As President Bingu wa Mutharika wastes precious time sabre-rattling against the World Bank â€˜mission of juniorsâ€™ and hopscotching from one district to another launching road construction projects with no money to see them through, he must know that there are big decisions to make.
The idea that a President can grant himself a three-year moratorium to figure out how to solve the problems after seven years in power is beyond comprehension to most right-thinking members of society generally and I consider myself to be oneâ€”drunk or sober.
Even the most unimaginative minds in his administration largely comprising underachievers and praise singers who were kicked out of the job market long time ago, should see something wrong with this management by postponement approach to governing. It is simply becoming unbecoming.
And to suspend the responsibility of problem-solving to his last year in office also sounds too convenient and cynical to some of us.
Are the powers to duck problems also invested in the President by the Republican Constitution? I am not sure. I may need to consult Chancellor College law professor Edge Kanyongolo to find out which section of the supreme law entertains such Executive truancy.
That dodgy assertion aside, while the President can afford to wait for three years, Malawians cannot, even if they were certain (which they are not) that his so-called home-grown policies will work.
What new thinking will Mutharika bring to the table? I mean changing oneâ€™s wardrobe from Western suits to Chinese ones never means a change in conviction, neither does it signal the dawn of new ideas in the man wearing the new garb.
And the Presidentâ€™s talk that he will design home-grown policies baffles me. I thought the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) is a home-grown blue-print? It was the Presidentâ€™s personal brainchild when he was Minister of Economic Planning and Development around 2003.
The World Bank and IMF had no hand in crafting the national strategy other than to support its implementation by striving to align their aid to it. Government has just finalised the so-called MGDSII. Is Mutharika stepping all over the notorious works of his hands?
Every day the President dithers, the price to pay for his inaction and ineptness rises, especially for the poor he claims to be at the centre of what is left of his agendaâ€”whatever that was.
Inviting chiefs to a policy debate on a topic they are ignorant aboutâ€”exchange rate policyâ€”which eventually turns out to be an immoral feast of rich food and fat allowances while their subjects back in the village languish because of the very bad policy they are supporting their benefactor to continue with, would be a very enlightening case study of bad public relations.
As Mutharika wastes time showering the World Bank and the IMF and shadowing imaginary coup plotters that turn out to be men of God trying to lobby for better living standards on behalf of their members, there are some real threats to Malawians that need dealing with.
Someone, anyone, has to remind Mutharika that Malawiâ€™s job market has deteriorated, consumer spending has fallen sharply and inflation is running out of control.
And has the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) told the President that the leafâ€™s auction floors will be opening in the next couple of weeks and that tobacco farmers will again lose billions in real incomes if â€˜Sirâ€™ Mutharika (never mind that the new title is stolen from the atsamunda the President keeps disparaging everyday) continues to protect the poor from what is good for themâ€”devaluation.
Mutharika is forcing these poor and helpless people to sell their leaf at the fake official rate of K167 to the dollar when the real rate is K250, making the people he claims to protect lose around K83 on every dollar they earn. Some protection this is.
Does the President really have a moral justification to deprive these people, most of whom are the poorest in Malawi, of the little income they earn? Even the majority of imports are coming into the country at the real exchange rate, not the one paraded around, which still pushes prices up anyway.
The best authorities can do is allow farmers to get their dollars in cash. Where they change the green buck into dollars is nobodyâ€™s business as long as they get a better deal than the exploitation government has been showering on them.
I know there are laws governing tobacco sales, but for an administration used to ignoring laws, this should be a piece of cake, right?
The administration is worsening the plight of the poor farmers who, by the way, are subsidising importers, most of them millionaires. Yes, you got that right.
By maintaining the kwacha at the current levels, government is subsidising big importers and producers by taking money (K83 per dollar) from growers and giving it to the rich who, instead of passing on the subsidy through lower prices, raise them.
Now that is advanced Bingunomics, having been upgraded from 101 to version 2.0. Malawi Woyeeee!