Tuesday, March 17, 2009


American Elections have come and gone but have left around a legacy that will haunt the African democracies and the rest of the world forever, the rise and election of President Barack Obama. Coming from a minority race in the American populace, equipped with eloquent speeches, cross cutting issues and a powerful voice that reached out to all people around the world, Obama has ushered in a new era of politics.

With keen interest Malawians have watched the whole process learning one or two things from it. Now they wait, hoping another Obama will rise in the country as we draw close to the elections. Nomination papers have been presented to the Electoral Commission and the same old politicians are leading the race with nothing new to offer.

Silently we wait, ready to follow at the sign of his emergence. A leader who will rise to unite the nation regardless of the regions people are coming from, their denominations or political affiliations. A person who will address issues and not personalities, will inspire hope in them and remind them that they can make a difference. A person who will practice real democracy, respect the rule of law, put his emphasis on development, resurrect the dying education system, define a proper health care system and bring justice to the masses.

In the north people are waiting anxiously for this Obama who will develop the region as he will do in the south and centre. A wise person who will not be involved in the politics of kuthana, kunyenyananyenyana ndi kuchekanachekana or kusolola. He will have the welfare of people at heart. He will not use swearing words in rallies, respect opposing views and reach out to other parties.

People of Nsanje are tired of the same old politicians who have been around since independence claiming to own the Lower Shire yet they don't develop it. Now they wait for an Obama, who has no tainted past, corruption background or a chain of political parties he has joined or disbanded. A person who will bring together people from all races and mulhakhos, his rallies will attract all people and with one voice they will speak change, bring change and embrace change.

Young people have been silent for too long hoping this this Obama will come with clear employment creation plans. Bringing in policies that favour the youth all over the country. Not the very same people we read in the history books who are now either bald or gray haired. In the capital people are on their knees ready to join the others when he comes. Not to be left out in the rewriting of the country's history when a new leader springs out.

Unfortunately it seems we have to wait a little longer, because the current crop offers no hope. The same recycled politicians are gracing the podiums in new party colours. Running away from the real issues that affect Malawians and targeting personalities. Twisting and raping the constitution at will to favour them. Masquerading as biblical prophets and messias while they plunder economies in our full view.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that we will be there when he comes. He will surely come no matter what or how long it takes. Americans had to wait for many decades, enduring the suffering that costed some lives. When he came he needed no introduction to the masses who were anxiously waiting for him. Yes We Can !! was enough to bring them together.


Interesting!! The recent findings by the Police inquiry that the Blantyre City South Constituency aspiring MP, Moses Kunkuyu's abduction was staged cannot go without comment. I have been following this news since the day of the said abduction, December 12, 2008. I happen to come from the same constituency that this aspirant is contesting.

The Police have concluded that Mr Kunkuyu 'faked' the abduction and that he slept at Kanjedza Lodge room number 120 on the night of alleged abduction. If these findings are to go by, it confirms the start of a new era of politics in the country. Politics of sympathy. If indeed Mr Kunkuyu faked the abduction, i believe his intention was to draw public sympathy. It is the same public sympathy that the present government has used to survive most of the attacks that the opposition planned against in the Parliament.

Those who follow the Parliamentaly race for Blantyre City South constituency will agree with me that the 'faked' abduction will do more harm than good to the aspirant. Since Kunkuyu expressed his interest to contest as a Member of Parliament for the ruling party, DPP, alot of people from the area supported him. Being a young person who eloquently elaborates his plans for the constituency, he drew attention of alot of people even after he 'lost' the primaries to the incumbent Hon. Jimmy Banda. It was in one of the reruns of these highly contested and controvesial primaries that Moses Kunkuyu 'faked' the abduction. He later withdrew from the ruling party's contest and will go it alone on May 19.

I believe that those people who supported him will be drawn back by these revelations. How can a person who fakes his own abduction be trusted with a big position like that? Will he be capable of delivering to the expectations of the people?. If indeed this is true, and the Police act upon it as reported then Mr Kunkuyu's political future hangs in the balance. His entry into politics has faced a big blow.

A young aspiring politician whose political future looked bright. He joined the race in his own style, donating an ambulance which operates in the constituency, sponsoring a trophy which brings together a lot of young people in the area. He has enriched a few veteran politicians who surrounds him with hard earned money he brought from the UK where he was working. Its a pity to start politics and be involved with those unfortunate situations. Ask Lucius Banda, Maxwell Milanzie.


As we draw close to the General Elections day on May 19, a lot is being said by those who are aspiring to become Members of Parliament in the different constituencies. The media is awash with promises and lies from these aspirants who want to woo as many votes as they can. Some go to the extent of promosing things that they will not deliver or cannot deliver even if they are elected to the position.

