Joyce Banda One Year ON
By Analytical Rose - Sun May 12, 9:26 pm
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Lilongwe: Malawi has gone thorough the strangest 9 years in a long time! First of all Bingu wa Mutharika causes confusion by breaking away from the UDF to form DPP. For those of us who were trying to question the sense of doing things this way, those who were indeed questioning the legality of it all etc the answer came when he turned the economy round and produced for the country. Personally I have never understood whether that was a lucky accident or whether it was a result of careful and visionary planning of the head of state. As time went by I started thinking that indeed this was no lucky accident but that Bingu had vision and if only he could apply this vision a bit longer Malawi and Africa stood a chance. I have an idea that the man himself felt something similar because he talked about his vision of Africa. He wrote about Africa. Yes hope was beginning to make one feel possible positive change coming.
The second term however was a huge change! it was there for all of us to see. Having not had the prevllige of knowing the man it is difficult for me to say but from a distance it seemed like success made him feel confident, which is perfectly acceptable but this confidence overshot its boundaries to the degree of autocracy whose end again was there for all of us to see. What I would like and I am sure those interested would like is for someone who worked closely with Bingu to give us a more accurate and abjective assessment of how things might have happened.
When the Malawi president is running for office I understand that the choice of his running-mate is his/hers. Some have assured me that a wise president asks around and make sure of the general feeling people have about the running-mate Fundamentally though the president is the one who chooses who the running-mate is. I therefore look back and wonder why Bingu wa Mutharika could have picked Joyce Banda for running-mate. I say this because , if he was as visionary as I am convincing myself that he was; why not chose someone who is able to continue his good work when he is gone? May be this over simplifies the question somewhat because , firstly you can only guess what someone will be like as a president until they become a president, themselves. So he may not have known, but also people are different when they are chasing what they want; did JB show a different side of herself at that time. This appears to have been the case because not far into the vice presidency Joyce Banda starts forming her
parallel structures while she is till a DPP member; this reinforces doubts in Mutharika’s mind which leads him to ask her to leave the party. T o my mind this is a very serious good reason for asking someone to leave a party because by forming parallel structures you have demonstrated that your agenda is different and this can only be detrimental to the party you started off in. This was dressed up as ‘she left the party because she disagreed with Mutharika having his brother as second to him’. While I read in between the lines that, in fact having watched JB at work, she was going to get the presidency come rain or shine, its just that she is very good, very good indeed at saying one thing with a straight face and then doing the other!
I would like to take the scenario of Mutharika’s brother becoming second to Mutharika elder. I am intrigued why Bingu wa Mutharika was so keen on his brother taking over the position of president. Imagination Will take you anywhere but we will never know the answer to this question; the honest answer that it; because it went to Ndata with the Late prescient Ironically it seems he was right anyway because those people in DPP have chosen him to lead them under DPP so you then wonder what the farce was all about?The real reason JB was fired from DPP was because she had formed her own party while she was in DPP. I don’t think there is anybody who would not understand why this was correct to do, you can’t belong to too parties, no matter how nebulous your principles are!Here we beginning to see how ruthlessly thirsty the woman was for high job! she was prepared to be deceitful to her party to move on. Mutharika was not well advised on how to deal with the Vice President issue- in fact I gathered that he was taking advice legally but death found him before the answer to his question on how to deal with this situation did.
I personally agree that there was confusion at and about Bingu’s death time. I would expect the following president to look at this critically and use it as a bench mark to improve things. I, if I was to be president, for example I would have realized that the whole set up for looking after the presidents health in Malawi is virtually non existent in Malawi and that should be corrected immediately. I would have taken note of the very poor services that our hospitals offer and make that one of my priorities; another aspect that is obvious would have to be the constitution. The constitution should be clear and elaborate about the Vice president. It is too silent on such issues as can you belong to another party and be VC, can you change status after being elevated and remain VC etc…..If you look at the circumstances there is a lot that can be improved. However an inquiry was done and the result was to arrest the opposition and charge them with such things as Treason, perjury, etc…..at Malawi’s expense!Most of us see some if not all the charges very flimsy and political aimed at disabling the opposition!
