Diaspora a contraindication for political life in Malawi?
By Analytical Rose - Mon May 20, 1:38 pm
Malawi: As a Malawian the recurrent expression that people who have been in Diaspora should not qualify to be political leaders in Malawi, disturbs me deeply. I have actually heard the president Joyce Banda say this at different public meetings and I think here she is displaying one of the ill effects of the Mandasi-woman syndrome in high office. I do not say this in any way derogatory, but I really wish she did not say this so many times. Her argument from what I have heard is that you should not attain, or you should be stopped or indeed you should be viewed with suspension if you have been in Diaspora and then you come to Malawi and do well in Politics. She has said this in reference to Peter Mutharika . Apparently if you have been in Diaspora you then lose touch of the country’s way such that you cant lead it.
When a person travels, let alone leaves their environment and travel to leave in another environment that is a big Milestone. Not because your environment is inferior in any way but because this gives you a chance to learn how certain things are done in different parts of the world; you learn how other people solve their problems. This exposes you to a chance to watch and learn how do things a different way. You add you your skills and as a human being you become more refined. Have you noticed how, before you know much about something, you have misplaced feelings, usually fear, sometimes just intrigue or indeed you may over estimate the set one way or another but once you get to understand what is happening you lose all that fear, all those misplaced feelings are replaced by confidence and so any dealings you have with that set up are bound to be more accurate and relevant
Politics entails that you understand what is happening in your little village so you can make a good assessment of what developments you need to support your village, you need to understand what is happening in your country so you make relevant contributions to any debates about resources and its use in your country, and certainly as you go up the ladder especially when you become president you need to have a grasp of so many facets of life at so many different levels so that you are able to make sound decisions all round. If your experience all centered around the making of Mandasi and selling them, your intellectual capacity is far too small to cope with the speed alone of what you have to deal with in office. The amount you have to read to make all those important decisons is enormous and if you have not trained youself to do this you will not perform.
The argument is that people who have been in Malawi all their lives have grown in and they know “makomboni” and so they can make decisions better about the country. Well this is what I call Mandasi thinking because the decision making in these positions extends beyond relationships in Malawi so the person who has been exposed to other systems is bound to perform better than the one who has not.Beside Malawi is not all Makomboni!Usually, certainly in the old days and some extent still now, when you go abroad it means you have enough brain to be able to go and train in something, this also means you are intelligent, well these higher offices need intelligent people because anything else cause destructive incompetence.
So I put the case that those that are trying to argue that one leader or the other should be got out of the race because they spent a lot of time abroad are reflecting the smallness of their own thinking; you see it sounds may be sometimes rude when you say Mandasi thinking! but in making and selling Mandasi you don’t need to apply enormous thinking levels, and in fact conversations at the Mandasi selling markets function at the same limited levels! Well done for those that have improved themselves beyond this but we need to wake up to the fact that a broad minded, educated person who has been exposed makes avery good political leader especially if they make sure that they keep a respectful place for their own culture in their lives and my experience has been that those that do this are certainly people who value their countries and cultures. There is Nothing wrong with staying a broad for sometime before taking on politics in Malawi! Those that question this are very wrong.