Does Chakwera lack the spine to bite?

President Joyce Banda continues to run the country like “mandasi business” as there is no clear direction as to where the country is heading, and yet Malawians seems to be pretty much ok as there is no loud voice of outcry from this governments deliberate and careless tons of corruptions that in all likelihood germinates from the president herself.

May be the elections will be a game changer to woes we are facing, unfortunately the whole opposition lack a clear message to tie Joyce Banda to the misery the country continues to experience.

Malawi has been wrecked with rampant corruption at its highest order under Joyce Banda, and no one has seriously challenged this administration to explain and account of its maladministration particularly looting of public finances and now the purportedly sale of the presidential jet.

President Banda greets MCP president Lazarous Chakwera
President Banda greets MCP president Lazarous Chakwera

By her arrogance and defiance to the sensitive of these pressing matters of the day, the President is effectively not aligning herself to the basic needs of the Malawians particularly as regards to health, food security, education and eventually the whole economy. Unfortunately, we have to blame ourselves because no one has seriously taken her to task on these pertinent issues, hence its business as usual in her type corrupt world.

Having said that, it is no secret that Joyce Banda is a clueless leader, but she and her administration have been very good at out smarting Malawians by taking advantage of our tendency of not enforcing the core tenets of democratic values in holding our elected officials accountable.

Time after time constitution has been interpreted to suit a particular situation hence rendering the whole democracy useless. In essence our democracy has been a defacto dictatorship in one way or the other as the constitution is adhered to at will.

The speaker and the parliament are also culpable in wrecking this country down as they have failed to provide checks and balances to the Joyce Banda administration as it should be.

The civil societies and various professional associations, Law, accountants, auditors, media, just to name a few, have also seriously let Malawians down by not addressing and questioning the ills of government policies. I am mindful of the fact that political affiliations more often times does affect most of those running these instructions as they are uncomfortable criticising the government they support or identify themselves with. These associations or societies are supposed to be standing up for the larger majority voiceless regardless of who is in power, otherwise they should join the front line politics instead of hiding under the banner of civil society.

As is required by law, Joyce Banda refused to declare her asset when she assumed the presidency, and by the way this declaration is supposed to be public and not on demand. The intent of this provision is to prevent the president and all elected officials from enriching themselves from corrupt practices as a custodian of the government coffers and/or influencing corrupt practices due to authority and power they purport to weird. No one cried foul, later alone the civil society at that time. Joyce Banda knows has capitalised on our major weakness as country.

As Malawians we have failed to hold our elected officials or those in public domain accountable. Accountability is probably the major tenets that sustains democracy, and yet is nonexistence in our society. It’s not surprising therefore that president continues to enjoy the lime light when she is basically running the country down in light of all the scandals. That aside, because we are not holding these elected officials accountable, we are now faced with a much bigger problem in the name of CASH GATE. The woes of this massive corruption is immeasurable. The bigger frightening picture arising from this scandal is how the politics has even corrupted the civil service, Reserve Bank and the commercial banks. Civil servants are public servants regardless of the political party is in power, but what is prevalent now in most government departments is that most civil servants do not differentiate their roles and often times they act like they are “junior ministers” because of their allegiance to ruling political gurus.

Likewise it will be adverse effect on the economy if banks are influenced by politicians in assessment and formulation of the economic policy direction. You will recall that the then Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga presented a fake budget to the nation. That a clearly good example of political interference to the smooth operation of the public sector. The government is there to provide a conducive environment for the private and public sector to operate fairly.

Having said, the opposition has incoherent message in their quest to unseat Joyce Banda.I am afraid, Joyce Banda may win the next election and surely continue to enrich herself and her cohorts at our expense if the opposition do not strategies their approach.

The CASH GATE scandal and the circumstances surrounding the sale of presidential jet are just a few campaign message gift for the opposition. Surprisingly, they do not seem to embrace the chance to align Joyce Banda with these massive scandals. I can however, understand the conscious approach by the opposition in handling corruption under Joyce Banda.

My take is that these “career politicians or politicians for gain “in UDF, DPP, and MCP would like to enjoy the same corrupt privileges should they become a ruling government. Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) is one good example. The parliament has regulated MBC time and again so that it provides fair coverage to all political entities and yet every ruling party has in the past used the institution to silence the opposition in violation of the very statutes they enact. The same is true with Cash Gate I hear it’s a brain child of DPP, and we know UDF had its own fair share of corruption at the highest level. This then leaves me with Dr Lazarus Chakwera as the MCP president to take on Joyce Banda seriously.

Chakwera came in the political scenery with a very good will for a number of reasons; he is a man of God, he came in as an outsider who would bring in with him a fresh perspective to political environment. I am sure he did that to a point. In fact most Malawians wish him well in the next general election. But that alone is not enough. He is now a politician, and has to start to act as a one, otherwise Joyce Banda with all the government machinery at her disposal, will be tough to beat.

It’s not enough to say Chakwera administration will be corrupt free, because right now Joyce Banda is saying that she uncovered corruption and is getting to the bottom of it, and therefore whoever has the loudest voice particularly to the rural people carries the day. My only advice for the MCP president is to forcefully tie Cash Gate scandal to Joyce Banda in his everyday campaign, demand answers on the sale of the presidential jet, and that should be the theme.

Most Malawians have high hopes on Chakwera’s campaign, but it seem he lacks the spine to attack Joyce Banda on issues and policies. Joyce Banda has no good record to run on, and therefore the opposition should vehemently use the same to attack her. For those of you following US politics, attacking and manipulating your opponent’s position or record is the part of the political system. Indeed president Obama used the same ploy against his republican challenger. And yes, we can learn a few tips on how our friends embrace their democratic process without appearing to demean the other side.

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