the country after the election.
The President is chosen through universal direct suffrage every five years. But the President has the option of appointing a second vice president, who must be from a different party.
Since attainment of Malawi’s democracy, the office of the vice president has been not effective because the Vice President does not understand his deputising role.
The Vice President thinks he is an automatic successor of the President’s position.
Yet, Malawi is a democracy and intra-party democracy demands that there is no automatic succession to any position.
It would be an act dictatorship for a sitting president to handpick his next successor.
Besides, the Vice President had to be scrutinized and pass the litmus test if he is a capable leader who is trusted both by his party and Malawians at large. Chilima is not trusted yet.
However, the office of the Vice President remains powerful per constitution requirement that need the one occupying the seat be a person of integrity and statesmanship of helping the serving head of state not always spoon-feeding.
 Basically, Chilima is abusing his office. In a country where citizens care about defending their constitution, Chilima could be charged with abuse of office.
Chilima is using his position to exploit government resources (which he is not working for) to fight the same government that put him in the position. That is why he wants more powers.
Does what the current Vice President Saulos Chilima political rhetoric making sense that his United Transformation Movement (UTM) will facilitate the amendment of the Republican Constitution to give the office of the vice president more authority and certainty and not be dependent of the Head of State.
“I do not want my deputy to go through what I have gone through and others before me have gone through,” said Chilima at a political rally on Sunday at Ntcheu Secondary School ground which is near his Nsipe home village.
Chilima who punctuated the speech with his trademark proverbs, said there was need to empower and respect the office of the vice president.
He said currently the office has been rendered useless and is ceremonial since the duties are delegated by the President.
No wonder, a legal expert Justin Dzonzi has faulted Chilima for suggesting that UTM will facilitate the amendment of the Constitution to give the office of the vice president more authority and certainty.
Justin Dzonzi observed that doing so would be creating another parallel government within the government.
Dzonzi further said that world over, the office of the vice president falls under the office of the president, saying this is because the vice president is just a care taker in the event that the office of the president falls vacant.
“It would be wrong to give the office the permanent mandate; the vice president elsewhere gets instructions from the president. The framers of the Constitution knew what they were doing,” queried legal expert Dzonzi.
On security details for the office of Malawi’s president, Chilima using the same Ntcheu rally promised the nation to cut the presidential convoy on the first day of his job if elected President in May 21 2019 Tripartte Elections and stop the culture of lining up the police along the roads, saying this was slavery.
He said the tendency of lining up the law enforcers from Blantyre to Lilongwe just because one person (the president) wants to use the road was dehumanizing and glorification of a mortal as an immortal.
But the same Chilima is currently using heavy security to his political rallies.
Even when Malawi Government tried to trim his security details he rushed to the court claiming the same services.
Just years ago, when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Malawi, there was no walk out in the city centre of the capital Lilongwe.
This signifies the important how security is important to citizen number one of the country as any comprised head of state security, the nation is at stake.
If indeed what Chilima is saying on security details remains practical, let him show it to the nation now otherwise is another pathological hypocrisy that needs to be watched out.
The UTM leader must be grateful to the leadership of this country that he still enjoys all entitlement despite not currently working as the Vice president of this country.
Being the second in command, Chilima must have initiated these reforms while he was serving the nation not now after when he did not get favours from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s leadership ahead of 2019 general elections.
Since Chilima came to limelight, he has been giving promises such as creation of 1 Million jobs which analysts said that cannot happen in Malawi.
Political and social commentators have warned United Transformation Movement President Saulos Klaus Chilima against giving Malawians more promises.
Social Commentator Humphreys Mvula says giving promises is one thing and implementation is another thing.
“The ideas Chilima telling the nation look too good to be good, but it looks he (Chilima) is just over ambitious.
“As a country lets avoid the culture of electioneering because we can give promises which we cannot fulfil as leaders,” said Mvula.
President Peter Mutharika gave Chilima a chance by taking him under his roof but later betrayed the president.
If indeed everything in the current leadership is corrupted, then why could he wait so long to come out to the public?
Surprisingly, Chilima is still getting money from the same corrupt leadership, this is hypocrisy at its best which the nation must watch a head of 2019 general elections.
The UTM leader once betrayed his wife, now the President Mutharika, next will be the nation at large which needs to be checked sarcastically before mischief is advancing.
There is un decisiveness and double faced in  Chilima. This can be attested by what he once said earlier of his term.
“The number of principal secretaries will be reduced from the current 96 to 40 as part of public service reforms. I will upgrade DCs to be at level of PSs,”Chilima once said in December 2014.
The UTM leader once betrayed the President Mutharika, next will be the nation at large which needs to be checked out sarcastically before his mischief is advancing a ahead o 2019 elections.

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Of Chilima’s proposed MK40 billion loan disbursement; Is it practical or political naive?

By Anthony Mukumbwa
On Sunday, Malawi Vice President who is also United Transformation Movement (UTM) leader Saulosi Chilima told the nation in Ntcheu that he plans to creation 200,000 jobs by giving out MK200,000 capital to each of the targeted Women, Youth or Disabled to create the intensely debated one million jobs in a year and sometimes they say in the first year.
When an organisation plans to give out loans or grants to 200,000 Women, Youth or the Disabled etc it has  to follow some of the folllowing procedures assuming it uses an existing organisations:
(1) 545 Loan/Grant Application Forms have to be completed on a daily basis for 365days
(2) 545 Application Forms have to be received  by the Organisation on a daily basis for 365days. i.e 68 Forms received every hour Monday to Sunday. We assume 8hours working day.
(3) 545 Application Forms have to be reviewed  by the Organisation”s Loans Officers on a daily basis for 365days. i.e 68 Forms reviewed  every hour Monday to Sunday.
(4) 545 Site visits have to be made by Loans Officers on a daily basis Monday to Sunday to authenticate the Applications before writting Loan Justification Reports for the Loans Committee.
(5) 545 Loans Disbursement Justification Reports  have to be written by the Loans Officers on a daily basis Monday to Sunday before presenting to Loans Committee.
(6) 545 Application Forms have to be presented the Loans Committee  by the Organisation”s Loans Officers on a daily basis for 365days. i.e 68 Forms presented and fully discussed every hour Monday to Sunday.
(7) If all loans have been approved (Woow-100% loan approval rate) the 545 payment Vouchers and then cheques or bank transfers have to be done on a daily basis for 365days. i.e 68 per hour Monday to Sunday.
(8) After disbursement of funds, 545 businesses have to be monitored on a daily basis for 365days. i.e 68 businesses monitored every hour Monday to Sunday.
(9) etc
However I have some honest questions to the nation considering facts above:
(A) How many organisations will be needed to effectively implement this dream?
(B) How Many Loans Officers will be needed to effectively implement this dream?
(C) How shall 545 applications be transported from all over the country and approved in one day?
(D) How many applications can each Loan Officer handle on a daily basis considering that he/she has to travel to meet the Applicants?
(E) How many applications can each Loans Committee effectively discuss on a daily basis?
Discuss with justifications. Is this practical or political naive just steal show a head of 2019 general elections?
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of the Maravi Post 

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