June 11 2020
So, in all its wisdom, the Ministry of Health decided to conduct walk-in interviews for thousands of people willing to join the ministry! Pandemonium broke, leaving at least 118 injured, 10 of whom were still hospitalized some four days later.
In its logic, the ministry felt it would make little sense to ask the people to apply for the positions and later shortlist before employing the deserving. It saw it as a matter of little consequence that bringing the thousands exposed them to potential coronavirus spread.
Never mind their line of thought. Indeed, that is not much of my problem because the way we are operating these days leaves a lot to be desired, the abnormal has become quite normal.
The stampede and overcrowding exposed the high levels of our unemployment. It goes without doubt that most of those that went to try their luck have higher qualifications than the jobs on offer. That is the sad situation we find ourselves in.
The sad thing is that it is very likely that most of those that would really get the jobs were nowhere near the stampedes. With the nepotism, cronyism, rampant corruption and favouritism that has become the norm in this country, I can bet my last dime the interviews were just a face saver to create an impression of transparency.
This was a creation that government was doing something to fight unemployment. Remember, this is the campaign period.
Talking about the campaign period, it is pleasing to note that finally Parliament set the date for the fresh presidential elections: June 23. It is high time the political debacle came to an end, really.
On that note, it is apparent President Peter Mutharika has his own way of politicking. Only posterity will judge whether so far he is the best performing president or the worst. What is clear, however, is that Mutharika’s tenure is very peculiar.
That the Covid-19 pandemic has affected all sectors of society is self-evident. But then, do we really find merit in Mutharika’s decision to send to Parliament a pre-recorded State of the Nation Address (Sona)? The reason that was given is that that was in avoidance of the spread of the coronavirus. Yet, that is doubtful, since only a few days earlier the President was about town addressing a political rally. With Parliament as a political battleground, it is clear APM may have feared the jeers and walk out he faced during the previous session.
In his Sona, Mutharika urged Parliament to reverse orders of the Constitutional Court and the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal (MSCA) that nullified last year’s presidential elections. If this is not peculiar, what is?
It is a fact that APM was a defendant in the case and we all know that there are no middle-of-the-wall rulings. One side has to smile and the other shed a tear or two. Dissatisfied with the lower court ruling, Mutharika went ahead to appeal. And it was funny (not funny ha-ha but funny strange) that Mutharika passed by the anthill to tell Parliament of its superiority over the courts. He obviously knew this was a feat like forcing a camel through the eye of a needle.
But then, the peculiarity does not end there. On Sunday, Malawi went to bed with the news that Mutharika had accepted names of commissioners and chairperson for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). It was queer that his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had nominated Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje for the positions. We all know the two were part of the incompetent team (so the courts determined) that run the tippexed polls.
You may think it was illogical for the President to suggest the two, but that is just his normal way of thinking. It was his thought that some quarters would start arguing that Mathanga and Kunje should not be part of the team. The idea was that more time should be wasted before the polls. Unfortunately for the President, the train is pushing.