I am writing basically because I have problems understanding the reasoning of one APM. I have a few questions for him which you can help bring to his attention.
First, he declared that he had stopped reading Malawian newspapers. Am I right to say that he, as President of Malawi, is telling the whole world that our newspapers and reporters are trash? (“Our” includes him!). And only MBC is okay? So, he is indirectly telling all Malawians, foreigners, tourists, etc, not to buy Malawian newspapers. Then with the next breath he goes on to encourage people in Malawi to buy Malawian products! Did I hear him right? He is encouraging the setting up of businesses. Is he telling us that our businesses and companies should be using foreign newspapers to advertise their products? Seriously?
Again, basing on what he said, is he telling us that he does not want to know what “his people” think of him? Maybe he has reason to believe that his people are not happy with him? What does he think is the reason for this? Is it “his people” who are a problem or him? Does he think his solution of closing his ears to his people is the right way to go?
Secondly, I remember that during the campaign, he took a ride in a minibus in Lilongwe to appreciate the problems faced by the travelling public, especially commuters. Now that he is president, what has he done or what is he planning to do to tackle the problems he saw first-hand?
In one instant, the government thinks that receiving food aid from a religious leader in times of hunger is wrong. The next minute, because of pressure from the hungry masses, APM says it is okay to receive the aid. Should simple decisions as this one come because of pressure from the affected people?
Another issue is this. Malawi is a football loving nation. Our lovely national team, the Flames, find itself in a situation where it has no money to fulfil an important international fixture. A foreign-based Malawian religious leader decides to rescue the team with a donation of K44 million, but this irritates APM’s government. Incidentally, it’s the same man who gave food aid relief. Bwana APM, are you and your government disappointed not that the Flames will fulfil its fixture? Did you want them to fail? Or what do you see in this religious leader that makes you uncomfortable with him? Or is it with all religious leaders?
Brother Munthali, I hope you will be able to bring these question to APM’s attention, although I know it will not be easy since he will not read our beloved Weekend Nation for obvious reasons.
You raise very valid points, but I suspect (and hoping it was the case) APM was just bluffing when he announced he had stopped reading newspapers. Unless he wants to detach himself, he owes it to newspapers—and an independent media in general—to gauge the mood and the needs of his people, so that he can properly position his policies.