United Nations
2017 Expert meeting on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

Dear President Arthur Peter Mutharika, as you come to New York to join your esteemed colleagues at the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA72), please spare some time to meet with your people — especially the women.

As your visit to these distant shores looms, we have aspired and made desperate attempts to meet with you to ask you our deepest tucked away questions. BUT as usual with matters to do with a person of your high caliber, you are barracked behind layers of protocol.

I have three items I am dying to discuss with you, if only I could break the Jericho walls built around you and the First Lady.

1. PLEASE ADOPT ME

Arthur & Gertrude Mutharika
Malawi President Arthur Peter Mutharika and spouse Gertrude Hendrina Mutharika – Getty Images

In my desperation, I am inclined to ask that you and the First Lady adopt me as your relation. Any relation such as daughter, niece, cousin, in-law.

If I am related to Your Excellency, then I can behave like the other people who claim to be your relations and are employed in various offices. I can re-gain confidence not based on my useless academic or professional expertise, but simply on the fact that I am related to you – Achikulile.

As Your Excellency’s relation, I can freeze to ice any high-ranking official with just my one arched eyebrow; I could reduce by half a tall over-important thick-suit with my slight glance.

But this is not what is needed.

All I want to when Your Excellences come to New York is to break through the Jericho-thick protocol walls, so I can have a chat with my President and my First Lady.

2. REDUCED DELEGATION: GOOD
Congratulations for the reduced delegation, which through the years has blushed; 19 delegates is a good number.

Gone too is the list of Party officials. Historically, party officials were guests from Kamuzu Banda. He began to take his Mbumba with him on his foreign trips, and later added male party officials. It is believed these boosted the grassroots support for the party.

The practice continued right through to your Presidency. It worked well in buttressing grassroots support from Banda through to Muluzi, Bingu, JB and your administration.

Your break with this tradition is both noted and commended. You can buttress the support in other ways.

3. USE OF FORMER DIPLOMATS

The United States of America is possibly the leading country with the largest number of foreign embassies, maybe in every country in the world.

It does not surprise anyone that the US has a record number of former ambassadors and diplomats. And it is not unusual to see a myriad presence of former ambassadors in the UN corridors during UNGA Summit week and GA committee session (September to December). These former US ambassadors and diplomats reinforced the US participation in the committee sessions as ambassadors are dispatched into meeting rooms at the UN.

Could Malawi adopt (that operative word again) a leaf from this US practice in its approach to the Malawi Mission at the UN? Tremendous diplomatic mileage can be gained should Malawi consider using its retired/recalled former diplomats, especially at the ambassador levels.

Your Excellency could also boost your foreign travels by incorporating this growing, but sadly un-reused human resource.

Long live genuine democracy!

 

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