Malawi’s first female president and the second in Africa, Joyce Banda, has confessed that she feels former presidents in the country are “being underutilised” but was quick to add that this is as a result of various political misunderstandings.
Malawi currently has, as of now, three retired presidents in the names of Bakili Muluzi, Peter Mutharika and Banda who ascended to the presidency following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012.
Speaking in an interview with Times Television exclusive on Saturday, monitored by Nyasa Times, Banda said there “there is more former presidents can do.”
She told host Wonderful Msiska: “Former presidents are underutilised but the manner in which we are supposed to be used depends on the discretion of the sitting president.
“I have examples of how retired presidents are well used in such countries and neighbouring Tanzania and Ghana. In Ghana, for example, the sitting president actually invites former presidents for discussions of national issues.”
But Banda said she was busy with what she was doing and that she was satisfied with what she had delivered during her two years as President of Malawi.
“I am very busy. I am very busy with the work I am doing at the Joyce Banda Foundation,” she pointed out.
“ The fact that that I am able to help out on making sure people have safe water and ensuring that people with HIV/AIDS are living positively gives me a lot of satisfaction. Actually, right now I am busy making face masks that are being freely distributed across the country,” she said.
Banda, however, gave an emotional response when asked how she felt losing the 2014 presidential election.
“I did not lose that election. And this issue we must never discuss it again. You saw the tippex in the just nullified election, you think there was no tippex in 2014?”
Future for Peoples Party, Tonse Alliance
The 70-year old said she would remain a member of the People’s Party (PP) to the end, but was also quick to say that she wanted the party to be left in good hands.
“I am getting old and I have done my part both as Head of State and PP leader. But what I want is that a perfect succession plan be done so that someone else takes the party to greater heights,” she said.
On the the performance of the Tonse government, Banda said she was so far satisfied with its performance.
“The combination of Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima is great and splendid. One is meek and humble who wants to work with everyone for the best of this country while the other one is a doer working on the ground,” said Banda.
But she mentioned that the Chakwera-Chilima government could only be hampered by those that are in the alliance.
“My worry is us who surround the two. Otherwise they cannot fail,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :