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Open letter to Malawi Pres. Mutharika: Corruption, Cronyism and Nepotism are costing you more than you think


Your Excellency,

I am an ordinary citizen of this country with only a pen as a means to communicate to you. I want to assure you that if I had the opportunity to convey this message privately, I would have done so. But the privilege of a private audience being remote, I will have no choice but to reach you thus.

Your Excellency, I have raised two issues via this letter:

a) the nepotism and cronyism that your government believes in and,
b) your failure to lead the fight against corruption by happily presiding over a corrupt Cabinet.

a) Blatant nepotism:
Your Excellency, this country is not for few individuals only. It is for all of us: those from the South, North, East, West and Centre are all one people and one nation.

It is therefore disturbing that when it comes to appointments, one discerns a deliberate policy of appointing cronies and relations.

Your Excellency, via this policy, you are running this country as a tribal warlord and not a states man.

Few examples, in Diplomatic Appointments, substantiate my point as below:

• In the UK embassy, you sent a daughter to our Information Minster Patricia Kaliati.

• You, Your Excellency, also sent to the same Embassy a son to the National Intelligence Bureau Director Nicolas Dausi.

• Your Excellency, the son of your Political Affairs Director Francis Mphepo is also there.

. Nephew to Minister Chaponda is an accountant at the United Nations Embassy

• As if this is not enough, you have sent wife to the Minister of Labour and manpower development Henry Mussa as an Ambassador in Kenya.

• Your Excellency you have also sent daughter to the same Minister Henry Musa as a diplomat in Zimbabwe.

• When we talk of your own relations, then we have Mr Namonde who is our diplomat in China and many of your relations are different positions both home as well as abroad.

Your Excellency, your propaganda people have been misinforming Malawians that your government is recalling diplomats to save money when the fact is that you are just replacing those recalled with your relations and your cronies’ kin.

The numbers have not gone down at all. A few examples again, Your Excellency will help validate my point:

You recalled John Tembo Junior only to be replaced by someone from your Lomwe belt.

In case you may not have heard Your Excellency, the joke is on you. There are, in the diplomatic circles, a story that only Lhomwes are being appointed because Lhomwe is the only Malawian language that the Chinese, Germans, the British, the Swiss, the Americans, Zimbabweans, Ethiopians and the Brazilians understand; hence this sickly nepotistic trend in appointing people only from one belt.

Jokes aside Your Excellency, our missions abroad aside, your cronyism seems incurable because the trend here back home is the same.

A few illustrations Sir:
• Minister of Gender and Child welfare Jean Kalilani has her nephew if not her son Mgeme Kalirani, a diploma holder, as State House Press Officer and for the other son, you even acted ultra vires to appoint him to the FIU.

• Your cunning special aide, Ben Phiri, who is playing low profile but still calling the shots, has a brother, Martin Nkasala as one of your aides on International Affairs and the beneficiaries of almost all scholarships are going to Ben Phiri’s relations.

· Your Excellency, the daughter to Minister Chaponda is calling the shots at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Ironically, most of these people are not qualified and can’t perform to bring home the much needed investors. You are doing a disservice to this nation.

If Your Excellency this is not the height of nepotism and cronyism, then what is it?

Are you telling us that only your cronies and their daughters and sons are the only people who can serve this country? Is this fair? Why can’t you show that you are a national leader by accommodating all of us?

Remember your Excellency that you are the President of Malawi and not a tribal warlord.

Whether people from the Northern region did not vote for you, they still call you their president and pay taxes. Whether people from the Central region did not vote for you, you remain their president and they pay taxes.

Your Excellency, whether some people like you or not, you are their president and even those that dislike you, pay taxes.

The moment you took that oath, you became the president of our republic. Please show us that you are the president for all and rise above the warlord status you have demeaned yourself to.

b) Presiding over a corrupt Cabinet:
Your Excellency, you recently admitted what the outgoing queen’s diplomat Michael Nevin said that corruption is worsening during your administration.

Of late, we have seen you exchanging ultimatums with Kamlepo Kaluwa on the same subject. On social media Your Excellency, the names of the seven corrupt cabinet Ministers are being mentioned of which the name of George Chaponda is featuring highly.

I am not here to give credit to such reports but I want to make a different case to show you that suspicious actions by your Agriculture Minister George Chaponda point not only strongly but so strongly to the direction that he is a corrupt individual who must be fired if your administration is to be taken serious in the fight against corruption.

Your Excellency, we have learnt via credible news sources that George Chaponda then as Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote you a letter on 14th January, 2015, REF: EA/1/B5541 instructing you to have our Ambassador to the United Nations Brian Bowler transferred from New York to Rio, Brazil as an Ambassador in that country.

