Malawian Presidents plagued by rare neurological disorder

It appears there is a recurring occurrence of a Neurological Disorder in our midst. I do not know precisely the origin of this condition. However, I can speculate that the cause of this brain injurystems fromthe shock that comes with winning elections.

Former president Muluzi (right) with President Mutharika: Neurological disorder?

Former president Muluzi (right) with President Mutharika: Neurological disorder?

The disorder seems selective, insidious and renders its victims devoid of scruples. For decadesit has been plaguing the Executive branch of our government.

The definition of Neurological Disorder is structural, biochemical or electrical abnormality in the brainspinal cord or other nerves. This can result in a continuum of symptoms that include paralysismuscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensationseizuresconfusionpain and altered levels of consciousness.

There are many recognized Neurological Disorders, some are relatively common but many are rare. The particular Neurological Disorder that has been crippling presidents since inception of our beautiful nation is one of the rare types. It has largely been reported in Africa and some parts of the Middle East. Its major symptom is altered level of consciousness. Patients tend to loose touch with reality, become stubborn and arrogant. In extreme cases become autocratic and tyrannical.

Although its symptoms are similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease; a form of dementia, the disorder affects people in a totally different way. Victims do not experience loss of memory and motor skills, as they do when they have Alzheimer’s.

As earlier stated, its symptoms manifest only when individuals have been elected into public office. This disorder primarily affects the frontal lobe of the mammalian brain. The function of the frontal lobe involves the ability to project future consequences resulting from current actions, the choice between good and bad actions, the override and suppression of socially unacceptable responses, and the determination of similarities and differences between things or events.

It appears election victories catalyze and expedite the manifestation of this rare disorder in its victims. Prior to elections almost all aspirants sound highly intelligent, focused, astute and visionary. Once they are elected, their decisions, actions, and reactions, and even tone of voice become symmetrical to cognitive impaired individuals. In some cases it is almost practically futile to separate the two.

There is a complete paradigm shift. A shift from individuals who prior to elections generallyresonated with would be voters. They sounded highly insightful as they crisscrossed the country. They echoed a pragmatic policy direction that the country should take. They presented seemingly a plausible national development trajectory.

After securing our endorsement through the ballot box, the same people begin to sound arrogant, vain, conceited, and stubborn. Their main objective mutates from national development into consolidation and maintenance of power. In other ways they manifest a serious altered level of consciousness.

This is analogical to a story that took place in the mid 1800s involving a railroad worker named Phineas Gage. Apparently Mr. Gage miraculously survived an accident where a large iron pole was said to have driven into his skull, specifically into the frontal lobe. After the incident, Gage’s personality was said to have changed drastically.  His friends claimed that the once kind and hard working Gage had changed after the accident to a lazy and rude man until he died years later.

Lets contextualize this, it is crystal clear that triumph in elections is like the iron pole that impaled Mr. Gage. The official victoryannouncement by the Electoral Commission, instantly impales the skull of these people and sever their frontal lobe. Subsequently, leaders immediately commence to behave in a quirky, queer, outlandish and eccentric manner.

Let’s look at some of the empirical evidence;

President Dr. Hastings Banda

In August of 1958, Dr. Hastings Banda got the whole nation psyched and electrified when he became the President-General of Nyasaland African Congress (ANC). After ANCs suppression, Dr. Banda went on to lead the newly formed Malawi Congress Party (MCP), won decisively the first universal suffrage elections in 1961, and led the country to independence as Malawi in 1964.

The first symptoms of a neurological disorder began to manifest shortly after independence. In August of 1964, Dr. Banda exhibited a serious autocratic attitude, he failed to consult other ministers and kept power in his own hands, he insisted on maintaining diplomatic relations with South Africa and Portugal and introduced a number of domestic austerity measures. He eventually mounted a serious crackdown on all dissenting voices. A lot of productive and patriotic sons and daughters of the independence struggle fled the country. Those who remained in the country were hunted and slaughtered like wild animals.

In 1971, he accepted the life presidency of the Malawi nation. In his 30 years tenure, he presided over one of the most repressive regimes in Africa committing horrendous numerous human rights abuses. This person had a severe structural, chemical and electrical abnormality in the brain. His level of consciousness was severely altered. I can never find any plausible explanation for his actions after being made President other than that the election triumph damaged his cerebral cortex immeasurably.

President Bakili Muluzi

1993 still feels like yesterday. I have quite a clear memory of the events that transformed our political landscape forever. A year later, Malawians gave mandate to a humble and timid looking Muluzi to rule for five years and anotherfive after that. Change had come. People were bustling with great expectations from a promise of a better future.

What followed was a complete disaster. His decisions took the country into a downward spiral. Muluzis time as President was marred by controversy and scandal, particularly due to the sale of Malawi’s reserves of maize to other countries shortly before the onset of a drought, which resulted in famine throughout the country.

Despite international pressure, the millions of dollars realized from the sale of Malawi’s food reserves have never been turned over. It is widely suspected that it wound up in foreign accounts belonging to Muluzi and his cronies.

Here was another individual who I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that he was impaled by election results. His frontal lobe was seriously damaged. He became so out of touch. It is actually nauseating just to think that he desired a third term. Who does that? I think two words sum this up well; Neurological Disorder.

President Bingu Wa Munthalika.

