Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

This is a bloody mistake


President Peter Mutharika is only human and is bound to make mistakes. He has, since becoming president, made a series of blunders, some of which Malawians have forgiven and forgotten while some are still haunting them.
But it looks like the President is enjoying exhausting the quota of his mistakes. Just this week, the President made another mistake that has attracted criticism from well-meaning Malawians: the appointment of Paramount Chief Lundu as Chairperson of the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS).
We totally agree with those that have expressed reservations on the appointment of Lundu on the premise that the chief does not have the technical know-how to head an institution as critical as MBTS.
We also agree that the appointment of Lundu is not on merit but it is just Mutharika’s way of rewarding political hand clappers. Lundu, for all who care to know, has never hidden his political colours and it would be sheer hypocrisy for anyone to defend this appointment to such a critical institution that deals with matters of life and death.
On a wider view, it is not only the appointment of Lundu that must concern the nation. Appointments to boards of parastatals have, regrettably, become a dangerous way of rewarding political patronage, and this has had a negative effect on the performance of the parastatals.
The country’s parastatals have been known for performing badly and, surprisingly, people tend to wonder why this is the case. It is obvious that parastatals have failed to perform because people entrusted to make policies in boards are mostly politically attached. Some of whom do not even have education let alone professional qualification suitable for the operations of the parastatals.
We would like to strongly remind the President that appointing people to boards of parastatals is an archaic practice that does nothing but slow down the country’s progress.
Mutharika must find another way of rewarding his political allies other than placing them in institutions as critical as MBTS. What Mutharika has just done is a grave mistake and the cost might be more than the nation could bear.

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