To make his decision sound normal, the powerful Chaponda, we hear you are grooming him for 2019 Presidency, moved the Ambassador who had just been dispatched to Brazil Edward Sawerengera to Washington DC and have Necton Mhura who was also settling down in Washington DC to the United Nations to replace Bowler.

Your Excellency, you may wish to know that the reason behind all these transfers engineered by Chaponda was to protect his corrupt practices he engineered at the United Nations which he feared Ambassador Bowler would expose.

Chaponda, Your Excellency, embezzled money meant for the United Nations peacekeeping troops from Malawi.

Your Excellency, you are implicated in this embezzlement because due to your unfettered nepotism, you appointed Chaponda’s nephew at the UN Embassy, as an Accountant.

All your foreign affairs Minister, then Chaponda had to do was to connive with his nephew to embezzle huge amounts of money meant for the Soldiers and as we are talking now, Malawian soldiers who went for UN Keeping missions are still struggling to have their stipends paid because of Chaponda’s greed.

Your Excellency, all this information is in public domain at the United Nations. When Bowler learnt about this, reports in the media say he alerted his immediate boss (Chaponda) to report the matter to ACB. Your Minster took almost 5 months to say a word on this.

Media reports indicate that Bowler alerted the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on the issue and the compromised ACB stayed as quiet as expected. It could be anybody’s guess to say on whose orders the ACB stayed quiet for these days, we are seeing your cronies partying hard even when they have warrant of arrests hanging on their heads to be arrested by the ACB on different alleged corrupt practices.

Back to the issue, it is said that the only official reaction Bowler got from Your Minister was a letter informing him that he will be shipped to Brazil. One wonders if it is the policy your government to punish, demote or redeploy those who resist or report corruption.

Your Excellency, as your minister was pursuing his own agenda; his erratic decision-making, is evidence of his efforts to cover his tracks.

Just imagine Your Excellency, we hear in the media that Edward Sawerengera was only 4 months when he was being told that he will relocate to Washington DC and Nectorn Mhura was one year old when he was told to relocate to the United Nations while Ambassador Bowler was only 18 months at the time of this decision from Chaponda.

Your Excellency, can such host countries as USA, Brazil and UN take your judgment capacity very seriously when you send them a diplomat, and few months later, you transfer that diplomat and bring in a new one?

Are you telling us that the Parliamentary Public Appointment Committee (PAC) did a bad job in approving these Ambassadors to head to their initial approved diplomatic destinations?

Again one would look at the other important issues as the diplomat’s productiveness to the Malawi nation. It is my considered belief, Your Excellency that these diplomats were beginning to settle down in their respective missions.

They were beginning to know the people around them. These diplomats were building momentum in their respective missions and all over a sudden, Minister Chaponda, decides to break the momentum by relocating them.

Is this how a serious government geared at helping the poor Malawians should be taking its important decisions?

And let’s consider the money that will be spent in relocating these Ambassadors; moving their properties up and down. Is it not huge that it could help solve the numerous challenges in our country if someone advised you Your Excellency in good faith?

Against the above analysis, I submit that no any reasonable person in his capacity as Foreign Affairs Minister would have made such a costly decision. Only a Foreign Affairs Minister in George Chaponda entangled in such serious corrupt practices and determined to abuse his super powers in this current administration to settle personal scores would have made such decision.

After all, he was covering his corrupt tracks from being exposed.

Your Excellency, this is why Chaponda, with all these strong allegations, must be sacked and let ACB investigate him. Unfortunately, it appears Chaponda is untouchable as we hear he has officially attained the lucrative position as your new puppet master.

Your Excellency, it is surprising that Chaponda could be making such important decisions of relocating diplomats at will as if we Malawians elected him as the republican President.

Your Excellency, the supposed super power that Chaponda is possessing in this administrations give credence to your fierce critiques who brand you a Puppet. I hear they recently upgraded their way of describing you Your Excellency. They now call you a classic post turtle all this referring to you as someone who depends on others to make decisions.

Your Excellency you have a choice now to prove those who have almost proved that you depend on others to make decisions wrong by sacking Chaponda. If you leave him undisciplined, trust me that you will leave a tattered legacy and posterity won’t be fair with you.

Your Excellency, this nepotism got to stop. Your Excellency please learn to be decisive and fire such ministers stained with corrupt allegations as in George Chaponda. Have them investigated by an independent ACB.

If you stop nepotism and if show zero tolerance on corruption; this country will be on a right path to development. The choice is yours. Its either you take heed of this advice or continue with the status quo.

Sincerely Yours,
Gospel Kamzati

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this letter are those of the author. For any feedback; feel free to write the author on this email address:

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