Contrary to popular assumption, I am not attacking Ben Phiri, or whomever the “Prime Minister” may be in my articles. Those who have read my articles soberly and without bias should be the first to admit that my main concern has been the lack of a proper governance model in the Peter Mutharika administration, which has lead to what I consider to be a puppet administration.

To be sure, I believe that the first and most prominent governance mistake that this president has made has been to devolve his presidential powers to an assistant who has become the de-facto power behind the throne. It was inevitable that in my discussion of this disagreeable scenario, I would necessarily need to present evidence that supports my assertion. This is why after making the declaration that we had a puppet president as leader, my subsequent articles presented various scenarios of how the puppetry was working- who the puppet master was and what he was doing. It is missing the point, however, to then miss the forest because of the trees. The issue is not the prime minister. The issue is an unpleasant situation that is hamstringing the president and letting down Malawians.

It remains my contention that President Peter Mutharika and this administration has failed to provide Malawians with the confidence that he is in charge and not his assistants, and that he has a clear direction of where he wants Malawi to be at the end of his five-year term. It remains my assertion that because of relinquishing so much of his decisions to his assistants, his leadership has failed so far to inspire and thus the past one year of DPP administration has not been a success. Indeed, as long as issues continue to be referred to assistants and those assistants continue to railroad government policy and impute their own agenda on government decisions, there is reason to believe that claims of puppetry have foundation, and that good governance credentials are desperately lacking. This is the issue I have with this administration. My moral campus rebels when I lose faith in leadership. To put it quite simply, all this talk that I am fighting Ben Phiri or that I want a government position is total hogwash. I cannot serve a puppet president. I cannot serve Ben Phiri. I never will.

I cannot serve the Mutharika administration while I believe that it is an assistant that is really in charge and while I believe the ideals of the fight and disapproval of the ill-fated Joyce Banda administration are being vitiated. I cannot serve a puppet president when I am opposed to the excessive cronyism and political patronage that the current DPP government seems to be perpetuating., especially those that helped the DPP to power with scorn and disdain.

While I remain a DPP sympathiser and supporter, my faith is rebelling against the Mutharika administration for I had expected that the new DPP power would be exercised with tolerance and inclusiveness. It was for this reason that I supported the DPPs push to power. I especially expected the current DPP to correct the mistakes that led the previous DPP administration into rapid decline and unpopularity.

I believe that the DPP agenda for the country, as it was laid out during the days of the campaign, is being compromised by this greed and selfishness of the few that long ago stopped taking orders from the president and are running their own agenda using state funds. My faith rebels as I see that a cabal has effectively taken control of the country, and a conflict is simmering between factions that want to maintain absolute control over the economy and others seeking to gain wealth at the expense of the taxpayer.

Reacting to the truths I present, servants of the current system have claimed that I am disloyal because I left Malawi when Late Bingu Mutharika died. This assertion is silly because it was never brought up when the DPP was in opposition, and I was tasked with changing its international image and designing its campaign strategy. It was not an issue when we were in the trenches, and it cannot be an issue now. Some have pointed to the fact that I may desire a government position. All this is just nonsense. Instead of assuming things and presuming my motives, all a serious reader needs to do is analyse my articles carefully. My desire is for Malawi to develop and for the DPP to be the channel for that development. My rebellion is against the governance and administrative failures that I am certain will make the DPP fail in this task. It’s that simple.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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