Whenever a Head of State has been sworn into power, he/she becomes the most powerful citizen in the country.
Among other things, he is expected to have policies that give equal opportunities for progress. Since no one is above the law, the Head of State, too, has to follow the country’s Constitution, which is the highest law of the land.
Former president of South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela, once said a person who changes policy depending on who is with him or her at a particular time, is not fit to be a leader.
Meanwhile, the greatest test of a State President is when he or she has faced problems in the country. To prove his/her worthiness, he/she has to ride the storms of the problems with pride and success. Failing which, he/she is considered a weak leader not fit to lead anybody.
For obvious reasons, Malawi needs a strong leader, one with a practical vision to turn around the abject poverty which has worsened during the past five years under President Peter Mutharika. Unfortunately, the leadership and the government has been very defensive about their performance. Each time, they talk about an improved economy, which, unfortunately, no one else sees.
Malawians are being told just to hang in there for better times to come, yet there are no signs at all. Instead, corruption, stealing and extravagance is being institutionalised.
The leadership seems to challenge taxpayers that their money can be openly abused without any regrets. For example, recently the First Lady went on a private visit to the UK, where it is alleged the entourage spent over K50 million. This was done against the background of severe lack of medicines in public hospitals. Is there any justice that Malawians should be condemned to death for the powers that be to have pleasure? Surprisingly, the President did not come up with any statement on what is said above. He has left people guessing. But what seems to come out clearly is that the President has shown some weaknesses.
A socio/political commentator called Frederic Bastiat once said: “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society over the course of time, they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and moral code that glorifies it.”
What is quoted here is similar to what is happening in Malawi when it comes to plunder of public resources, which are being converted into personal fortune, as poor Malawians watch in total disbelief. The country needs a strong leader to practically stop the plunder.
The problems in Malawi have been compounded by the alleged fraudulent May 21 2019 elections, which have brought back Mutharika. To start with, Mutharika is being blamed for being weak because of failing to stop corruption, which is the root of poverty. His weak leadership has been extended to the current situation of nationwide demonstrations against stolen votes.
It is unfortunate that some private and government properties have been destroyed during the protests. The demonstrations have been so fierce that in one incident, in Lilongwe, police lost their guns to civilians. What is scaring is that, the guns being in the wrong hands will be used for criminal activities.
Meanwhile, it is strange and surprising that after all the instability the country is going through, the President is quiet, and people are just left guessing that, probably, he is overwhelmed with the problems. This is why Malawi needs a strong decisive leader to take care of the people.