LILONGWE ( Z. Allan Ntata) –I feel I am fighting a losing battle trying to understand how Madonna can accept to be adopted by Peter Mutharika. I am not surprised that she has not yet responded to Peter’s application. Some proposals require careful thought: careful weighing of pros and cons, careful consideration and assessment of the intentions and the motivations behind the seemingly romantic advances.
I imagine the first mental obstacle to this audacious proposition is to reconcile how a president of a nation can in three days so easily forget a serious tragedy that killed 8 children to omit saying anything about them at an event commemorating the opening of a children’s hospital. I am sure it has crossed Madonna’s mind that Peter’s motivation for this adoption proposal may not be exactly sincere, or even attractive.
For those that have not followed this particular tragedy, let me just point out that that for the Malawi Government, it is the same old blame game of passing the buck with no one losing their job. The Police say the fatal stampede on July 6 celebrations was caused by delays by stadium officials to open the gates.
According to them, they had proposed to the stadium Manager to open the gates at 6:00am. Stadium Manager Eric Nin’gan’ga, while accepting some of the blame passes the buck to the decision to have the stadium open at 10:00am; a decision made by Independence Day celebrations Organizing Committee against his advice.
Meanwhile, State House has since refused to acknowledge the position of both the Police and Stadium Manager and has attributed the stampede to poor crowd control.
Yet with all these sour feelings in the air, President Peter Mutharika and the DPP somehow decided that the opening of a children’s hospital was not, as some of us thought, the perfect opportunity to address what the president’s thoughts are on the tragedy.
Malawians call this kind of insensitivity witchcraft. You can probably understand why. Not only did President Peter Mutharika totally ignore the tragedy that occurred at the Bingu National Stadium only a few days before his speech at the Opening of the Mercy James Paediatric Clinic, he had the audacity to offer Madonna Malawian Citizenship when he knows too well Malawi does not allow dual nationality yet.
Talk about being confused!
If that does not convince you that we have some confused minds leading us, think about the event itself. I mean this was a clinic that has been built by charitable funds from Madonna. Now Madonna had her own colour theme for the opening event. It was evident in the paintings and the colours that adorn the walls of the wards of the clinic, which are the same rainbow colours represented in the Raising Malawi logo that Madonna uses for her charitable activities here in Malawi.
For some reason, however, DPP officials did not care about the Madonna’s apolitical approach to the charitable gift. They went there with there blue colours and tried to politicise the whole event. I even heard one misguided DPP guru claiming that credit needs to go to President Peter Mutharika and the DPP for ensuring that the clinic donation was built. Apparently, it was the DPP that brought Madonna back to Malawi after former president Joyce Banda upset her some years back.
It would be easy to condemn this particular DPP guru too harshly on this totally ignorant and misguided statement. But when you think about the things DPP takes credit for, you probably can understand why.
It seems to me the history of the DPP in the Peter Mutharika is a history of appropriating credit for other people’s efforts, just as it is a history of appropriating other people’s hard earned money for themselves through corruption and looting.
Perhaps my views are a bit cantankerous, but then again, in the entire Peter Mutharika presidency to date, it is exceedingly difficult for anyone with a shred of concern for the nation’s well-being and the fidelity of the chief executive to our Constitution to identify anything that our president has done to merit any credit.
I believe it is for this lack of any progress to point to that serious national tragedies are severely downplayed and quietly thrown to an investigation committee in order to quickly take credit for other peoples money doing our development work for us. I think President Peter Mutharika should be ashamed that he’s busy trying to adopt Madonna for building a five-star children’s hospital when all he seems to promise Malawians at political rallies are more accident prone football stadiums and iron sheets.
If we can give Mutharika credit, the only things it seems to me that he can take lots of credit for are such stinky exercises as successfully avoiding accountability for the too-many-to-count scandals that have festered under his watch, for shielding George Chaponda in maizegate, shielding all those police officers that arrested MCP MPs for Whatsapp messages, and for essentially presiding over a stand-still economy. But crediting him for presidential job performance? Let someone give an example!
After being hired by the electorate, President Mutharika is very handsomely compensated with a big salary, perks galore, free rent in a mansion, round-the-clock security, and the incalculable power of the presidential bully pulpit, and yet delivers absolutely nothing. This is a clear case of an absentee CEO enjoying the fruits of our labour and other people’s money- the taxpayers. So when the president and his sidekicks start trying to steal credit for Madonna’s money, it begs the question why, oh why would we ever think of retaining this kind of emptiness as our country’s leadership?
As far as I am concerned, the first step in acknowledging the great work and service that Madonna has done to this country’s children should have been to promise that just as others – outsiders – are seeing the value of Malawi’s children, the Malawian president too doesn’t just sit and watch as Malawi’s children are needlessly stampeded to death in stadium tragedies that could easily have been avoided.
Otherwise, the proposal to adopt Madonna looks too much like a selfish shirking of responsibility as a president. Clearly, Mutharika is proposing to adopt Madonna to become a daughter of Malawi so that she can do his job and build hospitals and other development projects for us.
For a President, this is a terribly selfish and desperate motivation. Not only is it an admission of failure, it is also downright shameful.