In my view there is little or in some cases nothing that Members of Parliaments contribute to the development of the area apart from representing the constituency in the august house. We have a lot of constituencies that remain undeveloped up to this very date despite having MP's who represents them and claims to bring development.

A constituency is a second smallest political divide that a Parliamentarian manages and cannot take a lot of time if one is serious of developing it. For instance a constituency can have a few number of schools, hospitals bridges and roads that a person can facilitate to develop in a short period of time. A development conscious MP will not need over 20 years to develop an area with 5 primary schools, 1 secondary, 3 bridges and 4 markets. But we have MP's who have been representing their respective areas for over 20 years and their constituencies are yet to be developed.

My constituency, Blantyre City South, has had over four MP's since Malawi became independent in 1964 but we are yet to see meaningful development. Instead of developing, the little we had is also going down. Yet every five years we line up in various schools and other public places to vote for people who promise us development. The roads we used to have become impassable every rainy season, bridges are rotten, the schools are in a mess.

In fact we have a school, Naotcha Primary, every MP who comes promises to develop it since 1994 it is still in the same state it was. Already i hear some aspirants are promising to develop it. The road from Chilobwe Trading Centre to Naotcha is one of the shameful reminders of the failure by the Parliamentarians to bring development to the constituency.

It is clearly evident that politics in Malawi and in many parts of Africa has become a get-rich-quick business that everyone need to venture into. A few years in politics will transform one from rags to riches and the simplest entry point is contesting as a Member of Parliament.

This years elections have attracted the interest of every Jim and Jane. Retired civil servants, musicians, business people, religious leaders, comedians have filed their nominations to contest in the 193 constituencies throughout the country. They all have two similar statements, "I want to develop the area" and "people have asked me to contest".

Even as official campaign period starts today (March 17) alot more will be said, coffins will be bought, fake bridges will be built and handouts will be given. Come May 19 people will vote based on these promises and lies hoping that their areas will develop, but five years from now some areas will be the same, others will be worse than before and only a few will be developed.

Friday, March 13, 2009


They say information is powerful and people who are well informed make right decisions in life. Unfortunately a lot of people in Malawi have limited means of getting information and are not in a position to make right decisions.

Three weeks ago, I was sent to work in Muloza Border in Mulanje by the company i work for. Muloza borders with Mozambique and is a just few kilometers from Malawi's commercial city, Blantyre. One can drive less than an hour in the recently constructed Robert Mugabe Highway than using the other route from Limbe via Thyolo.

Being a person who likes to listen to news that is happening around the world, i rememebered to take my FM/MW/SW pocket radio, my Samsung cellphone with GPRS internet facility a few novels and enough money to buy daily newspapers for the period i was to stay. I din't want to miss any bit of what is happening both locally and globally. With a few months to go before the General Elections, the issuing of the warrant of arrest for the Sudanese President and the Zimbabwe Crisis, one needs to be as close to the news as possible.

To my dismay the radio has become useless and can only pick properly two Fm stations, a few MW radios and some short wave transmisions. Zodiak Radio is staion is the only reliable station that can be heard without interruptions while rest are either not heard or are difficult to pick up. The majority of the stations that are heard on Medium Wave are from Mozambique and broadcast in Portuguese which many people in Malawi don't understand. Even though the Short wave transmissions are many, there come in different languages other than English and those that use English are difficult to locate like Radio Russia. The VOA dedicates much of its time to Studio 7 News that concetrates much on Zimbabwe news. This leaves one with very little chance of listening to balanced news.

The print media has also been a biggest disappointment to the information hungry people like me. The daily newspapers reaches the border post around 10am at times up to 11am. There are moments when no newspaper comes up to lunch hour and one has to travel to Limbuli Trading Centre to buy from a Kwiksave. It has really affected me having been used to reading the dailes as early as 6:30am.

The only 'reliable' means of being informed is the internet which unfortunately has little news about Malawi. Even the little news that we find online is not balanced or uptodate. The Nyasa Times and Malawi digest are well updated and have news from many well paced sources but their content leaves a lot to be desired. The only trusted news comes from the two dailies Daily Times and The Nation which unfortunately take time to be updated.

People atleast are able to view pictures from Television Malawi, but i chose to ignore the station completely way back because there is nothing that i gain from it. Almost 80 percent of its news is already heard from some other sources or its about conferences and no real news. Save for a few programs that inteviews different people on various topics though the selection of those interviewed is not balanced.

In view of this I wonder how the masses are expected to make informed choices when there is no better way to be informed. One tends to wonder how people will vote for the right candidates without listening to the important debates and manifesto evaluations that are broadcast on various radios.

The locals seem not to be affected by this development and continue to live their lives unconcerned. But i find it hard to live without being informed in a balanced way. If this is happening in Muloza, a few minutes drive from Blantyre when most media houses are based, how are people in other remote parts of the country accessing information?