ake a hike, Steve Nhlane. Seriously.
Once upon a time, Malawi had a presidential spokesman who worked really hard to insult the intelligence of Malawians each time his lips moved. While some believed that Hetherwick Ntaba believed whatever he said, it’s fair to say his master paid him well to lie and make bad situations look good.
Dictator Kamuzu Banda and pseudo dictator Bingu wa Mutharika found Ntaba's eloquence useful to advance their causes most of which were devoid of morality.
Bingu's successor, Joyce Banda, chose Steve Nhlane, a fine journalist, to speak on her behalf. I love this brother dearly but much of that love - not that he needs it from me - dissipates when I hear him talk these days.
Responding to a poll which revealed that a great majority of Malawians - 71 percent - have little confidence in Banda's leadership, Nhlane ridiculously claimed that long before the poll was conducted, the fix was in.
His evidence to the claim: The media had given the Banda administration "bad publicity such as the outcome of the extensive coverage of the strikes that set a background for a negative outcome."
He went on to say all donors were "happy with the way government was handling things...I wonder why it is Malawians who seem not to see government's efforts."
And yours truly wonders why the government just doesn't get it! Steve, it's not the media's fault for some of the bone-headed decisions the government has been making.
You see, Steve, people see this government backed by the Orange party behaving in remarkably similar ways to previous administrations. PP, without any shame, continues to roll out the red carpet for some extreme elements from the previous administration, claiming that there's enough room for everyone.
PP of course has the right to accept anyone it wants into its fold but it shouldn't expect people to buy what it is selling. For all the talk about change, the party, unfortunately, has a bunch of phonies who spent their time not so long ago screwing Malawians.
Six months after assuming power on April 7, two days after the sudden death of Pres Mutharika, all the PP-led government can show for its gallant fight against corruption is the arrest of the Ombudsman, accused of collecting allowances for a trip she didn't make. Don't get me wrong, nobody should be above the law but the media isn't making up the story that the government isn't doing what it ought to be doing vis-a-vis corruption in high places.
Steve, here's the deal. Re-read the Sunday Nation survey for clues as to why 71 percent of Malawians think Banda's leadership sucks.
The reasons boil down to a cost of living beyond the reach of the 71 percent and arrogance of the country's leadership. It's not all her fault, that much people know, but it's about how you manage the situation for people to feel that you while you live behind high walls and eat the best food which most people can only dream of, you wake up every day fighting for them to help make their situation better.
Steve, do you remember what the response was when some suggested that the president should declare her assets? Her attorney general rubbished the idea, saying she'd already done so when she became vice president.
But what the people were simply saying is that being vice president and president are two different things. When such things happen, Steve, people have enough reason to suspect that someone is trying to hide something. Could it be that when she completes Bingu's term in 2014, she's going to come out the other side of the door obscenely rich? Have people not asked how Mutharika got rich so quickly?
So Steve, if you really believe people have no clue as to what is happening in their lives and that the media has an agenda to make the government look bad, take a hike. I still love you though, dearly.Patrick MwanzaEditor, MaraPost