Of civics and information…

It’s a beautiful morning. Per routine, I woke up and decided to browse through posts on Facebook to get the daily dose of world news as it happens or whatever happened while I was in La-la land dreaming away with no problems of life’s realities. I wish I had remained in that good land. Imagine waking up to this:

“…No more just rumours, it’s official; Callista Muntharika is now the VP of the Malawi Republic…….What is happening guys?”

That is the post I saw and being one not to be left out on such issues I clicked on the link, followed the instructions and Viola! Under the ministry’s, down scroll to OPC (Office of the president and cabinet) then click search and this is what you see

Office of the President and Cabinet

The State President is His Excellency Ngwazi Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika
Vice President Her Excellency Madame Callista Mutharika
 Deputy Minister for presidential Affairs Nicholas Harry Dausi

Unbelievable! Over a week ago I wrote on why there was an urgent need to educate the people of Malawi when it comes to civics education. When I wrote the blog post I had the poor illiterate people in mind being that they don’t have some of the resources to school themselves on what they need from the government and what is expected of them as citizens as far as participation in politics is concerned. Little did I know that the higher up government officials needed some schooling in civics too. Well, let me not lie, I did know somewhat that they too need to be educated  because of some of the blunders they keep making and the above is just one of the examples.

Abuse of power is something that needs to be really looked at in Malawi. We might as well declare Malawi a disaster area and mind you this is one caused by the president himself. After having no cabinet for more than 3 weeks, on the 6th of September a new slimmer cabinet was announced. I guess we should have known something was up when the first lady’s name appeared on the list even though she is not a cabinet minister. This president has pulled too many stunts that some of the stuff he does is not taken seriously however, with the new cabinet we went from a 42 people cabinet to 31 people. A positive sign but why do we still have deputy ministers? Trimming the cabinet would have been nicer if all the deputy ministers positions were no more.  For some though this was enough for them to praise  Mutharika for showing signs of maturity and why not he had done what the people wanted didn’t he? Wrong!

One thing people shouldn’t forget is that there were other conditions listed in the petition handed to Mutharika on that day when sadly 19 lives would be lost as people took to the streets to protest against the government. We don’t know till now who gave the orders to use live ammunition on the crowds. Apparently some inquiry committee was set up to look into it. It will be interesting to hear the results if they do even come up since there are so many inquiries that are still ongoing for years with nothing to show the people in terms of the leads etc. The point is just because he worked on one thing doesn’t mean that he is doing a good job. The percentages just don’t add up. The math has to be atleast 50 and above to show some positivity. Infact  the first lady’s appointment (not yet official but on the government website) to the vice president post would definitely mean he has very poor results.  

One would then conclude that the reason he dissolved the cabinet was to actually consolidate power and the trimming in size was only done to appease the people. Unfortunately for them with technology at ones fingertips, everything is within reach with just a few strokes at the right keys and the one thing they omitted to say is now news.  Callista is the vice president.

Let’s now talk about the “APPOINTMENT” of the first lady as the vice president. According to the constitution in Article 80 section 4 it clearly states that

“The First Vice-President shall be elected concurrently with the President and the name of a candidate for the First Vice-President shall appear on the same ballot paper as the name of the
Presidential candidate who nominated him”

 I’d like to ask the OPC one thing, when was Madame Callista’s name on the ballot paper? Did Mutharika not nominate Joyce Banda as his running mate? I mean, we all know the reasons for that but still she remains the vice president unless impeached right? The same constitution under article 80 section 5 states the following which you may find interesting..

Where the President considers it desirable in the national interest so to do, he or she may appoint a person to the office of Second Vice-President and may do so upon taking his or her oath of
office or at any time thereafter or upon a vacancy in the office of Second Vice-President; and, where no person has been appointed to the office of Second Vice-President then –

  • the provisions of this Chapter
    making reference to that office shall be read mutatis mutandis;
  • the office of First
    Vice-President shall be known as the office of Vice-President as if section 79
    created the office of a Vice-President only:

Provided that where the President was elected on the sponsorship of a political party, then he or she shall not appoint a Second Vice-President from that political party.

Unless my eyes are deceiving me, this is the reason I say the OPC needs some schooling on civics education just as much as the citizens do. Or maybe its more of an English lesson than civics?? When you read the above, one comes to the conclusion that the first lady’s appointment to the post of vice president in unconstitutional because one she is not an elected official since here name was not on any ballot paper unless ofcourse some election took place that the Malawian people were not aware of. Secondly the constitutions states that the second vice president ( if at all she is even that) should come from a different political party in other words not from DPP. The first lady as we all know is the husbands numero uno fan since she too has gone around blasting NGO’s and bashing the REAL vice president when she should not be taking part in politics at all.

Normally the first lady’s posts requires that they be schooled on etiquette which Calista badly is in need of. She needs to devote her time to reading too than getting tangled up with matters of the state. If she is trying to help her husband with the brothers campaign then she needs to look up this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt Campaign behavior for wives:

Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president.”

Being on the OPC list as the vice president is making her more visible than people would like. I’d like to believe that the OPC made an error by posting the list as such but knowing this president and what they have done in the past I would not be surprised that this is not an error but one of the realities we have to live with under this president. As we approach the 21st of September the day when another vigil is scheduled to take place, it is clear that the OPC is badly in need of civics education and English as well unless ofcourse the constitution has been revised and the people don’t know anything about it. The minister of information and civic education needs to get a memo of this so she can get right to work on this…yeah right! Don’t hold your breath on that one because this is another one of his greatest fans who was appointed back into this cabinet due to her bootlicking. The other thing is that the people are left with no choice but to do something about this regime. Martin Luther King Jnr said “A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” Whether the solution lies in getting rid of this regime of making some major changes to what is going on now no one knows. One things for sure, at the rate Malawi is going now with its own domestic issues, then when you add-on its ongoing issues with the donor community, there is no way we will see aid coming back to the country under this leadership. Chances are our marriage with this president is on the rocks and there may be nothing we can do about it till 2014 when hopefully the polls will decide the new president-elect. I pray to God it won’t be the brother or the first lady. God bless Malawi and keep her safe from these selfish people in government today…


About Mbachi Joyce Ng'oma

Femme noire. Femme Africaine.Lover of Politics. My song is of STRENGTH AND DIGNITY! Women and Children Rights are my Passion... View all posts by Mbachi Joyce Ng'oma

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