Touted so heavily as an economic engineer. He was literally shoved down our throats by Muluzi the self-acclaimed political engineer. Brain damage symptoms swiftly took toll on his mental health after being declared winner. He outright demonstratedthe aberration by dumping a politicalpartythat catapulted him to power. That was a clear warning shot that he did not care about anything at all other than consolidating and maintaining his power base.

In 2009 he purchased a private presidential jet for $13.26 million. This was followed almost immediately by a nationwide fuel shortage due to the hard currency shortage caused by the jet purchase that was officially blamed on logistical problems, but was more likely

The landslide victory in general elections of 2009 made his neurological health much worse. He seemed extremely confused, lost sensation and consciousness. That victory caused a traumatic brain injury. Like his predecessors, he never recovered from it.

In 2011 he expelled Cochrane-Dyet, the British High Commissioner as a result of the  cable controversy that accused him of being increasingly arrogant and autocratic. So tell me, what other condition can explain this kind of carelessness in a sitting President other than cognitive impairment?

President Peter Munthalika

Fast forward to Peter. I have skipped Joyce Banda for a mere reason that I do not believe in serendipity.

Recently President Muntharika, at a political rally in Thyolo district attacked Dr. Boniface Dulani for giving an honest critique backed by a scientific process, on how the electorate feels about his first year in office.  As if the preceding guff was not enough, he proceeded to announce his candidacy for an election that is four years from now; this guy has already started campaigning.

In Ndirande township rally, he took an aim at the media while his minions mudslinged and demonized the current President of MCP Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera for no apparent constructive reason.

Now, if these actions are not of a person with neurological impairment, then what is it? Because I do not think he is on opioids either. Or could it be too much Vodka? My diagnosis is that he has cognitive malfunction and its prognosis does not seem encouraging at all. Mark my words. This is just the beginning of neurological erosion.He needs to either resign or quickly see aneurological specialistbefore the condition gets worse.

The dilemma over this condition is that we have no way of knowing whether aspirants are insulated enough or immune to this disorder. On the other hand, I believe the electorate has immensely contributed to this counterproductive environment. We the people have cultivated and promoted an environment toxic to any kind of progress in this country.

How do we get to elect individuals with no track record or that have done nothing about the advancement of their communities at all? Why should we elect people simply because they are champions on giving handouts? Or that theirfather or perhaps brotherserved as president some years back.

Public offices should be earned through a demonstrated past track record, experience, and of course their sound domestic and foreign policy, not handouts. Peoples past endeavors should demonstrate patriotism and uphold a strong will and spirit to serve their nation. It’s only then that this circus and impunity we have seen perpetually in the Executive Branch shall come to an end. We the people of Malawi are the only people on this planet who can cure this disorder, so help us GOD.

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Skipping “Amai”meant,she was,perfect and in sound mental order!

The analysis is good, only that I’m at a loss to call it ‘a health disorder’. I would suggest if you consulted psychologists and political scientists.Point of order: -How do you relate the analogy of a railway worker with iron pole driven inthe skull to election victors ? Can these be manifested inthe same manner? I would like to learn more on how politics and power impales the manner of an individual.Further more,could you please,analyse the ”transit rule’ of JB and how it affected her since it was based on the ‘death of a sitting president’ rather than a “ballot”
Pewani Joza

It clearly shows that amayi has never been the president of Malawi. I thought i am the only one with such understanding.

She never deserved to be, no wonder she doesn’t appear in this list.

Th worst presidents of the republic of Malawi are: Bakili( ranking number 1) and Amayi (also ranking number one).

The best president ever is BINGU( ranking number one). Witches and wizards would refute this, including you.

Clement Chiwoko

This is affliction of African leaders. This is not a neurological disorder. It is a Mental disorder which has a specific gene only found in African Leaders and politicians bar a few Mandela of South Africa and Nyerere of Tanzania.


I love this academic analysis of our presidency.Keep up the good work and write some more!


Kujampa amai! Tisaname, ka prognosis kanali bwino koma pa ka diagnosis apa? Ka fish kanunkha. Wina was cooka ka rotten fish!

Concerned citizen

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa,skipping amai! Why, how, where, who,what? Mmmmmmmmmmm,good and sensible narration but questionable.

Isaiah Phiri

Nanga ah mayi bwanji??????????????????????????????????

A nice article with lots of sound points. He has pointed out a major problem with Leadership in Malawi as well as myopic people who cannot differenciate btwn the bad, the good and the ugly. Ofcourse the leaders do wat they want because there is no-one to keep them in check. A Malawi amangoti yes bwana even if they dont something. Kugona basi. Shame on u Malawians. Anthu omvetsa chisoni. Walemba zoona koma tikumunenanso kuti sanalembe mwatchutchutchu. Koma alembe zoyamikira zopusa then we are hape. That is cognitive impairment or in other words neurological disorder mupite kuchipatala akakuwoneni. Nthawi ya… Read more »
Mwana Mai

You can tell that the article is a reproduction of a medical student who wants to cheat people that he has a grasp of what he is blabbing about. As someone has pointed out this is a copy and paste trash (plagiarism). All he has done is pick a case study they did in class with the rest of the students. People have gone through that route before and can be able to discern your crudity. Try a different audience, not matured Electronic Media readership.

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