Final Part 3
THE Daily Times, Malawi’s oldest daily, carried out an assessment of late President Mutharika‘s Cabinet end of February 2012.
Several ministers from that cabinet have surprisingly been retained by the new president. “Surprisingly” comes in for two main reasons.
Firstly, since the time that the Daily Times carried out its assessment - which was done very well and listed the basis of the scores - nothing, that can be attributed to the people retained has improved.
Secondly, considering that Malawi has 14 million people and 194 parliamentarians, if she had looked hard enough, the new president would not have failed to find people capable of delivering, more so now when she needs to produce results fast.
As below, going one by one of the retained ministers, we have attempted to find the sense behind their re-appointment. The Daily Times grades were on a scale of 1 to 10 – which we have taken the liberty to adopt, and are explained as below:
John Bande, a Public Accountants Examination Council of Malawi (PAECM) Accountant
His score was 3 out of 10.
While not 100% John Bande's fault, the 2011 Malawi featured very poorly on the Doing Business Index report by World Bank. Malawi was ranked a shameful 133 out of 183 countries. This is not good enough to attract serious investors except the Chinese — who need no persuasion at all, since their interest lies in other areas.
Challenges were that:
On a positive note:
Other Achievements, these are strictly according to John Bande are that:
Despite all these “achievements” Malawi failed to increase industrial productivity/ competiveness and failed to expand its domestic and international market share.
Conclusion on John Bande’s retention in Cabinet:
A Score of 3 (Pull up your socks, please) in the Trade and Industry, for a country that needs to establish and sustain a viable environment for investment and industry, is pathetic. It means that we are not serious.
This plus the fact that John Bande was adamant citing success in the face of gross failure, makes him one of those people insulting the suffering of Malawians as “success”.
It is so clear that with his mind-set, the ministry will go nowhere. Why has John Bande been retained? Presidential prerogative.
Portfolio of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture: Daniel Liwimbi, retained
Liwimbi graduated with a Diploma in Dairy Technology at Egerton in 1970. Then studied elsewhere to get a Bachelors and Masters in Business Administration before rising to the CEO of a Dairy company and later of the Ethanol Company.
His Score was a 3 out of 10
Daniel Liwimbi came into this sector promising a slice of heaven on earth. He said that he wanted to turn things around and promote tourism so it could contribute about 20 percent to Malawi's GDP during his reign.
The reality is, under his reign, in the hospitality industry many holiday resorts remained deserted, business continues to stall, jobs have been lost and the future looks bleak. So far, signs are that the target Liwimbi set himself is only happening in fantasia.
Issues are that:
All this is despite the Ministry of Tourism receiving huge allocation from the budget. Just how such funding is not utilized to market Malawi as a destination is a mystery.
Countries that have become major tourist destinations such as Dubai, Qatar, Kenya and Madagascar, just to mention a few, invest in marketing and have continued to do so. A few slots of marketing Lake Malawi, Mulanje Mountain and our culture on CNN or Sky News, would do wonders.
Things that were done:
Conclusion on Daniel Liwimbi’s retention in Cabinet:
A Score of 3 (Pull up your socks, please) in the Tourism Industry, in a country that needs to urgently find an alternative forex earner to replace tobacco, is unacceptable.
Why has Daniel Liwimbi been retained? Only God knows!
While President Joyce Banda is right in attempting to come up with an inclusive government, and while it was important that there should be some sort of continuity in the cabinet, and while the president has tried in her other appointments to hire people based on merit;
As per the matrix below, even going by the collective mediocre performance of the entire previous cabinet, people like Ephraim Chiume, John Bande and Daniel Liwimbi are beyond redemption, scoring below the cheap 3.3 average, and should be nowhere near Capital Hill.
What the future holds for Malawi, in the hands of these proven failures is not very clear; but one thing is certain, the new President does not have time to carry out experiments; 2014 is too close for her to be too comfortable!
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment