Friday, December 14, 2012

Joyce Banda's Administration: A Bunch of Hypocrites!


...Joyce Banda  has started falling over her own words

Malawi's accidental president, Joyce Ntila Banda, is, today, an epitome of everything that goes wrong in Malawian society.
From a woman who rose from nowhere- if baking traditional cakes (Zigumu), mandasi, and zitumbuwa is to be considered as nothing less than the ashes- to become Malawi's president at the stroke of death (which death saw former president, Malawi's fallen visionary leader, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, die on April 5, this year (oh, how long it seems now), Malawians can hardly believe what they are hearing from this woman.
Mrs. Banda has, from nowhere, become the vindictive, vengeful, I-Care-for-Myself woman people always heard she was. This time, though, the people do not need to be told how vindictive, how pompous  how vengeful, how self-serving this woman is. They will get it from her, a woman who cannot even hold the level of hewr voice when speaking in public.
A woman whose sense of speech is that of a head teacher who disciplines pupils by scolding them with hot water!
Need examples of Mrs. Banda's hypocrisy, in the first place? Here we go.
Last year, Malawians were an angry lot. Angry at the rate Mutharika's administration was going. Among other things, the Mutharika administration attempted, and in real time managed, to subvent the press. This muzzling of press freedom was clear in the way the government introduced bills in Parliament, one of which went to the extent of giving the Information Minister- that gullible human being, male or female, who yaps untruths to the nation before their own children and dependents- powers to ban a publication, or publications, whose printings were deemed anathema by the big-berried non-human being called The Government.
Along with this shameless carding of shame came more shames. One of these shames, shamefully, pertains to the adverts (read, government adverts) ban imposed on Nation Publications Limited, one of Malawi's independent newspapers.
The economy was another shame, looking at the way fuel disappeared from pump stations. Basic commodities, including sugar, became so scarce it was threatening. What a shame that was, having no sugar in retail outlets that had never run out of sugar before (that is, after Malawi gained independence from Britain in 1964).
Never, in the history of the country, did public furry run as high as the sky- Mulanje Mountain's peak of Sapitwa (unreachable point) being part of the physical features that sank so low during that time of record lows.
All these miseries were worsened by the misery of a woman who, by chance and Mutharika's zeal to sell himself as an old man who was, at least, gender-sensitive, was ostracised by the Powers-that-Be because of something as petty as differences in opinion on political matters. We may add that it is also because of her ambitions then.
Mutharika has hand-picked Mrs. Banda to be his running mate during the 2009 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. The both stood on a Democratic Progressive Party ticket.
But, before long, that old syndrome of an unknown political disease suffered by Malawi's democratic presidents (  Malawi's first president, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda excluded because he had no Vice-President. But Bakili Muluzi, who became Malawi's first democratic president after the Referendum of 1993, and the multiparty elections of 1994, and Bingu wa Mutharika, who took over in 2004, after Muluzi had run his mile of two, five-year terms, ostracised the very Vice-Presidents they, themselves, had chosen under no duress in the later part of their reign. During Muluzi's era, the unwitting victim was Vice-President Justin Chimera Malewezi, who was mocked by Muluzi simply because he had problems with his kidney. Muluzi also called Malewezi 'Madeya' - maize or rice husks- when he handpicked Mutharika to be the United Democratic torch-bearer during the 2004 elections. In turn, when his dream of becoming Malawi's president materialised, Mutharika ostracised his Vice-President Cassim Chilumpha, to the extent of framing up treason charges against him, thanks to the 'wise and dynamic' Attorney Generalship of one Ralph Kasambara, the man behind the 'Constructive Referendum' speak ).
While Chilumpha was ostracised during Mutharika's first five-year term, Mutharika (as expected) hand-picked Mrs. Banda to be his running mate in 2009, only to start ostracising her barely two years into his second five-year term. The bone of contention was the DPP Presidency in 2014, the year Malawians will line up again, to elect the Head of State and Government.
Mutharika wanted his brother, Prof. Peter Mutharika, while Mrs. Banda had her sights set on the same position.
So, along with Vice-President Khumbo Kachali, Banda and Kachali started feeling the hit in the DPP, and were subsequently booted from the party at a kangaroo meeting held at one of the party's zealots in Lilongwe.
The charge: Mrs. Banda and Kachali were busy putting in place parallel party structures in their bid to 'beat' Peter to the 'throne'.
That is how the two ended up forming the People's Party, a party which, by the stroke of death on April 5, became the ruling party through the back door. Suffice it to say Malawi's electoral system is that of 'First-Past-The-Post. The country's system is not representative. It is not Parliamentary. It is presidential.
So, the party the president belongs to becomes the ruling party. It becomes the party of the people despite the people not voting for it.
Just like that.
And, so, the DPP became the ruling party in 2005, after Mutharika dumped it during the Anti-Corruption Day held on 5 February 2005 in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe. This was the first time an individual entered into government (in this case, Mutharika being elected on the UDF ticket in 2004) in order to form a political (as he later formed the DPP, which became the ruling party instead of the UDF). 
Normally, the tendency is for people to form political parties in order to get into government.
But Mutharika cannot be faulted for doing what he did. Fault the electoral system.
The same with Mrs. Banda. She cannot be faulted for hauling her People's Party into government. Unless the laws are reviewed and ammended, there will never be any form of insurance that will shield Malawians from this practice of In-Government-Unelected political parties deciding the destiny of Malawians.

