Those people calling for President Peter Mutharika to appoint a substantive Minister of Agriculture, other than what he has done this week to appoint a deputy, should know this home truth.
If they ask the President, he will tell them that former Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda has done nothing wrong to warrant his exclusion from the Cabinet even though Mutharika’s own commission of inquiry into matters surrounding the importation of maize from Zambia found that his behaviour was inappropriate.
The President would tell them that there was no smoking gun and that there is no evidence he can see and feel, like biblical Thomas Didimus, that money exchanged hands in the deal.
This is the debilitating denial that this lame duck President has about matters that are of deep concern to citizens and it is taking this country nowhere, apart from the dungeon we are in.
To me, this explains why Mutharika has chosen Aggrey Masi as deputy minister of Agriculture, taking him away from Home Affairs where he was serving.
The thing is he is still keeping the plot for his friend and tribesman one George Chaponda.
The President’s hope is that one day he would just wake up and find that the whole drama of Chaponda and the bungled maize importation saga, in which laws were broken and Chaponda abused his office in favour of a private rich company, would just disappear.
If that were to happen, he would then be free to bring back his beloved Chaponda into the fold of Cabinet and the two of them would live happily thereafter.
If you ask this President, he would tell you all the problems the country is facing are down to an irresponsible opposition which is after his head led by one irritating Lazarus Chakwera and snoopy media which must be destroyed at all cost.
That is why every time the opposition leader opens his mouth to speak for the poor people who are suffering in excruciating pain as a result of the DPP’s deep rooted corruption and staggering incompetence, his comments attract a barrage of shameless and inept propaganda by all and sundry within the collapsing establishment and the propaganda is faithfully transmitted by the equally shameless public broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC).
With all the systems at his disposal, the former professor of constitutional law, who should be the first to appreciate the role of the opposition and media in a democracy such as ours, allows Chakwera to be pounded left, right and centre by everyone over trivia and senselessness.
The vitriol ranges from about Chakwera’s past as a pastor of the church, as if it is crime to be one, to trying to frame him as criminal engaging in corruption for trying to build a home for his family.
The pettiness is simply unbelievable.
The professor allows all this nonsense because, in the mistaken view of this government, it may bury all its rottenness and make Malawians believe that the opposition and the private media’s relentless fight against incompetence and corruption is nothing else apart from jealousy.
To me this is the huge disappointment about this President. His inability to see what even little ones can see is killing this country slowly and if we, Malawians, are not careful we will wake up one sunny bright morning to discover that we have no country but a tattered image of the dream the founding fathers had in 1964 at independence.
The Ministry of Agriculture is an important ministry in the league of Education and Health.
It is about food production for the nation and the development of a key sector at the centre of our agro-based economy.
This is a ministry that the President is playing with, all because he wants to please his tribesman and friend.
By all standards it needs a substantive head and not a ceremonial one the President is trying to be by imposing himself on it in lieu of keeping it for Chaponda after his mistaken belief that his tribesman is innocent.
By now Mutharika must be cursing the ACB and Lucas Kondowe for invading Chaponda’s house, where they found stacks of money.
It was at that point that he was forced to fire Chaponda because he did not know what other antics Chaponda would come up with.
But what kind of indecisiveness is this? It is debilitating denial that is slowly killing this country. It is sad, very sad.