2 Years of Joyce Banda what are the lessons learned- where do we go from here?
By Analytical Rose - Thu Jan 16, 3:48 pm
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Malawi: I am Malawian and despite Malawi’s plight at present I am still proud to be Malawian.That means it’s not possible to see what is going on in My country and not feel that in some way I need to contribute towards it’s change.We have now been Independent as a nation for 50 years and they have been 50 years full of mistakes. Why? I personally feel the answer to this is sheer lack of political maturity and inexperience.Therefore any incoming government should bear this in mind because it needs improving. In addition there has also been lack of exposure, lack of traditional learning, about national issues, from a young age making it all difficult for Malawi as a nation to effectively and cohesively share knowledge which would go towards developing the country. Our father and founder The late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda was a controversial figure which still divides the nation into those that loved and respected him and those that hated him. Personally having grown up in his era I saw a lot of good he did for the country and I certainly respected his organisational abilities, his intellect, his resolute approach and a genuine desire to improve Malawian life. I want to hastily add here that leaders are human beings and they will always make mistakes no matter how good they are but as long as they try, honestly try to do good I have no problem with that. One of the mistakes that occurred in Dr. Banda’s time was the fact that the president stayed too long and so became stale in his ways, over confident and yet also paranoid at the same time, this is not hard to grasp considering how a president lives. This however has meant that succeeding leaders after Kamuzu have been wish washy because there has not been much preparation for the big job! So we end up with haphazard leadership under Muluzi followed by the controversial Muluzi/Mutharika split when DPP was born.Malawi needs some form education explaining political concepts to growing populations in the country so they can build on this as grow up.
You can look upon this development ( setting up his own Govt from UDF) as a bad precedent that Bingu set up for Malawi, because it could mean that Malawians think it’s ok to set up parallel structures to the one you are working from. I personally think this is one of the issues the constitution needs to address. If the constitution was succinct in this area the Joyce Banda parallel structures would have not happened certainly not in the confused manner that it did. The strongest the constitution the constitution the more straight forward it will be to resolve difficult issues like thisd in our House of assemblie! I don’t think it is ok because there are a lot of implications that can then cause problems. There is no space in this article for me to dwell on those but our experience of the last 2 years bears some of the testimony of what I am saying.I think Bingu’s biggest error, was the fact that he picked Joyce Banda as a running mate.I know that if he had thought for one minute that she will turn out to be what she has he would have not done so. Considering how she can be so plausible in rhetoric and then go and do the opposite, I can sympathies with Bingu! But the point still remains that she was not the correct person for VP.
This then begs the question, could we learn from this? From what I gather the Malawi president ,in fact it sounds like most systems in the world have a similar system, the president has the final say on who becomes VP. I gather there is some consultation, and I was very encouraged when I read that Peter Mutharika was “consulting widely” to chose his running mate carefully. I sincerely hope all parties are doing this.
Joyce Banda as a Leader: Unfortunately as a leader, Joyce Banda has not been very impressive. The following areas I have found extremely worrying:
1. She has no tangible policies: she seems to approach the nations problems with clumsy answers which have not been thought through. Let me give you an example, she went to this village and said to this blind woman who had no relatives, we will build you a house if you can get bricks and water to help the builders! She went to a village and gave them a bull,( a male cow ) and said when this cow starts reproducing it will help you. She goes around distributing bags of maize labelled Joyce Banda. First of all this is a job for someone extremely lower in ranking in her hierarchy, secondly the source of the maize has remained very vague.She does not appear to have the ability to see things globally.On top of which she was so bent on getting into government that she forgot to do anything else other than campaign from day one.
