Why are you not a liar, Mr President?
Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera addressed a press conference in Lilongwe where he tagged President Peter Mutharika as a pathological liar.
Chakwera called the President a liar for constantly lying to Malawians about the ‘impending’ end to electricity blackouts, when he fully knows that his government is messing the very contracts and tenders that can bring the much needed respite for struggling Malawian families.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament has since called for an inquiry into the role that State House aides have played in messing up a generators contract worth over K54 billion that could have eased electricity challenges.
Attending a Muslim function last Saturday also in Lilongwe, the President responded by trying to plant some doubts in us, Malawians, about the sincerity and integrity of Chakwera and his educational qualifications.
Specifically, the President claimed Chakwera has no integrity because he calls himself professor with a PhD, when it is an honourary one from some seminary in the US.
The President also said something very strange and queer to the effect that Chakwera committed some heinous crime by calling him a liar and could be arrested for it.
But in the wisdom of the President, he has seen through Chakwera’s intention to be arrested and become a political martyr.
To avoid it, the President said, he will not swallow the bait to lock up Chakwera.
The President then, from nowhere, recommended that perhaps Chakwera deserves a visit to a psychiatric facility (he suggested Bwaila) for his faculties to be examined, I suppose for calling Mutharika a liar.
As I said, I find this, coming from the President, very strange.
In his other life, the President was a professor of law for many years and the minimum I expected from him is to quote the actual law that says you cannot call the President a liar in this new multiparty dispensation, even when the reality is that he is in fact grinding out lies between his teeth every other day.
Lawyers enjoy voluminously quoting laws that apply to relevant situations they are discussing, but surprisingly, the President did not on Saturday.
In case the President was referring to the archaic law that his brother used to arrest the late Gwanda Chakuamba, it is just that—archaic and out of tune with modern Malawi.
In fact, instead of boasting and seeking respect using such outdated laws, the President should be leading the effort to get rid of such things from the books, if at all, he is a progressive democrat he claims to be.
The Constitution of the new Malawi allows Malawians to call their leaders liars if they are lying. The leaders are not gods to be worshipped when they are doing wrong things and making our lives miserable.
The President cannot force anybody to respect him using old archaic laws that are clearly out of tune with the Constitution and are, therefore, illegal. Respect is earned.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament raised issues and produced evidence that the President’s own aides have caused the darkness that Malawi is engulfed in through their interference in the procurement of generators at Escom, simply because they were rooting for some companies for reasons best known to themselves.
Chakwera called the President a liar because he continues to tell Malawians that generators are on the way and that, by December, there will be no blackouts in this country when, on the ground, his aides have made all that impossible.
The only way for the President to dispute this is to produce his set of facts to Malawians that tell them otherwise.
If the generators are on their way, where exactly are they? Are they on sea? Are they on road? Where are they coming from?
What about the role that the President’s aides played in this saga? What is he going to do about it? Is he going to institute a probe? Will he suspend them or he thinks they are not in the wrong?
Answers to these are what are going to make Malawians change their mind on whether their President is a liar or not.
It is not by calling Chakwera names and issuing him with threats.
By the way, since the President seems not to have a liking for Malawians with honourary doctorates, will he extend the dislike to individuals that surround him, including First Lady Gertrude Mutharika who has added the prefix Dr to her name because of the honourary doctorate that University of Malawi, through The Polytechnic, dubiously awarded her?
The President must know this: Malawians deserve an honest President who tells them the truth, whether it is bitter or otherwise. Malawians also deserve a president who deals with matters affecting their welfare in the most expeditious manner.
This is not the case with Mutharika’s leadership.
Complaining about blackouts this summer and every summer time has become an annual undertaking for Malawians and every time Escom, supported by the President, gives the nation false hopes about it but nothing materialises.
If this is not lying, tell me what is.
Malawians can only stop joining Chakwera in calling the President a pathological liar if he begins telling the truth and sorts out the electricity problem once and for all.
He should sort out the way parastatals and State companies are run. The President should stop his cronies from messing parastatals by fraudulently demanding contracts they do not deserve.
He should stop his DPP from bullying State companies into attending Blue Nights and, in the process, wasting money that could have been invested in processes to improve service delivery and serve Malawians better.
The President should discipline the aides that messed up the acquisition of generators that has resulted in blackouts.
Only then will he exonerate himself that he is not a liar.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues