ColumnsHitting The Nail

Hitting the nail: Pac living in dream world


The whole idea Public Affairs Committee (Pac) harboured that it could somehow meet President Peter Mutharika to brief him on resolutions of the all-inclusive conference it organised at Mount Soche Hotel was an exercise in futility.

In fact, Pac leadership is living in a dream world to imagine that the President would meet it now or in future on the resolutions.

This, in my view, borders on failure on the part on the religious body to read the President’s character and his attitude towards criticism whether justified or otherwise.


You see, the President, just like his brother the late Bingu wa Mutharika, does not take to criticism kindly. He would rather be told only the good news.

Pac’s resolutions are a stinging criticism and an indictment of the President’s leadership.

Let us isolate the food shortage crisis, for example.


It is clear even to children that the DPP administration, under the leadership of Peter Mutharika, completely botched the management of the food crisis and Malawians suffered.

It is clear that the Admarc leadership was overwhelmed as a result of under-planning masterminded by their political masters. Admarc did not buy enough maize to stock each and every market throughout the country because it did not have enough money.

But even if Admarc had enough maize in each of its depots throughout the country, it would not have been possible for every Malawian to buy the maize because some are simply poor and unable.

The DPP government completely ignored this group and left the distribution of free maize to organisations such as the World Food Programme.

Reports of sporadic deaths as a result of food shortage started appearing in the media and every time it happened, the propaganda machine at the Ministry of Information at Capital Hill went into full overdrive, churning out press releases that simply punched holes into such stories even though it was their own police on the ground who were supplying information.

The idea was to paper over the cracks and win the public relations battle being played in the media at the expense of people’s suffering.

The President did not visit a single Admarc depot but insulated himself up at the State House while citizens were sleeping at Admarc depots, choosing instead to rely on his ministers and other officials who were clearly cheating him.

They were clearly telling him what he loved to hear and not the truth about the extent of the people’s suffering and he was being misled and given false figures that Admarc has maize when it did not have.

But the officials were capitalising on the President’s love of hearing only the good things and tagging those Malawians who tell him the truth as unpatriotic, a clear fatal flaw in his character and leadership style.

This then cascades down and is on display even when he holds a point of a view on an issue. It never changes even if you send him a delegation to the State House.

A proper Access to Information Bill, the one driven by the civil society and what government lawyers at Capital Hill have concocted at the behest of the DPP, will not be passed during the life of this Parliament and I will be happy to be proven wrong.

The reason is the personal intransigence of the President who has vowed that he won’t have it any other way as far as that proposed law is concerned but his way.

With all this, what makes Pac dream that the President can see them so they can tell him his government has failed Malawians when all he wants to hear are sweet things from his lying ministers?

The audience, if it can happen, will just be a one-way talk through which Mutharika will either lecture Pac or, depending on his mood, lambast the delegates

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