Saturday, May 5, 2012

Joyce Banda: A President Afraid!

April 7, 2012 is not such a long time.
May 5 (today) is hardly a month since President Joyce Banda accidentally became Malawi's forth President after independence. Her ascendancy, sadly, came about because of death. That is death; always unexpected.
While performing his official duties in his New State House office in Lilongwe, President Bingu wa Mutharika suddenly collapsed.
The nature of the collapse, as Malawi has come to learn, was such that he would never stand again from the carpet he fell onto.
In his collapse, an important chapter in the history of Malawi has fallen.
And another risen.
The rising chapter came with the face of a woman.
Down, on the floors of the New State House, fell the President; up rose a woman. Joyce Banda. That is the name.
This woman, it seems, has inherited fears that have plagued the presidency in Malawi since 1994. It is the fear of nothing.
It started before the turn of multiparty democracy in 1994. People could be arrested on imaginary treason charges. Justice would, then, be dispersed through the infamous traditional courts.
Many a citizen lost their lives to imaginary cases. They will, having fallen  in our moment of political madness, never rise again to defend themselves.
But people said it was a one party regime. That the rulers could be excused.
That, because that is what was happening all over Africa (that most countries had one party regimes, partly fueled by the cold war), those leaders could be excused.
Malawians excused them.
Then the democracy in 1994, bearing the face of Bakili Muluzi.
Muluzi started well.
Then went down the wire in governance.
People like Sudi Sulaimana were arrested on trumped up treason charges.
Government lost millions in compensation.
Then, after Muluzi, came Bingu wa Mutharika.
As usual, he started very well.
During his first term, from 2004 to 2009, the economy improved, agriculture output peaked.
Then, he went towards the same dark path taken by Muluzi. He started arresting people on trumped up treason charges.
The like of Former Vice-President Cassim Chilumpha, politicians such as Alfred Mwechumu and Harry Thomsom.
Others were steal answering to treason charges on April 5, the day that will go down in history as the time Malawi lost a sitting president to death.
After April 5, Malawi has known only one woman as president. Joyce Banda.
This woman started well, with a speech that sent showers of good will across the nation.
But now, Joyce Banda is already losing the key. She has been caught by the fear of imaginary enemies.
She is taking the same path of 'creating' treason charges as if all the themes in creative arts are exhausted.
Joyce Banda, the so-called God-fearing woman, now wants to persecute former Information Minister Patricia Kaliati, former Youth and Welfare Minister Symon Vuwa-Kaunda, former Local Government Minister Henry Mussa, former health Minister Jean Kalilani, former Deputy Minister in the Office of the President and Cabinet Nicholas Dausi, and former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa for addressing a late-night briefing at Television Malawi offices telling the Malawi nation that Joyce Banda couldn't take over power from the fallen Mutharika because she had formed her own People's Party.
It should have been better to let bygones be bygones. It would have been wise to stop this chain of treason charges.
But Joyce Banda is already corrupted by power. No, it is because she is afraid; afraid of nothing but her own shadows. She wants to consolidate her power by riding on the back of the good will from people who, just yesterday, ganged up to kill the local economy.
Surely, with the forks in two, Banda is in bad company.
She is being ill-advised.
Bad riddance.  

No comments: