There was a big reason why Malawians were desperately looking forward to a quick return of President Peter Mutharika from United States of America, where he went to attend and address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
It so happened that during his absence a number of things happened which needed his urgent attention and decision. For example, the alleged bloodsucking stories in the districts of Mulanje, Thyolo and other districts in the Southern Region. There was also the issue of DPP cadets who caused havoc and disrupted the Gonapamuhanya Tumbuka cultural heritage celebrations in Rumphi.
At this fracas a number of people were injured by the stone-throwing DPP cadets.
Surprisingly, after his return, President Mutharika delegated the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emmanuel Fabiano, and State House director of communications, Bright Molande, to hold the press conference on his behalf.
To start with, the two delegated officials seemed to have a view that going to UNGA was an opportunity for Malawi to showcase its success stories and probably share with other UNGA members. If this was the case, then it is laughable.
The only success story worth taking to UNGA would be if Malawi’s economy had turned around (just like Rwanda has done) and people had recovered from abject poverty. By the way, it is obvious that UNGA members do not really care whether Malawi has something to say. It is the poorest country in the world with ever rising levels of corruption, nepotism and tribalism. As if this is not enough, while UNGA was in session, the vampire stories of bloodsuckers were making rounds. As these negative stories scrapped off whatever Mutharika’s government thinks is the success worth sharing.
Meanwhile, most Malawians would have liked the President himself to address the press conference. Naturally, the two officials he delegated had limitations. Their reply to various questions were measured. Some people might argue that it is not the mandate of the President only to address such press conferences. This does not hold water. This time around, it was rather a must for the President because of the issues of bloodsuckers and DPP cadets’ violence, which have shaken the country. The President’s assurance is needed much more than before. If he says nothing on violence, it can easily lead to street fights. As a result, there will be instability in the country. What this means is that the investors the President was said to be wooing in the United States of America might end up being scared away. Who can dare to come and invest where armed youths roam the streets? This is in addition to worsening corruption and stealing. This and many more negatives are crowned by poor economy.
With all the depressing situations expressed above, what success is there from Malawi to share with UNGA members?
In fact, any success which can be salvaged means much more to Malawians right here than anyone else. For example, what Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza has achieved in stopping child marriages in her area is commendable by Malawians. It might not carry any weight to people of other countries, say in Europe etc.
In fact, any little success Malawi achieves fails to make an impact because of the negative stories, some of which are mentioned above.
Lastly, government should stop using imagined success stories as a scapegoat for attending each and every UNGA to share the so called success. This is a waste of the tax payers money.