While I appreciate that Joyce Banda has now got to defend her position, I personally find it very frightening the way she does this so extravagantly! the lawyers in this case will have to be paid exorbitant sums of money, my guess is that ‘the case’ as it called is going to amount to nothing and so these people will start charging the government large sums of money etc…….this could have been avoided by applying logic and not emotion to the events of April. 5th. 2012.So here we see a president who ruthlessly will go for the throat if this means it will allow her to keep her job, no matter what that costs.
To me a president is supposed to be a person who the people trust and rely on to safeguard the country in every single possible way for every single citizen!
It is no secret that JB’s lack of sophistication is a handicap She proudly calls herself the Mandasi woman. This is actually something to be commended. She has worked her life up from very difficult social set ups to where she is now and that sort of determination is something to be admired.I wont comment on her repeatedly told abusive marriage because what I have heard is not completely like how she puts it! may be one day we will get to the truth about that as well. What her style lacks for me is the structure, the experience, the sophistication to handle the affairs of the great office with grace and style. her approach is very crude, shamelessly divisive inside Malawi and openly corrupt such that words can’t describe it. Yet when she talks, what she says is the exact opposite of what she does. She has no apologies to make. At one point I was worried that she does not know what she is doing but I feel now that she knows exactly what she is doing; what her goal is to be and remain for as long as possible the president of Malawi.Reasons for this very strong desire will become clear as time goes by. This far it is obvious that she is fighting a war against people who she sees as against women i.e. who she may call gender prejudiced and she certainly finds it necessary to show that she can do it as she feels she is mostly criticized because she is female. For her this is an achievement she has coveted; she is a woman who believes in winning battles and certainly she sees herself as a strong supporter of women’ s liberation.
There is nothing wrong with pursuing personal ambitions. I wish the president the best of luck but I fear for Malawi. In a country, no matter how diverse your views may be, you still need to recognize that you all belong to the one nation. The goals of your different ideologies should end up in the development of the nation. What politicians differ on is the method of how to deliver the service. I fear that in Joyce Banda’s politics it is about completely destroying the other opposite side even if it means ruining the country. At this point I see:
A Poorer Malawi, they may talk about a stabilizing Kwacha! people are still sleeping on empty stomachs
A more divided Malawi ; Joyce Band favors the North and people of her family and people from her region
A more disorganized Malawi, the leader thinks nothing of castigating other publicly, so the country follows!
A Lawless Malawi! I have never known a time in Malawi when roberries were so rampant! worsening poverty, lawlessness, frustrations are all contributing to this little country which has lost confidence in itself.
A confused Malawi! To the west she preaches austerity measures at home she is will sell the presidential jet but she will buy prisoners a plasma screen! she has money to give in gifts since when did she get so rich she can just give money like this?
Loss of umunthu! we used to be well cultured people now everything is politics, rude politics for that matter even Maliro!
The one thing I can see positive during Joyce Banda’s era is that people can talk reasonably freely. Notice I say reasonably freely. She does not take criticism kindly, but I can at least write this to share with the rest of the nation so we can see how to help our country. Until recently this was not possible.
So one year on, Joyce Banda does not make me feel any more comfortable about my country moving forward really. I feel she has the concept of politics being a means of achieving things in the broadest( materials, fame, etc…) sense of the word and that you do what ever it takes to achieve this.
I think what the country needs is a complete change of understanding i.e. politics is not for lining ones pockets but it is for improving the general well being of every single soul in the country and what ever you do you are the president of every single individual in that country during your tenure of the office.This therefore means you need to care about everybody not just those that support you but everybody. Anything that threatens this principle should be rejected immediately for the sake of Malawi. Of what I have seen in the last 12 months, Joyce Banda is too self centered to push Malawi that much forward unless she changes her approach completely. This is her chance to do so!
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