When talking about corruption in Malawi, experience has shown that it goes hand in hand with power.
Most people alleged to be corrupt, be it in getting government contracts or stealing public funds, have some power which allows them to do the illegal deals freely.
They dubiously have limitless access to lucrative businesses with government or steal taxpayers’ money with no remorse. It is their power which gets most of them scot free.
They can hardly be proved guilty as the wheels of justice in their case are painfully slow. Indeed Malawi economy has crashed under the heavy weight of corrupt leader and other people who have given themselves self importance.
Honestly speaking, corruption in Malawi has made Peter Mutharika to register a failed government. As if having a failed g o v e r n m e n t i s n o t bad enough, ordinary Malawians suffer in silence with unprecedented levels of intimidation by the so-called powerful people who are mostly political leaders.
One thing that they forget as they throw weight around is that they cannot just be leaders without followers.
Just because nothing can happen to them, they freely use derogator y language and intimidation as they take everyone else as a nonentity.
For example, recently Senior Chief Ngolongoliwa of Thyolo was quoted as saying that Vincent Wandale is a nobody. Land grabbing case aside, he was not supposed to call his subject a nobody.
It is a well-known fact that not all people can be chiefs. But this does not necessarily mean that those who are not chiefs are nobodies.
Meanwhile, the private media houses in the country are at loggerheads with President Peter Mutharika for allegedly making false reports about his health when he extended his stay in the USA after the UNGA meetings.
Zodiac Broadcasting Station and Times group have been isolated as the main culprits. For goodness sake, it does not portray a good image for the President to publicly embarrass Malawians.
This reminds people of the dictatorship days, especially in countries such as Uganda under Idi Amin.
If the President was annoyed about the reports, the best way would have been to lodge a complaint through Media Council of Malawi.
In fact, one of the reasons for writing the ‘wrong’ things were information blackout from government.
Some of the ministers who were asked, showed some ignorance about the whereabouts of the President. At the moment, it can be said that the bashing that the private media houses and their journalists received at the Press Rally at the State House where they were being booed by the DPP cadres, was the last straw to break the camel’s back of the private media houses.
Meanwhile, they had no choice but to meet under the umbrella of the Media Council of Malawi and come up with some resolutions which include total blackout on President’s engagements and other government officials.
The President and his government might feel that private media is not important at all since there is MBC which is a public media house.
This is a wrong perception because experience has shown that public media has some political influence of those in power.
Therefore, whatever it says is what the government and the ruling party want to hear. The private media reports as it is.
For Malawi to get out of the bracket of being the poorest in the world President Mutharika and his government have to get the truth which can be found in the Private Media.
Lastly, Malawians should know that leaders who do not use their power correctly become bad leaders and that bad leadership has a direct correlate on to poor development. This is the current situation in Malawi. n