President Peter Mutharika is an angry and very troubled man. His speech in Mulanje when he presided over the tree planting season, was a clear sign of a man who is slowly losing hold of himself and this country. As he delivered the tirade which he disguised as a speech, one could hear his voice crack. He banged the podium with all his might as he promised to deal with all those breaking the law—especially those damaging public property.
Mutharika is known for his indifference when faced with crises such as the one that has rocked the country. He has a tendency to wish away problems by being mute.
The tree planting ceremony in Mulanje came barely a day after the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) released a report that narrated how women and girls in Msundwe were raped and assaulted by some Malawi Police Officer in Msundwe in Lilongwe.
Since the incident happened, I hardly remember any day that Mutharika, the HeforShe Champion said a word to condemn and perhaps act on the reports. He has been the usual Mutharika—uninterested and in some cases clueless.
The event also came after calls by organisations such as Public Affairs Committee’s (PAC) for political party leaders to sit and down and talk in order for peace and unity to reign in the country.
I had hoped that the president would seize the opportunity in Mulanje to unite a country that has become so divided and is almost ungovernable. I had hoped that Mutharika would extend an olive branch to the opposition and all those that feel short-changed by the May 21 elections outcomes.
But, for once, I forgot this is Peter Mutharika, a man who probably only loves to hear the sound of his voice and not that of others. As he banged the podium, he did not sound like a man who is ready to be in the same room as those with dissenting views and have a sober discussion.
His tone, the jokes and jibes were not reconciliatory at all.
Each time Mutharika is expected to show leadership and step up, he has failed to live up to the billing.
This country needs someone who can step up to the leadership plate and lead the people out of this mess. This is not the time for a president to be throwing babyish tantrums that only serve to make things worse than correct the mess.
For starters, Mutharika should have at least shown Malawians that he is concerned about what is going on in the country and is ready for dialogue.
The problems rocking the country at the moment will not be solved by either side flexing their political muscles. These problems will only be solved if either side sobers up and dialogue. Malawians can’t continue to live in a state of uncertainty because of incapable leaders who fail to step up to the leadership plate.
Political jibes at each other only help in fanning the frames. This can be avoided if our leaders, especially the president was level headed.