I was one of the people who sympathized with Dr Joyce Banda when she was being victimized by the former Presidents administration. She was not given a level playing field to show her potential prior to the death of her boss. There were a lot of stories coming out on why the Vice President was not given a fair share. To be fair, Malawians did not choose Joyce Banda to be the president of this country. Fate chose her.
She has to thank the framers of the Malawi constitution who overlooked the fact that it is better to have a care taker leader and conduct elections after a few months in cases like what happened in April 2012. A few analysts have also backed this idea than the state at which the current constitution is. The JB administration has taught Malawians the hard way. Sooner or later we will hear of calls to amend this anomaly.
Come 2014 I will not throw away my precious right to vote for this lady President. Here are my 8 reasons:
1. She has all the powers to bring change but she is not.. Malawian Presidents are very powerful. More powerful than one can imagine. It is sad to see how my president is using her powers to harass chiefs, divert maize , create parallel fertilizer subsidy structures instead of coming up with a serious development plan. She can do all it takes to make Malawi a better place to live, but she has not. Am not satisfied with her , her ways Of resolving issues. Her resume is full of good charitable works, awards from various international organizations and the world had high hopes in her. She associates with big names in the who and who's of the world, infact some of these big names have already paid a visit in the year she's been in office. But her actual implementation of things leaves a big gap in the person who is sold on the resume.
2. She had nothing to loose after April 2012. The task was simple, take over from the late president and finish his term. There were problems from the previous government yes, it was a mockery to hire the same people who brought the problems to clean their own mess. She could loose nothing to bring in completely new faces with the reqiured expertise. Was it not an insult to hire the same Finance Minister who championed the hated zero deficit budget, who sexed up figures, the same guy who lied to the nation several times and was riddled in scandals? JB lost a chance to be the first president who championed clean politics, succeeded in restoring the economy to everyone's satisfaction and taking Malawi to the next level of development.
3. Peoples Party. I will not cast my vote to JB because of this grouping of opportunists calling itself PP. It was not anywhere near the ballot paper when we lined to usher into power Bingu and JB in 2009. It's by mere luck that they find the audacity of calling themselves the "ruling party". This grouping is giving wrong advice, directly or indirectly, to the care taker President with the aim of taking over power in 2014. Just listen to the arrogant speeches coming out of their mouths when they speak.
4. Mediocrity. I have lived through almost all the four governments. Even though I was still in school when the first Ngwazi was ruling, I was active enough to take part in the celebrations after the 1993 referendum. Since then I have been a keen follower and participant in the various democratic processes. There has never been a time when government business had sunk to it lowest webb than this time. Former President once said that running a government is a siliyasi bizimesi (serious business). These words are now ringing a bell in most peoples minds looking at the childish and mediocre stuff that characterize government business this day. I will not spend my hardearned time to vote for this kind of leadership to continue.
5. Executive Arrogance. One thing that led to Bingu's fall from grace was arrogance. Despite being a champion of various developments, that man was full of arrogance beyond tolerance. His class is that of Uncle Bob in Zim. Arrogance brought Bingu to his knees though the majority backed him in 2009. Instead of learning a leaf or two from this fall from grace, JB and company are taking Malawians for granted by being arrogant. Of all people, JB should have learn of what Malawians are capable of doing if they are united. She was there on 20 July when Malawians surprised themselves by speaking with one voice. People have criticised her frequen travels, told he to declare assets, stop hate speeches, deal with corruption, open MBC, etc. It all falls on deaf ears. Listen to the people and implement what they want.
6. No meaningful development Before coming with this piece I carefully searched for what the JB administration has done to develop our country. An interview with several people brought several answers chief of which is the availability of fuel and forex. Apart from this there is not much worthy attributing to a government. I will will not sink very low to call distribution of maize and blankets to a few individuals as development. Hundreds of NGOs are already on the ground doing the same. There was talk of Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) which has since lost flavor as it is not being talked in loud voices anymore. 2014 will need a government committed to developing this land of ours. Unfortunately this PP is not up to the task.
7. I inherited a sick economy. I have heard this line many times in the past year. I wonder when this government will rise up and take responsibility of its business. It's the same people running this government who brought these problems. In the same speeches I heard this line, there was also talk of being part of the good decisions made. I remember hearing that JB was part of the delegation that went to discuss with China on various developments. She has used this line in opening various projects before. In the same vein she embraces the good things of the previous regime, she should have accepted the bad ones too and tKe steps to resolve them. I need a president who takes responsibility in both good and bad times.
8. No hope or inspiration. One can argue that it is too early to make up my mind not to vote for JB but I have carefully analysed the path we are taking and I don't see any hope or inspiration that things will change for the better. To an average employee like me things were bad prior to April 2012. There are now worse that than ever before to the extent that it takes a miracle to survive these days. Workers are suffering in the country that they pay a lot of tax to feed the politicians who end up insulting them on public airwaves run by the same taxes they pay. It's kind of tough to push in the same government into power.