How, we ask, can a government spokesperson reason that because Bakili MuluziÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s diehards and functionaries were beating chiefs, publicly harassing citizens and even throwing sick jokes at ailing eminent people, he should not talk about good governance?
Is it not an accepted fact that two wrongs donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make a right?
By asking government to listen to its citizens, civil society or other critics, Muluzi, as a retired politician, is not earning any serious mileage. He is, in our view, only fulfilling what he, as former head of State, should be doingÃ¢â‚¬â€offering free advice to the current authorities in the overall interest of Malawi, not the ruling DPP or his opposition UDF.
In fact, we all know Muluzi was not the best president this country has ever had in terms of governance and economic management. That is why, for example, he threw in the towel (after his attempts for a third-term bid failed) and recommended Ã¢â‚¬Ëœan economic engineerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢,Ã‚Â in the name of Bingu wa Mutharika, to take over his mantle in the then ruling UDF and subsequently at Capital Hill.
But further, what Muluzi is saying is not new. Everybody has said it. This government does not listen, and that is an established fact. That is why this government is committing blunder after blunder; for example, the chasing of critical donors;Ã‚Â the ignoring of advice on devaluation; the souring of vital ties with traditional neighbours (Mozambique and Zambia); the mismanagement of the tobacco industry, the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s forex and fuel procurement systems, and many more ills.
In other words, Muluzi or any name is not an issue at all. It is the fundamental problem of management and leadership that must be addressed. This is what functionaries such as the Minister of Information and Civic Education (and her Cabinet colleagues) must care about and vigorously advise the President on.
Or, does it mean the minister, her Cabinet colleagues and the whole lot of presidential advisers do not see that Malawi is headed for outright disaster if the President and his team do not listen to the peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cries and advice?
Come on, give citizens a break. The year 2011 was quite a handful. It is time to speak and act in a manner that rebuilds, not locking Malawi in its 2011 self-destructive mode.