Goodies of life favor the strong. So are opportunities. It is perhaps for this reason that matured people—men and women (and not boys and girls)—happen to have life dance good to their lives. The reason for this is all too obvious; mature people are strong; ‘strong’ in the word’s diverse senses. Such people are leadership material, and are deservedly looked at with admiration.
However, when in power, that it so happens that such men and women project a sense of weakness in their leadership , then the awe with which the led looked at them dies, either gradually or there and then. When such happens, such men and women are better called boys and girls. And this is, to the unsuspecting eye, perfectly the case of the Joyce Banda administration and its People’s Party (PP) pundits.
It is interesting to note that no government in Malawi has ever had a stream of gaffes as the PP-led government. This is not to deny the fact that the previous governments have not had their going tough; the focus here is on the frequency and magnitude of such gaffes and the effectiveness of government’s reaction to the same. Using that standard, one would have the entire nation nod in agreement to the earlier statement.
Got why this is the case? It’s simple; because the PP-led government is no longer a camp of men and women as it used to be during the early days of President Joyce Banda’s ascendancy to the presidency. Put it more crudely, the Orange camp is now a grouping of boys and girls always planning where to spend the holiday, and the next, and the next….
No wonder that every national agenda worth the considered attention of a caring government goes almost unnoticed. If the government comments, if at all it does, then it is that some women or man—a citizen—has made a comment or two and the government is responding on a point of clarification. Or better, it is that the government has organized a press briefing or released a press statement as a way of killing the citizenry’s interest in government’s indifference, and nothing more.
You might wonder, as many of the esteemed readers will, as to whether the president has time to strategize matters of state considering the fact that she is constantly exploring places. Perhaps, and this is simply perhaps, someone is intending to write a travelogue!
Come to think of this; every single day Malawians wake up with strange and strong feelings of uncertainty—not knowing what the day holds for them. Things like; will the MK100 return the same value as yesterday considering the instability of the Kwacha in the money market? Where to get the MK2000 to bribe Admarc officials for a bag of Subsidy fertilizer? Will the landlord raise the fee as he usually does? Understandably, it is hard of the citizens in this condition to speak well of such an administration let alone have faith and trust in political democracy that created such leadership .
Indeed, the current administration has dishonourably lost track—always ducking serious matters. It is a norm, speaking in universal terms, that the “manness and womanness” of every government is defined less by how many fortunes it has created for its citizens and more by how resoundingly it has restored faith and confidence in times of tribulations and despair. That’s clearly what a government of men and women does!
Unfortunately, this is not the case with the current administration. It is the citizens, as sometimes guided by the ever opportunistic Civil Society leaders, who seem to man up to issues of national importance. Thus, it is the citizens who are ‘men and women’ as they face every single problem rocking the nation with the vigor of a true patriot. And yet, the same is what was expected of this administration. But, alas! The administration is on a honeymoon effectively leaving government business to fate!
To cut the long story short, this Orange government could rightly be said to be a grouping of boys and girls as they fail to instill confidence in and bring hope to its citizens more so in recent times. And yet its followers—the citizens—who can be said to be men and women as they stand up to and take action for issues of national significance with the anticipation that thereby a better and prosperous Malawi can be had.