That this Government is lurching from shambles to shambles is the fault of no one other than President Joyce Banda and her ministers.
From the utter chaos over consumers to panic at Capital Hill – it is the decisions of Joyce Banda and her ministers that are to blame for the current mess her Government finds itself in.
Now, what would I have done if I were Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi?
The economic situation in Malawi was in a total mess. President Banda has always told us so. Dr Ken Lipenga was Minister of Finance in the late Bingu wa Mutharika Administration. Why did the President retain him? He was part of the mess and now he is simply continuing with the mess.
This is what I would have done if I were Joyce Banda.
I could have known that I am taking over a shambolic government whose economy was totally mismanaged.
I could have opted for a professional. Malawi has got many professionals in the World Bank, IMF or even African Development Bank. I could have persuaded one Malawian to take a 1 or 2 year sabbatical leave and come and be my Minister of Finance. I could have let him choose his own secretary to the treasury. My words to him could have been simple; revamp the ministry and work as professionals.
I could have done this knowing fully that my man would know which buttons to press, being an employee of either World Bank or IMF; he would know which big dude to ask for help. Moreover, International organisations and donors like their own people. They have trust in people they have trained. At one point the World Bank wanted its own employee Austin Madinga to become governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi; unfortunately he died in a mysterious road accident.
Minister of Education
Education in Malawi is in chaos. In case you do not know, Kamuzu was not a lawyer but for a very long time he was minister of Justice. He relied on Sacranie Gow and Company. These were his advisors.
If I were Joyce Banda, I would be my own Minister of Education. I would hire 3 to 4 people to specifically work on the education system. I would appoint Educationists with vast experience who are just loafing in the villages, people like Vincent Mapesi Gondwe, Professor Brown Chimphamba and many more. I would base my decisions on their guide.
I would not have appointed Eunice Kazembe to a much troubled ministry.
Minister of Justice
Kenney Malunga is a genius of a player Malawi has ever produced but I do not think that he can make a good coach and he is not one.
Ralph Kasambara might be a good lawyer (subject to discussion on another day) but that does not make him a good politician. If I were Joyce Banda I could have hired Henry Phoya as Minister of Justice. He has been at the ministry for long before and he is an experienced politician.
Ministry of Economic Planning
Just like the Ministry of Finance I could have opted for a technocrat in this ministry and I would have hired a Malawian working with an international organisation just for 1 to2 years to put things in order and then let others continue.
Ministry of Foreign affairs
Our international relations were spoiled by the DPP government.
This ministry within these 2 years required someone with sound communication skills. Someone who can coin words that can lure the international community neighbours etc. Just looking at Ephraim Mganda Chiume’s face it tells you that he is not the one. I would have hired Dr Ken Lipenga at this ministry.
Ken has got very good communication skills, he has got the phrases and language David Cameron would want to hear and above all he is a mature politician. But would the international community trust him with his ‘MRAgate’ scandal? Perhaps someone would have done the job better.
Fishing people from retirement is not always a wise idea because they just continue with the same confusion they left and the country is stagnant without fresh or new ideas, as we can see with MBC.
I would appoint people with clean minds, corrupt free hands in any government department. I would make retired people chairpersons of parastatal organisations or I would give them consultancy work.
Now, rather than trying to stick the blame on someone else, the President would be better off getting a grip of this Government.
This is my opinion if you have got yours let us share.