"President Bingu wa Mutharika has failed Malawians; the best thing he should, and not can, do is resign and leave Malawians in peace. Our people have suffered a lot; we cannot endure this any more," was all John Zenus Ungapake Tembo,
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament;
Member of Parliament for Dedza South;
Former Malawi Congress Party strongman;
Former Reserve Bank Governor;
Former teacher at Dedza Secondary School, and;
Above all, a symbol of so many meanings in Malawi
- could say to Zachimalawi Friday morning.
Tembo says so many things have "gone wrong over the past ten months; and my fear is that some of these things- I mean, the damage- are irreversible. Malawians will have to pay for some of these things for a long time to come", a situation Tembo hoped could be reversed ony through "Mutharika's resignation".
"In fact, I will not be surprised to hear that Mutharika has resigned. I don't expect him to stay on; the situation now is so bad that,if things like fuel shortages and forex shortfalls are allowed to go on because the President is still there, we should be bracing ourselves for tough times ahead. No, let the President resign."
But Mutharika is sure not to resign.
On July 6 this year, which falls for the day Malawi attained independence from Britain 47 years ago, he told a mammoth gathering in Malawi's Northern region city of Mzuzu that "contrary to opposition and civil society claims that this is the worst term ever for me, I say that is not true: this is my best ever term, with more development initiatives than during my first term."
But there were no fuel shortages during Mutharika's first term, a term that spanned from May 2004 to May 2009.
Of course, forex has always been Malawi's other friend, but the situation has never been this precarious also.
So bad is the situation that, until Thursday this week, Malawi commercial city of Blantyre had no drop of fuel.
While calls for him to resign get louder, Malawians know for certain that the term 'resignation' is anathema to Mutharika's way of doing things.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that he was sacked as Secretary General for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on issues bordering on poor governance and stubborness.
A case, it seems, of what Malawi Democratic Party president Kamulepo Kalua describes as 'Hyena-behaviour'.
Kalua never tires to remind Malawians at any best opportunity: "A hyena is a hyena, a change in hunting ground does not make it any human."
Mutharika movedfrom the bush of COMESA to the forest that is Malawi, propelled, as it were, by allegations of poor people management and governance; now, civil society organisations accuse him of being pour at governance.
Thus, the these for the Blantyre/Lilongwe/Mzuzu demonstrations is: 'Uniting for Peaceful Resistance against Bad Economic and Democratic Governance'.
That is what happens when Mutharika changes bushes, forest, and hunting ground: his traits follow him.