Hon. Folks, APM’s decision to act against his campaign pledge to hem the presidency of power excesses including the hiring of directors of MBC and ACB is either a sign of pressure or that power has corrupted him.
No Malawian President has ever started his term so badly as APM—back to back excessive food shortage in a shrinking economy heavily weighed down by lack of donor goodwill and a growing deficit in domestic revenue targets.
Again, APM who rose on a minority 36 percent of the votes hasn’t really enjoyed any honeymoon period. He’s only into his second year and yet PAC ultimatums have started flying over his head, something his predecessors, Bakili Muluzi and Bingu wa Mutharika, got in their cursed second terms.
Not only that, the opposition and other members of the civil society including the media are on his neck, demanding that he shows leadership in putting back on track the derailed economy, fighting corruption and respecting the rule of law.
It’s like waking up every day to the din of criticism, demands, ultimatums and TB Joshua’s prophecy of doom. There comes a time when being nice loses its appeal and you simply make up your mind to pack back your enemies, real or perceived, in kind by shooting down whatever, good or bad, comes from them, even if it’s just a mere reminder of your own campaign pledge.
How else do we interpret APM’s anger at being reminded to make good the pledge to prune the presidency of its excess powers? It’s something the 36 percent of the electorate who cast their votes for him legitimately looked forward to. It’s also something the majority 64 percent who denied him the vote expect.
Yet in anger APM strangely argued that he feels duty-bound to protect powers vested in the presidency for those coming after him. What a warped excuse!
Future presidents certainly won’t need any favour from APM. Rather, the opposite is true; it’ll be him in need of their favour.
The fidelity of an elected president can only be to the electorate whose mandate must continuously be sought by anyone who seeks to legitimately exercise sovereign authority in Malawi.
Change of any kind in a democracy, including in the presidency, can only be necessitated or justified by the interest of the electorate in particular and citizens in general, not future office bearers.
It’s therefore worth pointing out that APM is taking an unnecessary risk by using a flimsy excuse to make a u-turn on a pledge Malawians were waiting for with bated breath.
But I’d 100 percent concur with APM that it would be naive to assume that transferring Executive powers to the Legislature–as proposed by the PAC—would make things any better than they are. It’s not as if MPs are more accountable to the people!
The independents rush to the highest bidder for their seats among the parties represented in Parliament without regard to the electorate whose will it was to have a representative without strings attached to any political party. Crossing the floor by those elected on party tickets is so common that section 65 is the most violated, the most raped constitutional provision. All done by MPs in their insatiable quest for power at our expense.
They’ve also betrayed the people by enacting bad laws, sometimes after receiving brown envelopes. Over the years, they have used Parliament to reshape the laws of the land to ensure once elected, they account to themselves—they’ve repealed the constitutional provision for the establishment of the Senate (essentially meant to provide checks to the decisions made by the lower House) and they’ve repealed section 64 of the Constitution that provided for the recall provision of MPs who betrayed the trust of their constituents.
In their selfishness they have sought ‘Sadc salaries’ for themselves while the people they represent are getting poorer by the day and some have had the temerity of getting huge loans for their 4×4 twin-cabs with the aim of pushing the burden of loan repayment on the taxpayer.
It’s a record so dishonourable that one can’t help wondering what’s in these MPs who seem to make decisions based on what’s-in-it-for-me to make anyone believe they won’t just be more corrupted if entrusted with powers transferred from the Executive arm. I hate to say this, but it’s time all the three arms of government, more so the Executive and Legislature, worked on their images instead of wasting time in a futile power struggle.
But that said, the President should realise he’s waffled too much on policy while the country is going to the dogs on his watch. It’s time to stop shooting from the belt like an American cowboy and start fixing the many things that don’t seem to work as a result of having too much power concentrated in the presidency. n