President Peter Mutharika needs to have a candid talk with his communication team. It is obvious that the team misled him if the anger he displayed at the press briefing last week is anything to go by. I do not see anything wrong in asking the President to explain why Malawi had such a big entourage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I do not see political witch-hunting, either. Gerald Viola should have known better than fanning APM’s anger with his ridiculous statements about the media.
Taxpayers have every right to ask for a report on how their money was spent. Even if Malawi had sent only six people to UNGA, Malawians would be right to ask how their hard earned money was spent on those six people.
At that press briefing, Mr President you were not talking to the media, but to Malawians through the media, let us be clear here. You were expected to give Malawians your report about the trip to UNGA, to which they sent.
Talking to them in such condescending manner was unwarranted. Mr. President, you were basically biting the hand that feeds you. All you needed to do was explain in a calm, coherent and clear manner. Your anger did not help to clear the matter.
Is it possible if may ask, that everyone who went to the UNGA produces a report of whatever plenary session they attended, which should include what the plenary was about?
Trust me Mr. President, most of those who went with you would not scribble a paragraph, because well, they did not attend the meeting.
It is not ‘nonsense’ when Malawians who fund your travels ask for a report, they have every right to do so.
And this ‘nonsense’ of employing praise and worship people as your communication team has to stop, too. I mean, we all know that Viola is a DPP stalwart, but he did not need to bring up the name of a dead president in the conversation. Hearing Viola speak passionately address former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika in his introductory remarks, one would be forgiven if once they thought Viola was a DPP regional governor. I believe that position requires the occupant to be your spokesperson as the country’s President and not the president of the party.
You see, Mr President Viola only demonstrated to you that he cannot handle crisis. If it were me, I would start thinking otherwise. Tough times lie ahead, will Viola stand the heat? I do see him losing himself and in the end making you also lose yourself. Malawians are watching. It would be wise to stop talking to them in such patronising manner. How you handle them today will definitely determine whether you will also be a one-term President like your predecessor Joyce Banda.
This ‘nonsense’ has indeed got to stop right now. Malawians deserve better.