By Chalo Mvula
President Peter Mutharika has travelled to Spain to attend the United Nations Climate Change summit. Not sure which side of the argument you sit on, but , its either you believe climate change is real or like USA president Donald Trump, you believe Climate change is a myth. It is recommendable that Malawi is involved in these discussions as the threat of climate change is evident to all with alot of natural disasters currently hitting the world.
What me , like most Malawians are worried about though is that; just like many of Mutharika’s foreign trips, this climate change summit will bring nothing to malawi apart from a good press conference when he lands back home telling the nation the high profile leaders he shared the podium with. Usual rhetoric from the Malawi leader that Malawians have got used to , except that this time , it will do him no favour but contribute to the anger and frustration the country has on him and the growing belief that Mutharika is beyond redemption but a certified leader who is not capable of delivering any meaningful change.
Throughout his political career, Mutharika is known for his failures to showcase any real leadership skills. Others would argue that it is his style and he prefers to adopt the laissez fare style whereby he is better off just sitting down with the hope that things will sort themselves out. That is fine for those who want to buy that mediocrity , but for Malawians who are angry with what is going on right now , a lazy leader is the last thing we want.
It is well documented of Mutharika failures as the then Minister of Education. He miserably failed to sort out the stand off between University students and the then Bingu government. He has no bone for meaningful negotiations and his presence only escalated the situation. The argument stands that he chose to sit down and watch hoping that with the passage of time all will be well.
Let me pick out a few issues for when he was President . Let us take the albino killing issue for instance. Mutharika has failed to be at the forefront of this fight to end the killing of albinos. Instead he chose to attack the opposition claiming they are politicizing the issue. Probably he thought he had succeeded as Malawians shifted their attention to the election and the ongoing election case. However, just this week , a police officer Chikondi Chileka who conducted investigations into abductions and killing of has named Mutharika and his advisor Hertherwick Ntaba of being part of the albino Killing syndicate. As is the case with the president , he has chosen not to address the issue and people with albinism continue to live in fear .
Then came the wave of demos after the outcome of the election case . Malawi has seen the demise of the rule of law never seen before since the country gained independence. The police have been left toothless and people take matters in their own hands now . The issue of Muslims and Christians fighting in Mangochi over whether Muslim kids can wear Jihabs to school has not been addressed . Police officers raping the innocent women in Msundwe and yet the president has not risen up to be counted as a leader.
Over 5 months now that Malawians have been calling for the resignation of Jane Ansah as head of Electoral Commission, Mutharika has never risen up to set tangible solution to this . He is acting like he doesnt care and never wishes to address issues that Malawians are asking him to show leadership on.Not sure what his motive was, but , one would applaud the former President Bakili Muluzi for showing Mutharika what a President ought to do . He attempted to bring leaders of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition together for a discusss to help find the solution. Mutharika never followed up on this and he has given the civil rights leaders and malawians a cold shoulder over Jane ansah issue.
It is one thing to be a calm leader as DPP cadets claim he is , but it is no secret that Mutharika is clueless and is highly challenged in his leadership skills. Yes he is in Spain discussing climate change , but looking at his record , nothing will change and the only change that will happen is their bank balances when they receive the allowances for travelling to Spain