APM’s public relations team, advisers sleeping on the job

In case you did not know, it is possible to have an ‘empty’ office with officers who are busy working in there. This is how, we on the streets, can summarise the situation at State House right now.

We would be surprised to hear that President Peter Mutharika still pays his advisers and public relations team. For which work? Because for the past 18 months or so, the President has struggled to wipe out the rotten egg on his face due to poor public relations.

Mutharika and his party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have become so infamous for scandals. The past two months, it has been one scandal after another.

At first, it was the ‘Roboust Health Scandal’.

The ‘mismanagement’ of information about the President’s illness at United Nations General Assembly (Unga) in 2016 resulted in rumours spreading all over the globe that ‘our dear leader was dead’. Then came power blackouts, Maizegate followed before Hurricane Callista struck, to add salt to injury, Chilima left DPP. The party was also fingered in Escom procurement mess and got K145 million as a share of the spoils from the Malawi Police Service ration food deal, just to mention some of the prominent scandals between 2016 and 2018.

Unfortunately, the team that is supposed to manage the President’s image—and that of the party has only worsened the situation with inaction. Observably, this situation if not handled well ahead of 2019 Tripartite Elections, will push away people who would have voted for APM.

What is coming out clear from all this, is that the so-called old boys the former First Lady Callista Mutharika recently called ‘vultures’ are the ones who continue to feed the president lies that he is on the right path and that the country has developed beyond recognition. They are the ones claiming that they are managing the situation, just well.

But the President must hear this. Word on the street is that if APM does not put his brains to work these so-called old boys surrounding him will cost him an election. In fact, word is that it is the actions of the old boys—who have been holding press conferences lately and other greedy souls in the party—that led to the breakaway formation of the United Transformation Movement (UTM) that is giving DPP sleepless nights today.

We on the streets are tempted to believe what the former First Lady also said, that “APM is a good man”, but the people around him are toying with him due to his old age. A week ago, Vice-President Saulos Chilima also hinted on the same in an interview with ZBS that the people around the president are behind the bad relationship between Mutharika and him.

It is understandable that as a Head of State in democratic state, advisers are allowed to feed the President with information, we feel it is high time that Mutharika started ignoring the winter. APM should return to work to save his face from further damage.

The longer it takes to solve the alleged K145 million food rations scandal at Police, which implicates Mutharika as one of the beneficiaries, the more the issue is debated and spread across the country and eventually taking away APM’s votes.

Until now, some of us on the streets still believe the deal was facilitated by boys on the ground. We remember what the former president Joyce Banda once said, “If someone steals and shares with you, do you become a thief”?

Information Minister Nicholas Dausi repeated this narrative last week when he said, as a party they don’t ask where the donation they get come from.

One thing is key, when in power, there are ‘boys’ who play games and we suspect Mutharika is a victim of such games, but that is until he comes out in public and explain his involvement in the deal.

Only Mutharika’s voice on this matter is the solution. If he was hoodwinked, let him explain. That is the only way he can clear his name because if DPP loses the next elections, it will not be the old boys’ name in the public discource, but Mutharika’s.

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