Be strategic Mr President; table the bills
Not since the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s fuel shortage crisis has a sitting president been in a more perilous position than President Peter Mutharika. He is facing a crisis of confidence, worsened by power outages that have negatively affected industry and households across the country, and his reluctance to table the Electoral Reforms Bills.
Mutharika’s presidency is staggering, chaotic and, by defying reason, still standing. But when the Episcopal Conference of Malawi decides to tell their flock, and Malawians alike, to wake up from their slumber and act, the political narrative has always changed.
Malawi’s political history is full of examples of how the bishops have always changed the course of our history
We remember the first Pastoral Letter and what it did to bring in plural politics. We remember how the bishops acted and stopped Bakili Muluzi’s third term bid in its tracks.
Most recently, we remember how the late Bingu wa Mutharika had to endure a barrage of criticism when they rallied their membership to say enough is enough.
In Malawi, there are things a Head of State never does, and one of them is defying the Catholic Bishops.
That’s why we are urging the President to be more strategic by tabling the bills now and not after the demonstrations.
We would rather the President avoided another quintessentially Mutharika moment when, amid public anger, he defies the masses backed by the bishops.
Strategic leaders always look for innovative options, while ensuring that their country’s physical and emotional energy are applied only to those things that are very important, tackling the problem and finding simple solutions rather than generating dissension.
In other words, stay cool Mr President, keep a clear eye and be in control. We implore you, Sir, to understand the implications of your anticipated action or inaction on the Electoral Reforms Bills.
A strategic leader must describe the desired end of what he wants to achieve, analyse the potential outcomes that might occur if assumptions prove wrong, and envision what success might look like when all critical components come together.
Equally important is that a strategic leader must anticipate what may happen if he takes no action. What will occur if either inertia and procrastination dominate decision-making or what is the best and worst that can result from such a choice?
That’s why, Mr President, we feel that you need to withdraw your bulldogs in form of minister Grace Chiumia, paramount chiefs and others you have assembled to advance your cause. You need to be strategic and evaluate better options— such as listening to the bishops. It will save you a lot of trouble, Mr President.
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