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CRISIS MANAGEMENT: Lessons for President Chakwera and MCP

BY FRYSON CHODZI

Your Excellency and the MCP Brass,

I have noted with sadness how the crisis management and fall out on the issue of Martha Chizuma is being handled. For any serious analysts, doesn’t need rocket science to see that the entire management system is in shambles. The strategies are amateurish and all over the place. In fact, some of the tools and means being adopted and applied are tried and failed actions.

Sir, the first action when you are faced with a crisis, is to ensemble the brilliant minds that can be trusted to brainstorm the issues, evaluate the matter and come up with variables. Trusting aides and advisors who have put you in the mess in the first place is a futility. Instead of dealing with the problem, they will be busy preoccupied with how to save their face and covering up the problem than solving it.

In the Chizuma case, have you asked yourself why with the whole obsession against her for over a year, every action taken is bringing more harm and exposing the government? For instance, when I read what the AG said in the report on the Commission of Inquiry on the Arrest of Chizuma about donors threatening sanctions, I would have expected that the schemers and plotters would evaluate every action.

Any successful bank robber does not only plan the heist, he knows that the most important part of any successful heist is the gate away. The people operating the plan in crisis management of the Government are behaving like bank robbers whose plan ends at stealing money. Yes you have stolen, how do you get away with it?
In crisis management, every action is scrutinized on its merit and demerit. You anticipate every outcome, test the possible outcome and develop safety nets of the outcome.

Unfortunately for the MCP and indeed people around Chakwera, I have noted that the planning is fear driven more than addressing the problem. The fear of regime change, the fear of being arrested, the fear of bringing down the government, the fear of being exposed so many fears driving the agenda than the problem itself.
When the whole of your strategies is driven by fear, you have people that got you into this mess in the first place deciding what is to be done. No amount of propaganda will convince any sane Malawian and the donors that Steve Kayuni’s action was based on seeking justice. It is clear that the action was more to do with fear of being arrested and he thought he must strike first.

What this has done in the end is that the actions continue to create blunders and irreparable damage. It creates a sink hole. That’s exactly a situation where MCP and President Chakwera find himself at present. You trap Martha with an audio, a mistake. Instead of letting Martha go through a due process, you forgive her, larger mistake. You go for( Martha,) a blunder. You arrest Martha, a larger blunder. You interdict her, now that’s a sink hole.

What’s next? Like Macbeth, Chakwera is in a place where going forward is as fastidious like going backwards. The Western Diplomats have spoken in unison and tick tock, tick tock the time is going and waiting for the answer.

Sir, what is before you is a man – made crisis, and unfortunately to date the people who have been trying to solve the mess are vultures? When vultures are circling a dying animal, they have not come for the rescue. It is an opportunity to make more money.

By the way, is there any plan in Malawi how they will deal with information that will be coming out of the British Courts when Satters case comes for hearing in the few days to come?

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