However, we are interested in the days of Mrs. Banda as Vice-President; those days when the nation was sympathising with her due to the purported mis-treatment. During those days, Mrs. Banda supported any cause that seemed to relay what people had in mind.
She supported the July 20 demonstrations that saw 20 lives disappear- like vapour after the marriage of sun's rays and the sea. She also supported many other public causes.
Today, however, Mrs. Banda is against the demonstrations slated for January next year, calling them useless, unwaranted, and uncalled for. 
Her administration has, shamelessly, warned activist John Kapito- the executive director for the Consumers Association of Malawi, and former chairperson of the Malawi Human Rights Commissionj- against going ahead with plans to hold anti-government protests over poor economic policies and a deteriorating economic situation that has left consumers' pockets more tattered than they would if they were attacked by vicious rats.”
Riled by this, and President Mrs. Banda and her Vice, Khumbo Kachali's extravance, through their intensive local and foreign trips, the consumers’ body has vowed to press ahead with plans to mobilise people to stage a mass consumer protest that has, since, received the backing of UDF 2014 Presidential candidate, Atupele Muluzi, the Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi, the Public Affairs Committee, among other bodies.
Cama executive director John Kapito announced that the mass strike is likely to take place in January 2013.
But Banda, through government spokesperson and Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu has said, "while the Banda administration will “forever respect freedom of expression in all its forms, the protests are signs of patriotism and irresponsibility”
Banda's government has, instead, asked Malawians to "fully reflect on the journey that the Nation has gone through between May 2009 to date and do a comparative analysis of the period between 2009 elections to April 5, 2012 and the period from April 7, 2012 to date.”
In their lop-sided sense of things taking  turn for the better, Kunkuyu says “Any Malawian with some sense of responsibility and honesty will realize that things have taken a turn for the better since the current administration took over the affairs of our country.”
This, to say the truth, is a modern form of nonsense called hypocrisy.
Let Malawians match against greedy politicians led by Mrs. Banda, people who are plundering national resources in the name of charity (for example, Mrs. Banda's distribution of flower to people when the World Food Organisation is doing the same, having received 20, 000 metric tonnes from the Strategic Grain Reserves, and other resources being mobilised. These efforts have, however, been hampered by a shortfall of US$26 million.
Why can't Mrs. Banda channel her resources to these people of good will, instead of distributing 600 50 Kg bags of maize worth K1.2 million at the cost of (including fuel and allowances for her government officials) K5 million?
Where is the common sense here?
Was charity this expensive?
The truth is that Mrs. Banda and her Orange political zealots are hypocrites bent at milking scarce national resources.
The shame of our time. 

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