Malawi Pres. Joyce Banda losing it big time -Newspaper columnist

Newspaper columnist George Kasakula continue to critique President Joyce Banda . He wrote in ‘My Diary’ column published in Weekend Nation on Saturday May 11  saying she is losing it.  The column is re-posted  below, full text:

In the likely event that ministers and advisers are afraid of telling President Joyce Banda some home truths, fearing for the luxury that comes with their jobs, I will do it on their behalf: She is losing it.

Instead of governing, she is getting embroiled and falling into traps that are easy to side-step and her ministers are then left to sweat to clean up the mess as she leaves it in her wake.

The Table Mountain Declaration that Namisa asked the President to sign is not a binding document. It is a lame document that the organisation wants presidents to sign just to show that they have goodwill towards removing all insult laws on books.

But signing it will not make the laws fall off. That can only take Parliament after government tables an appropriate bill.

President Banda : Losing it
President Banda : Losing it

Looked at differently, therefore, the declaration does not mean anything meaningful to the media in the immediate. On the contrary, if she had signed it, it would mean a lot to the President.

It would have cemented her claims to the effect that she is the real deal and that her overtures to the media so far were not only meant to contrast her predecessor’s dictatorial tendencies, thereby scoring cheap political points.

But sadly, she is all over, fighting an unnecessary war with the media she is sure not to win. She categorically said two weeks ago that she is not signing the declaration because the media insult her.

Yet, this week, the President had the cheek to tell us that we should not think that because she is a woman, she is brainless and that she refused to sign because the document was brought to her two weeks before May 3 and needed time to consult her officials.

She was repeating the false line of her Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu which Namisa chairperson Anthony Kasunda, rightly dismissed, insisting that the regional body has been courting the President for months.

As for the woman jibe, none of her critics have argued against her based on gender and it sounds petty.

But as long as she is in that office, she cannot be left alone even in the face of the emotional blackmail she is peddling by playing up the gender card to shut her critics up. What she does affects over 14 million Malawians and not only her family and friends.

The President is doing a disservice to us all as every time she opens her mouth, it is trouble leading to quick concocting of press statements and ministers answering summons.

The land reform programme in Zimbabwe was not as it is portrayed to be. Rather, it was land grabbing by a gullible government from white owners to redistribute and pacify the then increasingly agitating Chimurenga War veterans.

Put it differently, it was State-sponsored lawlessness whose only effect was to change the dynamics of production that brought down to its knees one of the best economies in Africa, leading to countless Zimbabweans leaving and becoming economic refugees.

For the President to express admiration of such a programme, which, even the staunchest of the leftist revolutionaries, found disastrous for the deep suffering it caused even among the indigenous Zimbabweans, is completely unthinkable.

What the President is suggesting, for example, is that her government grabs foreign- owned tea estates in Thyolo and Mulanje or tobacco farms in the Central Region, and give them to PP supporters.

Make no mistake, land reform is needed in Malawi to correct the imbalances that have made foreigners own large swathes of land even in cities at the expense of locals, but the model cannot be Zimbabwe and no wonder donors are up in arms upon hearing what the President said.

If I were her, I would take that as sign that somewhere somehow I have gone off-track. What more with the press statements that the government machinery is churning out every day to clarify what comes out of her mouth.

The President has lost it.

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