By Patseni Mauka
Yesterday, Malawians were greeted with news of a cabinet reshuffle. This reshuffle, like many others needs deep scrutiny. A close look at the reshuffle will help to know Mutharika’s way of thinking. Obviously, he didn’t just wake up, write names of people, do a raffle draw and reveal the latest members of his cabinet. He had to think. I am interested in the thinking of this 80 year old, very tired Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate.
Around the world many people try so hard to know what world leaders think. Since presidents are usually very powerful, it’s important to know how they think, what advice they accept and what they discuss with other government leaders. There are many professionals specialized in deducing how leaders in different parts of the world think.
Among other changes, Mutharika has renamed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security to Ministry of Homeland Security. Who is to head this tremendously important Ministry? Nicholas Dausi who was trained by the notorious Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) which were the paramilitary wing of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The Young Pioneers were a major instrument for former President Dr Banda’s one party state dictatorship and domestic terrorism.
Young Pioneers had guns, conducted espionage and intelligence operations, and were Banda’s most trusted bodyguards. Kamuzu trusted his life with people like Dausi. Dausi served Kamuzu with utmost loyalty and obviously played a part in those dark days. He knows and practices absolute loyalty, good or bad. He served MCP during the dark days and left it after serving up to the position of Vice President. Apart from his experience in clandestine activities, his other popular qualification is speaking bombastic English, existing or not, applicable in context or not, understood by him or not, just bombs of English language.
Dausi will be deputized by the foul mouthed DPP Regional Governor for the South, Charles Mchacha. Mchacha, who last time I heard about his education was when he was sitting for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), has no meaningful academic credentials. He was writing his MSCE while serving as Deputy Minister of Finance. Strange things happen in my country’s politics
A few weeks ago, at a rally in Mulanje, Mchacha called opposition UTM women mahule (whores or prostitutes). UTM’s sin being giving DPP sleepless nights as a serious contender to take government next year. Mchacha repeated the same at Comesa Trade Fair Ground in Blantyre, in the presence of President Peter Mutharika, foreign dignitaries and many other Malawians. He again called all women in UTM mahule (whore or prostitutes). He stated that being a whore is one of the criteria for joining UTM. What did the President do? He and the first lady laughed! He obviously enjoyed it.
Mchacha’s main qualification is a loud mouth. He can’t be employed anywhere else and has mastered the art of speaking obscenities to keep his employment with DPP. He will never stop this because, credit to him, he has intelligently noted that his boss, President Peter Mutharika enjoys obscene language. That’s one of the reasons he has rewarded him with a ministerial post. Mutharika is unlucky to have been educated and hold the post of president. He wishes he could curse just like Mchacha but that would destroy the image of what he pretends to be. So when people like Mchacha curse on his behalf, he privately applauds them and of course rewards them!
It looks to me that among other objectives, the reshuffle is a government structural change with eyes on the 2019 general elections. The two characters now at the helm of security in Malawi are hard core bootlickers. They are never ashamed of doing anything to defend their source of income, government and party positions. They have no manners. They can do anything to ensure ruling DPP remains in power. The cursing by Mchacha is a desperate attempt to silence opposition which is giving DPP a tough time.
We have also seen Dausi many times engaging the media in futile and many times embarrassing attempts to defend DPP and Peter Mutharika. When Mutharika got a lot of pressure from Malawians to pay back a dubious 145 million Kwacha he received from an unscrupulous businessman, he sent Dausi to announce the payback. Dausi looked Malawians in the eye and smilingly announced the return of the money. He has no shame whatsoever.
Dausi and Mchacha’s qualifications in the eyes of APM are loyalty at any cost. This is why he has brought this terrible team to head the most important ministry as we head for elections. There is some dirty work that Mutharika wants these shameless gangsters to do in the security system. He has not appointed them to improve security in Malawi. There are many capable Malawians who can handle security competently. There is no good reason to appoint mediocre characters to head security just when we need proper security as we go towards a potentially volatile election.
Their appointment shows the mediocrity hidden in Mutharikas mind. He likes these mediocre and crooked characters because, given his miserable performance as President for the last four and half years, he can’t win under a free and fair election. He has to use crooked means to win elections. This reshuffle is just one of the many things Mutharika will do to win elections. His crookedness should be a warning to all stakeholders to monitor every angle of the electoral process.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post