By Patseni Mauka
Unless as a country we can take the time to put those aspiring to lead us under the microscope and ensure that they are honest men and women, we will always be in a vicious cycle of poverty and corruption. This is why fake and dishonest public personalities such as Ben Phiri need to be exposed. Fellow Malawians, we are now taking the trouble to do this for the benefit of all Malawians.
By way of background, it is our view that one of the reasons why Malawi still lags behind in terms of development, 54 years after independence and 24 years after attaining multiparty democracy is the tendency to allow dodgy and crooked characters to be at the center of the country’s leadership.
Malawi is known for excellent development policies and strategies which are products of numerous meetings and brainstorming by its excellent public and private officials. However, when it comes to implementation, the policies are headed by selfish, crooked and incompetent politicians who have no clue about anything.
In Malawi, you just have to gather courage, create a fake profile of yourself or have no profile at all and speak confidently to get a high post in a ruling party. Once you impress during rallies or radio interviews, you create scores of hand clappers who are always ready to elevate your image even when they know nothing about you! The rest of the population will follow blindly, no questions asked. It’s the impression and image that you portray that matters. Unfortunately smart, educated and experienced people think politics is dirty and they can only participate by voting during elections. No wonder, the courageous, crooked and incompetent people are still gaining ground and taking turns in sinking Malawi.
Ben Phiri as DPP Field Marshall
One of the dodgiest and most crooked characters that has undeservedly dominated Malawian politics is the man who calls himself Benson Malunga Phiri. The man who calls himself Ben Phiri is 39 years old. At such a young age, he has through devious and corrupt means amassed so much wealth that many non-questioning Malawians believe he is genuinely successful and that anything he says should be taken seriously. This is a tragedy. It is through this political manipulation that Ben Phiri made himself Director of Field Operations in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. This position, mind you, does not exist in the DPP constitution, but virtually NO-ONE- From the party’s president Peter Mutharika, to the Party’s top brass governing council- have the nerve to tell him that his position does not exist. On the contrary, you would easily mistake him for the President or simply owner of the party. He calls the shots. He controls the President and as seen lately, can just wake up and hold a one man press conference on behalf of the entire party!
Most of the things that come from his mouth are lies! Lies are like the air that he breathes. He has managed to create a fake profile of himself that people are slowly starting to believe. His followers already believe him. Say anything contrary to what their master says about himself, you will be attacked by these rabid blind followers. The lies start from his name.
Who really is Ben Phiri?
Ben Phiri’s original name is not really Benson Phiri. The man has constantly changed his name to suit the purposes of conniving and manipulation that he has met along the path of his life. His original name, the one that he was given at birth will not be disclosed at this point in order to protect our source. The fact, however, is that Ben first changed his name to Benson Nkasala. Mr Nkasala was his stepfather. While in secondary school he decided to start calling himself Benson Phiri. He changed his name from Nkasala to Phiri in order to disassociate himself from the poverty of his mother!. Mr. Phiri was his well to do uncle. Why are we going into all this trouble of digging his names? Hold on to your seats for next is the illustration of how crooked this man is and why he should not be anywhere near the leadership of this country.
After failing to get the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) several times, under the name Benson Phiri, he went to the United Kingdom in search of greener pastures. If you listen to his radio and TV interviews, he says he went to study and work. Then he says he came back to Malawi to ‘serve’ the country during the section 65 crisis where the opposition and government of Bingu wa Mutharika were in a deadlock over prioritizing application of the constitutional section or passing the national budget. All these are lies!
Stealing Mortgage Money in the UK to start businesses in Malawi
While in the U.K, he met Rachel Kumwenda and got married. It was while living with this woman that he got a mortgage of 75,000 pounds, got a house in Nottingham with an extra 25,000 pounds cash for rehabilitation of the house. He illegally used the 25,000 pounds cash to buy a house at Fargo in Blantyre as well as a truck. He then run away from the UK, abandoning his wife to suffer with servicing the mortgage. He came back to Malawi, sold the house as well as the truck and bought his first printing machine.
That was the genesis of the printing company, which is now part of Beata Holdings. He did this to deprive his wife of any claim to the investments made from the mortgage balance. He divorced the wife so that she could not claim anything from the new investments. As a result of the mortgage scandal, he changed his name again to Benson Malunga. Malunga is his maternal grandfather’s name. After he joined full time politics, he attached the Phiri surname again, literally bought a doctorate degree from a diploma mill and now calls himself Dr. Benson Malunga Phiri! Yet the truth is that he doesn’t even have an MSCE! This character, folks, is at the center of the ruling party and has the all believing ear of the most powerful man in Malawi, President Peter Mutharika!
Back in Malawi Politics
Crooked people like him are very good at suppressing educated and competent people while promoting people they can easily manipulate . As I write this article, Benson Phiri is leading a camp which wants 80 year old President Peter Mutharika to stand again as a Presidential candidate next year. During the one man press conference that he held this month, he said Vice President Saulos Chilima is not ‘experienced’ enough to become President of the country. Amazingly, Ben Phiri and fellow crooked characters, without any experience, education and achievement whatsoever are the de facto rulers of Malawi! On the other hand, Saulos Chilima is a highly educated and accomplished person of high integrity just at the right age to take Malawi into new heights. Upright people need to know that without their participation in the countries politics, nothing will change for the better. Dodgy characters should not have a chance to lead and further impoverish this country.
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post