2.Joyce Banda is corrupt: We are all aware of the cashgate scandal. How can Lutepo a commended man who was in prison spend his nights at state house? what message is this giving to people outside. I have been told by very reliable sources that when Lutepo ( one of the biggest cashgate suspects) was offered bail they asked for 50,000,000 Malawi kwacha to which the guy said I have not got this sort of money upon which Joyce Banda decided to pay the bond not only to the 50 but 55 million Malawi Kwacha! Whose money is Joyce Using?Yes I do expect the president to make some money from some honest sources while she is running the country but not this amount of money that is thrown about in this regime. In fact I question the over reaction Joyce is displaying here! There is a whole chain of things that can be brought into this section, the whole Manondo, Kasambara, Mphwiyo ( all these guys in some confused fashion or other are involved in the cashgate scandal of Malawi) stuff all smells heavily of cheating and confusion none of which helps the average Malawian.You know all this has happen only in 2 years while this woman is in charge!
3.Joyce Banda is a liar: I am astounded how a president of a country can easily say things which she knows are not true e.g.the Korea employment story, the Mandela funeral speech story, the killing of Mphwiyo just to name a few with no worry what so ever! She held a meeting with the DPP cabinet at which meeting I am told it was agreed after discussion of all the difficult scenario they were facing that she would become president and yet the minute she was out of that room she lied to the world that they wanted to stop her from becoming president!She knew she was lying! she has gone as far as putting these people under charge they committed treason! Treason against themselves?I have it on good source that Phoya ( a senior minister in her govt and Kasambara) apparently put her to this but has she not got any integrity? other lawyers were telling her that this is not at all correct, I even heard that even Obama said to her Madam if you really think these people committed treason you better get on with it and prove it because the world is watching! Obama is a lawyer remembered? the issue had been discussed after the initial confusion which if she had not formed her parallel structures, none of this would have not happened. Then she takes over the Gvt promising forgiveness, togetherness and love one another but she does the exact opposite the minute she starts working, she dismantles the DPP(the elected party and its policies) and installs PP in its place, I have never been sure of the legality of this but she was allowed to run away with it.
4.Incompetent: I am afraid the president is very incompetent. She is more interested in keeping the west on her side than she is running her office. In fact I do not think she knows how to run her office. its easier for her to travel, speak, castigate. The very demeanor of her the timing of her rhetoric at times just displays lack of presidential etiquette and quite frankly all together she was embarrassing.
To write all about Joyce Banda would need a whole book but as a Malawian, I am very sure that we, if we give this woman another 4 years in the job she will cause more damage and she is better out of it. But what are the alternatives?
Chakwera: This man is very new on the political scene and so one is learning and trying to understand what he is all about. The first thing that strikes me is that he does have charisma and charisma is always attractive but that is all.It seems to me he has alot to learn. He has been accused of destroying the old hands in MCP and it could be that he is trying to mend this reputation when he keeps harping on about Kamuzu, Chilembwe, fighting the stupid federation and he is here tightening the stupid thieves. He does say encouraging things and if he does what he says Malawi could stand a chance with him. My concern is that he needs to learn a lot, he has only 3 months before the elections and if he wins and get into government as green as he is in politics he will take that inexperience into government and may cause more serious mistakes. On the other hand MCP is the party with structure, because Kamuzu put the policies there, this is the party with experience because they got us out of the stupid federation! and so if the leader can embrace these policies, polish them and modernise them MCP will be an all mighty party that could be a force to be reckoned with.I strongly feel that Chakwera needs to get settled, restructure his party, work it and get to the point where they can run Malawi as efficiently as the founder did and I do believe they can. This time round? I don’t think so they need time to re organize and re shape their offices and policies.so many people to learn the ir new roles in MCP. By the way a chakwera hold on to John Tembo his experience of that party will help you a whole lot if you consult him.
Atupele: This young man probably has something to offer Malawi. What is worrying is the fact that Daddy is in the back ground and one is not naive enough to think he will be getting his wisdom from anywhere else. As far I am concerned Bakili Muluzi is the president who initiated the decay in Malawi and I would not really want him anywhere near that job again. Besides Atupele is young his ideas are forming but a little longer in the role he is now would help shape his future and Daddy is getting less and less influential; I dont think Atupele is ready to run Malawi this time, he needs more experience and more distance from his father.
