Tag Archives: Bingu wa Mutharika

MDF GIVING BINGU SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

By: Chalo Mvula

The Malawi Diaspora forum, which is the coming together of Malawians who are living is diaspora to  help tackle the many concerns about what is happening back home is proving to be giving Malawi President Bingu Mutharika some sleepless nights. The group which was formed in UK , has its coordinators in the name of renown Malawian journalists like Thom Chiumia and Edgar Chibaka, and many other political activists is growing in numbers and getting stronger as it gives the Malawian leader some ultimatums that are beneficial for the people of Malawi. Having done two big meetings so far in Leeds and Manchester, the forum objectives remain strategising a way forward for Malawi’s ailing economic crisis and never ending political disasters. They aim to restore democracy and good governance while at the same time contributing positively towards matters of national interests

Malawi Diaspora Forum : pics -Nyasa Times

My understanding of the Forum, myself as  a blogger and a voluntary member  of the movement is that, this is the coming together of genuinely concerned Malawians. It could have been easy for the members to ignore what is happening in Malawi at the moment as already they are not there- but it is the love  of their country that is making them to say, “enough is enough, we might not be in Malawi but there is no way we will let one person destroy and oppress our mother country”. MDF is the dark horse that is shaking Bingu’s regime. Firstly, it should be understood that diaspora members will  have much bigger voice as they will never be easily silenced by the physical forces of the Bingu regime. Bingu may silence Malawian based activists but he will not be able to steal the freedom of speech right from Malawians in diaspora. Secondly, Malawi being a country that relies much on foreign aid for its development, the diaspora forum is lobbying all the donors to have a look at Malawi’s poor governance. While the aim is not to punish Malawi, but the lobbying  is for the foreign governments to deal with Malawians leaders who are at the forefront  of this poor governance, to tighten the rope so that they should not get away with autocratic rule. This is why Bingu is threatened  at the moment . The Forum has cornered him and as the days are going, the forum is winning support of the many foreign governments that have realised and seen the poor governance and lack of respect for human rights that is happening in Malawi at the moment.

Recent development s by the forum include giving Bingu 91 Days to resign from the day of the last demonstrations on July 20. Rubber stamping this call at the meeting that was held in Manchester, it was agreed that Bingu has lost the mandate to be ruler of the country and that he must quickly go before things get worse.  The bad governance has been enough, the economic situation is in shambles, there is political intolerance and  disrespect of the rule of law. The push for this resignation will be reignited at the forum next meeting to take place in Nottingham on August 13th.

For details about the Nottingham meeting click here

REASONS WHY THE MUTHARIKA BRAND HAS NO LIFE IN MALAWIAN POLITICS

By: Chalo Mvula

MALAWI: Just learnt that Peter Mutharika, young brother to Malawi’s President Dr Bingu  Mutharika has been  endorsed to be the presidential candidate for the DPP party in the forthcoming elections in 2014. Cham the blogger has decided to mix business with politics by looking at the Mutharika from a branding perspective. Though it may sound crazy to regard the Mutharika name as a brand, but let’s not forget that  they are public figures. Secondly  Mutharika as a president needs support of the  people to be in power or to win elections. And lastly, he has intense competitors in the name of the opposition –these are the reasons that  in this context  justifies  our regard and the use of Mutharika as a brand.

Peter Mutharika, Malawi president's young brother.

To make it easy for most of the people not interested in the business jargons, my argument here is to pinpoint, backed by established branding theories that the Mutharika name is no longer relevant and has no chance of ever winning an election in Malawi for the near future. By taking four components of the brand equity model namely brand awareness, association , loyalty and perceived quality and backed by empirical evidence it will be clearly evident that it would take very sophisticated spin doctors to put the Mutharika name back on track.

In terms of the level of awareness, Mutharika has enormous amount of exposure at the moment. The main bad thing is that 90% of that exposure is negative press. He is making headlines for the wrong reasons. There is nothing attractive about  his name and what people are reading  about is,  him being a dictator and being somebody who is single handedly bringing down Malawi as a country. It is for this reason that no amount of  positive publicity will redeem Mutharika from this fall. This is even being made worse by his opting of Ntaba  and Vuwa to be his spin doctors-men who have clearly displayed their inability to connect with the media and who just spins without any concrete strategies.

In terms of Association, not many people want to be associated with the Mutharika regime at the moment except for the few who happens to be part of his government. There is nothing to be absolutely proud of in being associated with his name. It’s obvious that people don’t want to associate themselves with failures let alone somebody who has managed to acclaim the title of a tyrant in a very short period of time. For a leader who is not willing to listen and have dialogue with those who seem to oppose his views; a leader whose arrogance led to the death of 18 people as people were fed up of his behaviours-there is just too much negative things about him in that Malawians can’t take anymore.

When it comes to people perception of President Mutharika’s quality as a leader, Malawians are regarding him as a liability now,  far from a hero that he was during his first term.  Critically looking  at him, one can get convinced that probably this guy became Malawi’s President by mistake and he was never meant to be.- history suggest Bingu failed miserably in his bid to become a president in 1999 elections when he was leading his the then United Party (UP), The man’s reign as  secretary general of Comesa ended in disaster as well. He was lucky to be handpicked by former Malawi President Bakili Muluzi to become president of the country but,  even after that –he proved to be a hard candidate to sell to the electorate as Malawians just couldn’t click with him. In other words Bingu lacks what is known as the likeability factor- he is not charismatic and likeable.  It is no wonder then that probably the real Mutharika is the one we are seeing now, after deceiving Malawians with a very good first term in office, the real Bingu has now stood up.

When it comes to loyalty, let it be known that most of the guys with Bingu now are just waiting for the perfect time to jump out of the sinking ship. As the elections day will be approaching , we will see more people from his party standing up to him. It is even obvious that there will be big cracks as president Bingu s brother, Peter is not a popular choice to lead the party. This is why ,we can confirm here that the Mutharika name as a brand has no place in Malawian  politics for several  years to come. Peter will have a mountain to climb(almost an impossible task) to paint himself different from his brother..even with all the resources as a ruling party, any Mutharika will sweat blood to get any votes…Majority of Malawians are fed up.