Monday, April 30, 2012

Joyce Banda: Coward or Stateswoman?

Who is Joyce Banda, Malawi's chance President, accountable to?
Definitely not the people of Malawi, who did not elect her as President.
Definitely not Parliament, which only knew her as one who- as Vice-President- walked in the giant, relatively taller shadow of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
In everything, Mutharika was 'taller', including in shadows and realities.
That is why he grew a voice so different from that of African leaders.
Among other 'taller' things, Mutharika told the country-less, economy-less International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank that "No to devaluation; you can go to hell if you want".
Mutharika, in his economics wisdom, continued: "I wouldn't devalue the Kwacha to please some Washington chiefs who have had enough beans. If anything, let them tell me about the measures they will put in place to prevent the after-effects of devaluation on the rural masses".
But IMF, as usual, did not come up with alternatives.
It is, thus, so touching that Mutharika went to his final resting place of Mpumulo wa Bata (Rest of Peace) on April 23- two weeks after he succumbed to a heart attack on April 5, 2012- without getting any IMF response on the 'alternatives'.
Common sense dictates that them who are without alternatives to their criticism are without a voice (of common sense). That's what the IMF and World Bank are: Don't don't appreciate the positives; they only see the trouble.
And, to make life so simple, the Breton woods institutions know no solution but to yap 'devaluation'! Life must be serious- so serious it can not be answered by one phraseology!
Mutharika was there, talking.
Then, suddenly, he collapsed while performing state duties at the New State House in Lilongwe that fateful Thursday morning. Official records have it that he bid bye to the IMF and World- most importantly, his people- at around 11:15 am. He was taken to Kamuzu Central Hospital at 11:30am.
He found Kamuzu Central Hospital poorly equipped. His life could not be saved.
He went to South Africa no longer a man. He was dead. Having succumbed to Cardiac arrest within the confines of the maximum-security New State House.
The National Guard did not see it coming.
The well-fed dogs of the New State House did not see it coming.
The Democratic Progressive Party did not see it coming.
And, so, did the Malawi Congress Party, United Democratic Front, New Republican Party, Alliance for Democracy, Chipani cha Pfuko, People's Party, People's Progressive Movement, Congress for Democrats, among others, no see it coming.
But it happened.
And the result is that, just in the nick of time, Joyce Banda ascended to the highest office in the land.
With it came Malawi's new-found cowardice before the country-less, economy-less, currency-less IMF and World Bank.
Malawi is in a crisis of confidence.
Banda, back in Malawi from South Africa and Liberia (it has been three busy days for her), has goofed big time already. She told the South African media that her government will devalue the Malawi Kwacha by, not 10 percent (the way Mutharika did; of course, with complaints) but a whopping 40 percent!
Wait a minute. Here is a woman 'murdering' (economically) her own poverty-stained people to please the big-bellied boys and girls of the IMF.
Of course, there are elderly men and women at the IMF; experts in their area. But, if elderly experts conspire to perpetuate poverty, they are no older and no less expert than boys and girls! That is why the IMF and World Bank bosses are, simply put, boys and girls!
They are so senseless in their execution of duty. So murderous in their intentions. The way they prescribe devaluation and other 'international ills", one would be mad not rule out immorality and short brain-circuit on these folks' part.
All the IMF and World Bank gurus must be sick in some way; sick in an economic way. So sick their sickness widens the scope of the poverty malaise.
It is okay with them; so long as they receive their monthly cheque.
That is what Mutharika hated. And he hated it to his last day.
A president who never cowed before the nation-less, economy-less, currency-less World Bank and IMF duo.
But things have changed. Just in a nick of time.
And Banda is ruling the shots.
And the Kwacha.
Now, she has set her mind at making it lose value.
Not by 11 percent, or 15 percent, or 20 percent. By 40 percent.
She will cushion its effects with her obscene salary as President.
But the people will have nowhere to get the extra-Kwacha to purchase the now-available sugar.
And fuel.
And hope.
People do purchase hope. It takes will to purchase hope.
People purchase hope with will. They will they have to live on, and keep on going.
And Banda- by unilaterally devaluing-is killing that hope.  Stepping over Malawi's hope.
For one, people already harvested in March and early April. They did not anticipate what Banda has so brazenly set out to do.
They will have no money to afford life now.
Why, of all the reasons in this world, she would announce the imminence of such devaluation to the world in a foreign land defeats the purpose of states'womanhood.
Why tell it to the world, before informing her own people.
The answer is simple. It is a game. It is called cowardice.
IMF, World Bank cowardice if you make like.
Malawians should brace up for tough times.
Times created by cowardice.
Call it, IMF, World Bank "nobia'!
This 'nobia'? It is so unpatriotic it stinks!

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