Mutharika: While I admit that this man has not got the charisma of Chakwera, he however has more expereince on the political scene and integrity he is given chance . He is brother to Bingu, but he is not Bingu. I have met this man, he is not as stubborn as his brother, he is very clever, he has been in politics much longer than people realize and he will be inclusive.Besides. In DPP there is structure, the difference between their structure and that of MCP is DPP is up to date, their structures are recently formed, their policies are recently formed and we have seen an example of how if their policies are followed they can work well. Where Peter differs from Bingu is that he can deal with people beter. Bingu had very poor people, especially Malawian skills to deal with people and this ended up frustrating himself, in fact on careful inspection his anger towards what he saw as being obvious is what actually led to the upset he developed with the western world.So on that score Peter is a better Diplomat than Bingu. His exposure will leave him in good stead to deal with the worlds challenges and function on the world stage. DPP has some noteworthy people who make the party worth looking at. As I write this I am thinking of Kalilani in the central region. Such a politician full of integrity. I do believe that a party functions as it’s leaders do so her Mutharika has advantage and some stability. Bingu’s policies are in place and all they need to do is implement them and roll them out and with prudence the same success as Bingu’s first term. All Peter would need to make sure is that he improves on his brother’s mistakes.
Unfortunately we don’t have any more candidates that are really standing this time in Malawi. So my analysis leaves me with one person who with suppoprt which he has got can lead Malawi out of the mess Joyce Banda has dipped the country into. While Bingu wa Mutharika did not have good communication skills what he actually said was true, however the way he said it angered people and so blinded them to the truth. I would hope Peter the brother will have learned from that.
Summary: In my opinion, DPP is the party I see leading us out of trouble this time. They will have to do the following in power
Education: The masses, Malawians must understand the constitution, MPs all of them must be tested on the constitution before being allowed to function as an MP, this will give malawians confidence to argue their corner instead of being taken for a ride. The education system needs to be revamped so that any school standing in Malawi is offering the standard of education vetted by the government , any of these wish washy schools have to be closed immediately.
Health: This needs a complete overhaul. Dr. Jean Kalilani should be given this no matter what other role she gets, re organize the whole ministry so that things are done properly, systems are followed and health working staff are supported with equipment and salaries which they have worked for.
Agriculture: This is the hub of our economy yet it has just been left completely on it’s own, people’s practices in using their soil is poor in the villages, trees are cut so fast the country is becoming a desert! you need agricultural inspectors again! people need to be supported in their ways of producing food! DPP can do it you have shown that before!The dreamer is gone but the dream is still here! People in Malawi should not be hungry! soil is good and people do work in their gardens they just need support! Land needs to be graded very carefully. A lot of foreign people coming to Malawi usurping land right from our noses! Government do something about it we are bieng invaded! Large scale farming ought to be supported and encouraged!
Management: In Malawi we need to learn how to manage at every single level, manage our lives, manage our systems, manage our money, manage, manage,manage !!! The government is not teaching enough management. Have schools of management please!
Labour force:This is a very valuable part of this agricultural led country. The Labour minstry needs to be revamped, management of how the labour force is distributed all the different aspects of the country!
Proper use of ministers. Joyce Banda seems to want to do everything herself because she thinks she is being good when she does this! Lets get back to proper use of ministers. Each minster should be responsible of what is happening in their ministry and there should be an audience with the president weekly to begin with. The president however should have absolute participation in formulating the expected result. Any minister who under performs gets shifted or removed. Government MONEY NEEDS TO BE MANAGED FOOLPROOF please.No more cashgate.
There is so much unemployment in Malawi and yet with some imagination all this work force can be made to produce for the nation so we move forward. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED, EVERYBODY!
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