Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s mother-in-law Margaret Kamoto has been hired as High Commissioner to Zambia. This has caused public rage.
As the country is yet to come to terms with Kamoto’s envoy status, accusing the UTM Party czar of fixing a job for the wife’s mother, President Lazarus Chakwera, who challenged Democratic Progressive Party’s nepotism has appointed his daughter, Violet Mwasinga, to serve as Third Secretary at Malawi’s Embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
Tempers are high in the country because of these two acts of nepotism.
The country’s national mood, which already has been sombre since Tonse failed to parade what they have achieved in the last year, or what they intend to do in the next four years, has been further dampened by Mwasinga’s rise to diplomatic status—whose background is largely a reservations sales agent in the airlines industry.
There will be no day Mwasinga or Kamoto in this lifetime will sleep with an empty belly owing to poverty, save for fasting. They are sorted for life. To be a President or Veep in Malawi is to be set for life and to be connected to the two by blood is magical.
There is no absolute wisdom in sacrificing 2025 over mundane diplomatic appointments, as though if Mwasinga and Kamoto appointments were not made, heaven will fall. This is gluttony at the expense of the poor.
To even suggest that Kamoto was already a diplomat before this regime came into power is an act of perpetuating mob anger, likened to giving petrol to an arsonist. Look, wrongly so, many Tonse Alliance professionals feel left in the cold and are daily reminded of merit by the new administration. It is debatable whether they are right or wrong, but they feel abandoned and to start appointing family members into positions just weakens Chakwera and Chilima’s appeal for “be calm and wait”. There is no waiting if your blood relations can’t wait together with citizens.
Malawi cannot have two contradicting breaths. In one breath, preach merit, and tell the starving youth to wait and be patient, and in another, act in a hurry to put family relations on a gravy train. This has the hallmarks of DPP, a party Malawians dismissed.
Captains go down with the ship, Chakwera and Chilima must remember.
Making a mistake is not the end of the world. It is human and a learning curve. But Chakwera and Chilima have made mistakes in favouring their relations, ignored public anger, looked away and said to themselves ‘Let them hang—my daughter is going to Brussels, and Chilima responds, ‘So is in my mother-in-law’.
This is what is wrong, failure to reverse the wrongs, and this is what is eating into the goodwill of Tonse. It is called arrogance.
To be considered a dictatorship, a country is known to be run by one or a set of leaders who have no regard for any checks and balances on power. Yes, Chakwera and Chilima have power to appoint, but citizens have the right to question, and on introspection, bad decisions have to be reversed.
Chakwera and Chilima hold the ultimate responsibility for both their ship and everyone embarked on it. Leaders in an emergency will either save those on board or die trying. This is not happening and examples are a litany now. Ridding of the scandalous Macra board as an instance that loitered in Dubai for K46 million of taxpayers’ money has become a State House syntax challenge. Playing poetry with an angry public will only lead to one thing—being sent packing.
Malawians don’t care about anything, or Cabinet—those were not on the ballot. Both Chakwera and Chilima may have private reasons why there is stagnation. To the voter, it doesn’t matter. It is a failure.
As captains of the ship, Chakwera and Chilima should forgo their interests and concentrate on serving passengers.
Everybody deserves to be given a chance to succeed in life. The reason for this is not far-fetched. Chakwera and Chilima deserve another breath of life, but they continue waffling. The two come from two different persuasions, it is impossible to share a common thought, like things are going down south right now and it appears both are okay with it and it is citizens who are misguided, including commentators. Captains are sleeping while the ship is sinking.
Surely, leaders cannot be reputed for indecisiveness and failure to reverse wrongs. Those that are pulling in the wrong direction in Cabinet should be fired, senior civil servants playing “Mr. Bean” need to be sent to the farm, party crooks cajoling tenders have to be disciplined or captains will sink with the ship. No one will arrive alive.