Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Political appointments ruining this country


The acrimonious dismissal of Salim Bagus as board member of Air Cargo Limited, barely days after he ditched the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to join main opposition Malawi Congress Party, proves that meritocracy does not exist in the vocabulary of those in the corridors of power at Capital Hill.

Not that the unceremonious nullification of Bagus’ services is new but what is disturbing is that, regime after regime, those that govern us cannot simply learn to separate petty partisan politics from the serious business of running this country, which is trapped in abject poverty.

Perhaps, it explains why Malawi is languishing in poverty.


A letter dated September 26 signed by Comptroller of Statutory Corporations, Stuart Ligomeka, would like us to believe that the government has simply exercised its prerogative to fire and hire.

The letter further says that because Bagus was not hired on an employment contract, then the government is not obliged to explain the reasons for the premature termination of his services.

But, for once, Ligomeka and his masters should know that they are not communicating to kindergarten kids.


Can Ligomeka explain the basis on which Bagus was appointed to serve in the board?

In the first place, the appointment of Bagus to the board of the parastatal that is strategic to the country’s aviation industry was flawed and was all about appeasement.

And, sadly, there are still many officials serving in boards and even chairing them just because of their political affiliation.

Instead of appointing into such boards technocrats, every ruling party merely allocates such positions to party bigots who do not contribute anything to such parastatals.

At a critical time when these parastatals are sailing in troubled financial waters, desperate for salvation that is expected to come from strategic thinkers, these party zealots, who masquerade as board members, slip their way into board meetings.

All these fake board members wait for are fat allowances. The only time these board members are relevant is when they force the parastatals to release money and cars to ruling party events.

The recent unholy donations by city councils to DPP’s Blue Night event is a typical example of how the appointments for the sake of appeasement have ruined this country.

Such appointments are not only unfair but also undermine the democratic dispensation that this country chose. In a democracy, partisan politics has no room in government affairs.

Unfortunately, every government space in the country stinks of party politics. What only changes is the colour of the ruling party of that time.

We, therefore, agree with Centre for the Development of People’s call for a review of the laws that govern such appointments.

The centre has suggested that such powers should be vested in the legislature. Of course, we do not expect this to happen because we are ruled by selfish people.

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