In the midst of the devastating floods that have hit some parts of the country and the ongoing debate on whether the government of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has failed to protect persons with albinism, the nation had a brief moment of déjà vu.
Fearing that persons with albinism (PWAs) camping in his front door will make him look weak and not in control, President Peter Mutharika last week rushed to agree to most of the requests that have been pending in his tray for a long time.
Firstly, some students with condition of albinism found themselves ushered into boarding schools, a commission of inquiry was quickly instituted and State House swooped in to rescue PWAs from the torrential rains that hampered their planned vigils at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe while its occupant was away to the north.
It was at the swearing in of the members of the commission of inquiry that Mutharika showed his true intentions in all these hurried actions.
Clearly, he and those who surround him felt slighted that PWAs sought solace from the opposition leaders, UTM President Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera instead of APM, the Head of State.
Reminisce of late president Bingu wa Mutharika at the height of his downward spiral in the years 2010 to 2012, APM made such outlandish allegations about the intentions of Chilima and Chakwera that even a two-year child would recognise them for the kicks of a dying horse that they really were.
From his remarks, an ordinary Malawian should be able to deduce the nature of intelligence that lands at the table of the president: unintelligent.
According to APM’s ‘credible sources’, Chilima is funding the Association of Persons with Albinism in its ‘anti-government activities’ with the aim of destabilising the DPP government. These anti-government activities being referred to here would be a peaceful demonstration by Malawians being hunted in their own country and demanding to be protected by the government.
In the President’s view, Chilima’s meeting with persons with albinism a few ago has the potential to usher him into power through the backdoor by using persons with albinism.
As if that were not unbelievable enough, a Member of Parliament Bon Kalindo is apparently involved in the circulation of a recording that was in social media space a few weeks back with a weak link to President Mutharika.
In all this, the nation should be grateful that the president has deigned to respond to social media chatter.
But to describe an opposition leader as a liar and an opportunist for calling on the government to act on merciless murders of persons with albinism is taking the benefits of that lofty office too far.
If Chakwera does not have the solutions on the attacks of persons of with albinism, then who does? Clearly not the President himself going by his actions which have primarily been driven by APAM and their determination to converge on his doorstep.
It is pointless to go into the actualities of what was said or done where and when.
What can be learnt from his ranting is that this just might be a reflection of his own inadequacies as president. APM feels slighted that others beat him to it by initiating dialogue with persons with albinism.
Such remarks resulted in lost confidence with donors who one Mutharika described as fools and not welcome in Malawi. Paranoia lost the country an energy compact whose implementation was further delayed by three years.
Unfortunately, words cannot be taken back, especially when they are written in black and white as it were in that statement.
In all this, Chilima and Chakwera should be highly commended for their composure and not responding to the rantings of a clearly misinformed Head of State. n