Sunday, February 10, 2013

Joyce Banda Back to Her True Self

The sheep has gotten out of President Joyce Banda, as expected.
And, as naturally as it was artificial, she is Joyce Banda again.
What, you may ask, does this mean?
It means that Joyce Banda- the individual, and not the president- is back to her roots. These routes, experience shows, are stubbornness, utter ignorance, and verbal diarrhoea.
It is so simple to respond.
President Joyce Banda has abandoned the innocence which characterised her escapades as Vice-President of the Republic of Malawi. During that time, Malawians with ordinary thoughts, ordinary hopes, ordinary brains, and ordinary fears remember- in their ordinary way- the Joyce Banda of that time: Humble, resolute, understanding, empathetic, and, we would say, loving.
No more.
As it turns out, President Joyce Banda was out to cheat the nation- even hoodwinking it into believing that here, on this very soil, was a woman born to deliver (both the goods, and the nation) from whatever it be.
It was never to be.
The Joyce Banda who leads Malawi is not the Joyce Banda we ever knew. She has changed. She has become addicted to money. To power. To anger. To stubbornness.To political bickering. To insults. To cheating. To castigating. To bad-mouthing. To name-calling.
And everything shameful.
That is what Joyce Banda has turned out to be.
A woman who doesn't represent the aspirations of the Malawian people anymore.
Her masters are the development partners she worships with both hands and feet.
All of a sudden, the president's family has become mega-rich.
They have, with the blessings of the president and her involvement, taken over the supply of food stuffs in public institutions.
They, lost in their dance of shame, have taken over the transport sector.
They, without any sense of reflection, have become the untouchables of Malawi. What with development partners who, just nine months ago, were against former President, the slain (according to Pride Magazine, current edition) President Bingu wa Mutharika, becoming her spokespersons?
Fuel prices have become as unpredictable as the Southerly winds.
Commodity prices go up the way they want.
The ordinary citizen's voice is no longer heard.
The poor salaries civil servants are subjected to no longer concern those in power.
President Joyce Banda is lost in her own world. Realising that the 2014 Presidential Elections are around the corner, she has gone on overdrive, fundraising for a campaign that, in the end, may not be there for her.
Three days hardly pass without hearing that Joyce Banda is addressing this, or that meeting. The president, it seems, has lost her sense of shame. At any particular time, she is ready to grace any occasion, including the flying of kites by children of between three years and 15.
Now, that is a shame. The shame of our time.
In fact, president Joyce Banda has adopted derogatory language these days. And her speeches cannot be gathered ,as we do with pebbles of sand, into one cup because they are so disintegrated they make no sense- except, perhaps, to herself and her zealots.
And this is not the Joyce Banda we all knew.
Let me put you into the picture of an innocent Joyce Banda we had, and one we will never have.
I remember, clearly, that in April 2003, I found myself interviewing Joyce Banda on the second floor of Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel. The interview took one hour. I was recording everything.
When we were threw with the interview, Joyce Banda told me: "Okay, I have changed my mind. Don't write anything from the interview. My United Democratic Front party seniors may be on my neck. THey will think I am talking something that contravenes the party on some issues."
Well,the issue in question was gender equality. And Joyce Banda was still not comfortable to talk about it, lest it offended her party masters then.
That, to say the truth, tells you of a Joyce Banda who was so sensitive to her sorroundings. Joyce Banda who cared. Joyce Banda who stood for the aspirations of Malawians women.
Shy. Reserved. Guarded. Caring. Loving. That was Joyce Banda for you.
No more.
As president, Joyce Banda has become greedy. Selfish. Mrs-Know-It-All. And everything associated with big-headedness.
That is why, due to this big-headedness, civil servants have threatened to go on strike this Monday.
Civil Servants Trade Union President, Eliah Kamphinda Banda, has made it clear that all civil servants will down their tools because their salaries can no longer keep up with the slippy cost of living.
What does President Joyce Banda do? She keeps quiet.
She doesn't care any more.
She is lost in her own world.
A lonely world.

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