It is typical of any failed government in Africa not to accept blame for its failures. Instead, they blame their predecessors. In some situations, they even go as far back as blaming the colonialists who left the continent more than 50 years ago; and yet they are said to be the cause of current failed leadership. All these are signs of having no excuse, but simply having no ideas about good leadership.
In Malawi, the Peter Mutharika government is facing a lot of problems and is being criticised for failing Malawians. As it were, it is not taking such criticism lying down. Instead, the government has gone all out to blame the Cashgate during the previous government under Joyce Banda. While being so obsessed with wrongs of the previous government, the current administration is even overlooking the worsened Cashgate and corruption taking place under the DPP-led government. Blaming other governments is a waste of time. What President Mutharika should do is to engage genuine advisers to save the situation. This idea of having all manner of window dressing advisers who can hardly say what they are advising the President and government on does not help anyone. What is known is that there is chaos in governance due to lack of genuine advisers.
Meanwhile, a lot of lessons can be learnt from the fall of president Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, after a grip on power for 37 years or since Zimbabwe got its independence in 1980. His dramatic fall might not necessarily be due to lack of advice, but him ignoring advice. It is undeniable that Mugabe started his rule as a successful leader, with full of vision. He was taken as the toughest leader of the continent who always championed the sovereignty of African countries. At international meetings, his presence was felt and well choreographed.
As Mugabe overstayed in power, most people might have been wondering who his advisers were, if any. It must be noted that Mugabe was a feared leader and no one near him could suggest to him to hand over power to someone else. Naturally, this state of affair was a daunting task to Zimbabweans. The danger of his overstaying was that the institutions in the country collapsed and so was the economy, which became a shadow of its original self.
It is common in Africa that leaders choose to overstay because of a misconception that they are the best even if they are running a failed government. Overstaying aside, what is worse is that they start grooming their wives, sons, daughters and other relations to take over from them. This is, probably, what broke the camel’s back in Zimbabwe. The media was awash with stories that Mugabe was grooming his wife Grace to take over. Maybe Zimbabweans could not stomach this, hence the forced resignation of Mugabe. Honestly speaking, the peaceful transition in Zimbabwe is a case study. It was meticulously done by the Zimbabwe army to the extent of sending shivers to those African countries running failed governments.
The Zimbabwe transition has been a wake-up call even to Malawi leaders. Ignoring what people are saying about the failed government will be at their own peril. Malawians are watching and will definitely not tolerate leaders who groom their wives, children etc to take over power.
Lastly, for Malawi to truly recover economically, there is need for government to spend money on genuine advisers. Advisers representing the President at functions such as wedding or funeral, as it happens in Malawi, is not an advisory role. The chaos the country is in will continue if there are no genuine advisers/or their advice is ignored.