A political scientist based at Chancellor College in Zomba, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), Happy Kayuni has said the current political terrain in the country does not favour former president Joyce Banda’s aspirations to contest in 2019 presidential elections.
Banda—who came a distant third to President Peter Mutharika in 2014 elections —indicated in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) Striaght Talk Africa program this week that she is ready to return home from self imposed exile in United States and serve the people of Malawi if asked to be on the ballot in 2019 elections.
But Kayuni, an associate professor of public administration at Chancellor College, has quashed Banda’s aspirations, saying the former president is not the form of an alternative for Malawi to replace her successor Mutharika.
Mutharika has been under a barrage of criticism for being inept and underperforming.
Kayuni said despite Mutharika’s performance, the current political terrain of the country in not in favour of the former female president.
“Even if the current president [Peter Mutharika] is deemed not performing, I don’t think the alternative can be Joyce Banda in the Malawian political landscape at the moment,” Kayuni is quoted in the local press as saying.
“What is happening now is that most likely we will have emerging prospective leaders and considering that she has been away for too long that I think in the mind of Malawians she is a spent politician,” Kayuni said.
He further said Banda’s plans to launch a bid to serve the people of Malawi again would be wasting her time.
Other political observers say her political party, the Peoples Party (PP) has lost ground and support with many members quitting and many fortune seekers who truned orange when she was in power have either joined ruling DPP or Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Commentators also say Banda’s abscence has affected the political momentum in PP with the current leadership being weak.
But speaking to VOA’s veteran journalist, Shaka Ssali, Banda said: “At the end of the day, if you are talking about my political life, it is Malawians who will decide. If Malawians are saying I should continue; they want me to stand again, I shall go back home and answer that call.”
The former president said she is currently finishing her research on women’s leadership and girls’ education at the Woodrow Wilson Center and Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington DC.
Banda became the first serving Malawian president to lose an election.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :