Last Sunday President Peter Mutharika said the current power outages the country is experiencing are because the past regimes did not invest in power generation. The habit of blaming others for your own failures is as old as the human race itself. In the Bible when God confronted Adam when he sinned he (Adam) said it is “this woman you gave me”. The height of ingratitude!
Read the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) manifesto on power generation and supply. It does not blame previous regimes. It simply says the DPP government will improve power generation in the country. So why is Mutharika wasting his time blaming former regimes for his administration’s failures? Why is it so difficult for him to just acknowledge and say they have failed to deliver what they promised?
Of course, failure to deliver on power is one of the many things that are synonymous with the Mutharika’s government. Here is an excerpt of the DPP manifesto Mutharika launched on April 8 2014 in Lilongwe.
- We will sustain the fertilizer subsidy to support our subsistence farmers but abolish and replace the much abused coupon system. Has Mutharika abolished the coupon system?
- In order to enable Malawians to have decent housing and to boost the construction industry, which is key to the economy, we will subsidise cement and iron-sheets and bring down construction costs. We want to empower the poor to build their own houses. Has Mutharika subsidised iron sheets and cement for the poor to build houses?
- We will revive the abandoned Nsanje port, and proceed to reduce prices of imports by 60 percent to make life comfortable for Malawian consumers and businesses. Has Mutharika revived the Nsanje port? Has he reduced the prices of imports?
- We will reduce concentration of power in the Presidency. The President has too much power in this country. The President needs to be accountable to other arms of government. Has Mutharika reduced his powers?
- As part of reduction of the President’s powers, key government officers will be appointed by a Special Public Appointments Committee. These offices will include Governor of the Reserve Bank, Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Auditor General, Director of Public Prosecution, Clerk of Parliament, Director General of MBC, among others. No more shall the following be political puppets of the President. This is one way in which we will reduce powers of the President while depoliticising and professionalising the public service at the same time. Has he done any of these things?
- We will rebuild the existing university and continue to build the five universities we began, including Mombera University and the Marine University in Mangochi. Has Mutharika built any university?
- Our people in the village are grieved and frustrated because life is extremely harsh out there. Life is painful for the vendor on the streets because what he gets cannot afford him a proper meal with his family waiting in the towns of Ndirande and Bangwe, the family waiting in Chikanda and Chinamwali, the family in Mchesi and Kawale, in Zorozoro and ….. Our self-sacrificing civil servants are frustrated because even the little they earn cannot be paid in time to feed their families because someone plundered and stole our money. Are people out there not worse?
- We look forward to exciting times of changing the lives of Malawians from the top of Chitipa to the valleys of Nsanje. We look forward to transforming lives from the child and youth to the retired Malawian who has toiled from this country. We look forward to leading a development oriented government in which politicians will have no right to divide, scare, intimidate, exploit or cheat, or deceive the people who have elected them. And in leading that next government, I submit myself as a servant of the people, I submit myself as a man of the people.
How many of these things has Mutharika done?
That is why writing in But Seriously Folks, (Weekend Nation; July 31 2016) Lameck Salamango had this to say: “If there is any library stocking the 2014 manifesto of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), please put the manifesto in the section of fiction. You can’t believe it when you take time to read it: it’s lie after lie after lie. It’s like you’re reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, only written in a less skilled manner. My God, is this how politicians will be lying to the entire nation just to get power? Is power all there is? No conscience? No shame? Just lies, then seize power, and that’s all that matters to them?”
Mutharika and his DPP should just give people what they promised. Or acknowledge their failure.