MALAWI'S SAVIOUR: PRESIDENT Dr Bingu wa Mutharika. Many Malawians like The Nation's reader below are appreciating his great works. Pic By Malawi Digest.
Allow me space to comment on the letter by Andrew Manda published in The Nation of 23rd February, 2009.
I find his opinion that President Bingu wa Mutharika should relinquish his ministerial posts of Education and Agriculture based on poor JC/MSCE examination results and a chaotic fertiliser subsidy programme lacking.
Firstly, I do not believe problems affecting the two ministries are squarely due to managerial incompetence of the person heading the ministries.
I think there are many underlying causes for the poor examination results among which are the low levels of investment in the Education ministry towards teaching and learning materials, infrastructure and training needs of teachers.
As for the Agriculture ministry, it must be appreciated that generally, Malawi’s food security has improved during Mutharika’s administration.
The chaos associated with the subsidy programme may be due to inadequacy of the subsidised fertiliser against the demand by smallholder farmers during times of high fertilise prices on the world market.
Where goods and services are scarce, we expect people to scramble for them hence the temptation to smuggle the fertiliser or sell the coupons to non-beneficiaries.
The efficiency of government ministries is usually affected by other factors such as corruption and insufficient resources and not necessarily on managerial abilities of those heading them.
Most ministries, particularly that of Agriculture, are staffed by very capable people.
Therefore, we cannot doubt their diligence in appropriately advising their minister.
Atusaye B. Mwalwanda, Blantyre – The Nation 4 March 2009, Letters Page 17.