An open letter advising President Joyce Banda

First of all, kindly accept our congratulations Her Excellency Joyce Banda on your ascendancy to the high office. This is a well deserved moment of recognition for past achievements and future goals.

We, the Timau Crew, hope Malawians will join in wishing you well and that we should all proffer our support to you. We are convinced that your coming into the high office will bring development and progress in Malawi.

Madam, you have ascended into this office not through an election but through the powers of the constitution. Now that you appreciate how powerful the constitution is, it is our wish that you uphold it.

Joyce Banda

As an oath keeper, we feel it is entirely and totally your responsibility to adhere and defend the constitution.

Your running of government will be judged in many ways, your decisions, deeds, and above all appointments. It is on this point of appointments why we have written you this letter.

We know that you are aware of Malawians strong distaste of nepotism and appeasement appointments.

You are mandated by the constitution to appoint board members of parastatal organisations.

BOARD MEMBERS/DIRECTORS

The Board of director’s key purpose is to ensure the company’s prosperity by collectively directing the company’s affairs whilst meeting the appropriate interests of shareholders in this case Malawians. In addition to business and financial issues, boards of directors most deal with challenges and issues relating to corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and corporate ethics.

Your Excellency, with the above in mind, have you ever wondered why our parastatal organisations are malfunctioning? Why is Escom failing to deliver? Did you know that Mepc, Sedom, Demat were all “walking dead”? Why?

As far as we are concerned an effective board looks at a bigger picture, it is alert to signs of trouble before a crisis erupts. This is not the case in most instances. Why?

Ever since the board members have been chosen on an appeasement policy.

What does a traditional chief who does not understand “Newton’s Law” sit on an Escom board? Why should a Reverend who does not know the five Ws in journalism head the MBC board? Why have a district party women’s league chairperson, who does not know the simplest accounting theory or any business model on a Sedom/Dematt Board and expect them to perform.

A good board has a keen sense of priorities. It works on an agenda so that it does not waste time on frivolous issues. The Board encourages planning and the use of planning tools and it is also charged with the duty of hiring the Chief Executive Officer hence the CEO reports to the board. Is it like this in Malawi? Yes and no!

When a CEO is directly appointed by your office Madam, it becomes difficult for the board to tame him/her. And in most cases, it is a political appointment.

This has just happened. Are we right? Yes, Madam, you have just appointed Benson Tembo as CEO of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) instead of the board doing the appointment. Did you uphold the constitution?

MBC

As we have just said, you have single handily appointed Benson Tembo as the Director General of MBC and thus relieving Mr Bright Malopa of his duties.

No one will fault you for Malopa’s exit as the door was slowly closing for Malopa and that is according to Nyasa Times of 5th April, 2012 which indicated that Bright Malopa was on forced leave.

Madam, the issue here is that MBC has got a board which is appointed by your office under the communications act. This board which is appointed by you has got the mandate to appoint the DG. If this set up can be followed, the appointed DG will automatically respect his/her directors in that set up.

Your Excellency, you rightly told your Information Minister, Moses Kunkuyu, that you don’t want to be worshiped. “Worship God” you said. Your appointment of Benson Tembo at MBC brings jitters in us. We do understand that “a new broom sweeps clean”  but an old broom knows every corner, however, we should not also forget that one cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

In an interim makeshift yes, Tembo is the right man but in the long run this man will make you to be worshiped. The experienced Tembo represents the past MBC which danced for Kamuzu Banda and Bakili Muluzi.  Tembo set up TVM but turned it into a dancing arena fo r Muluzi. Why will he not do the same thing to you? Mind you, you do not want to be worshiped, people should worship God as you rightly said.

Madam, reshuffle the MBC board which is within your mandate, then let the new board appoint a young man/woman to understudy Mr Tembo. Send this young man/woman abroad for training and then let him take over from Benson Tembo and this new DG will carry the vision in new Malawi.

Madam, we need to respect the law and this means to respect the law even in minute details, otherwise we are going to fall prey to the same constitution that put you in power,furthermore, this constitution does not allow us to break other laws, by this, in this context, we want you to reorganise board members of parastatal organisations and let them if need be appoint CEOs, its only then that things will move perfectly.

 

These board members should be full of strategic turn around to make parastatal organisations perform. They should have relevant qualifications to stand the heat from the CEOs.

At the moment, Madam, do not touch CEOs. Avoid the tendency of by-passing the Board because this creates confusion.  CEOs tend to overlook the board and respect the President who appointed them. We do not want political interference in these organisations as this is why things are stagnant. We need technocrats in all boards and not traditional chiefs or party cadres.

Traditional Chiefs and party cadres do not have substantial ammunition to forge these companies ahead.

A new Malawi under your leadership Madam requires new ideas.

Traditional Chiefs

Your Excellency, much as we appreciate the fact that everyone has something with which to help the country to develop, we feel that the idea of having traditional chiefs in boards of parastatal organisations will not help our country in anyway.

Chiefs have got there own forum and that is the District Development Committee (DDC). We should also not forget that since time immemorial chiefs have been sitting under those Baobab trees trying cases. These are the places where people need them.

Let us not appease them by putting them in boards. The appeasement works but you will look a non performer Madam. By this statement, we do not over look some chiefs who are graduates or have some technical know-how of some institutions; obviously, they will have something to share with other board members.

Conclusion.

Madam, remember that a constitution is a plan that provides the rules for a government, it may be written or unwritten but it is so powerful that it can make or bring down a leader.

Board members can give business credibility if chosen on merit and their qualifications considered.

And as an Oath keeper, we the Timau Crew hope you will uphold the constitution.

God bless you and give you the courage and intelligence to govern Malawi.

Finally Madam, we thought of sharing a word of God with you.

Please read: 1 Peter 5:2, Proverbs 31: 8-9, Mathew 24: 45-47.

All the best Abiti Ntila!! Congratulations!

 

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