So far, I am yet to get convinced that the man leading this great republic, to quote the Raw Stuffer in Weekend Nation, is a credible professor I knew as Arthur Peter Mutharika.
Mutharika, in the months he has been President, is yet to lead with the expected reasoning of a credible professor.
Let me be honest, in case, we might begin to miss some unalienable facts here: Peter Mutharika is not an ordinary efulefu, again to quote the Raw Stuffer.
Unlike his departed brother, Peter is credible with a vast and proven resume punctuated by gross intellectuality.
>From the then prestigious Dedza High School, through University of London in UK to the world’s top notch Yale University in US, Peter has been taught by the best. In fact, he has also taught the best: >From University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania to University of Washington, where he was one of the first black professors of Law.
Or just ask Sam Mpasu, the veteran politician and Peter’s classmate at Dedza High School.
He will tell you how central Mutharika was in shaping, drafting and documenting the country’s Constitution between 1993 and 1995.
In fact, when our Constitution gets global applaud as one of the most liberal, you surely know, without much ado, that, to some extent, they are sending kudos to him.
But why I am saying all this?
Look, I was strongly against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) decision to have Peter as their candidate in the May 20 elections. My argument was simple: I wanted Peter to be given an opportunity to be himself because by then, he was seen from the prism of being a brother to Bingu. Apart from this fact, there was nothing in his background that could give a glimpse he has the capacity of running a public institution so demanding as a State.
Unfortunately, most Malawians, according to our flawed electoral system, proved me otherwise. They gave him the presidency.
As a democrat, I accepted the verdict. The solace I had, which was part of my healing process, was that, perhaps, Malawi, with a credible professor on the lead, will enter a different chapter of governance.
I developed great expectations that Mutharika’s proven excellence will set a professorial tone of governance.
I expected him to challenge the public into serious debates on how we challenge philosophies of the old that have kept this country poor for the past 50 years.
I expected Mutharika to spend his initial seasons of governance defining his grand vision, one that will transform our attitudes as a nation, especially from the disease of always looking to government for our development answers.
His few months in power do not inspire the confidence from a man who spent the best part of his life in a civilised world.
For instance, just look at the topics the public has been debating since he came to power: Tribalism, subsidies, federalism, secession and all that.
The question is: Who is setting the agenda for these debates? The answer is simple: The style of Mutharika’s leadership.
To be honest, the President displays himself as a nepotistic leader, judged by how skewed his appointments are to the Southern Region. This is the least you would expect from a person whom, all his life, has benefited from principles of merit.
Even worse, he displays strong characters of an irrational leader who, even without a proven needs assessment, rushes to implement costly projects that the country can do even better without. As we are already concerned with the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp), Mutharika and his team are pushing for quite irrational cement and iron sheets subsidy that the poor, at their level of poverty, do not need.
Seriously, I am still waiting for the Professor President who should challenge the nation.