Malawians ‘movers and shakers’ have expressed mixed feelings over the statement by University of Malawi political scientist, Blessing Chinsinga, who suggested that the country is in deep political, economic and social problems because of “accidental presidents” that have ruled Malawi since the dawn of multiparty politics in 1994.
Chinsinga made the opinion in his presentation at the just ended high-level conference of civil rights and religious leaders and academics, who met in Blantyre under the aegis of the quasi-religion Public Affairs Committee (PAC).
A researcher and activist at Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Makhumbo Munthali said Chinsinga’s observations were on track as they provided the causes behind the current economic problems from which solutions could be built on.
“You can’t just start to go straight into providing solutions to the current economic and socio-political mess without first digging into the reasons or causes of the status quo. And one of the key causes as suggested by our learned professor is accidental leadership which we have had since 1994 to-date,” wrote Munthali on his Facebook page.
Added Munthali: “In fact, a solution from this is simple and obvious: we must try as much as possible to avoid experiencing another ‘accidental leadership’ as we move into the future. That should be our collective responsibility as a nation.”
Munthali further observed that it was possible to have “accidental leadership” originating from a democratic electoral process.
“Chinsinga’s remarks were neither misplaced nor out of context. The remarks were within context. It is possible to have accidental leadership emanating from a democratic, constitutionally backed electoral process. What is key for us is to seriously find best ways on how to avoid having or experiencing accidental leadership” including the one which emanates from a democratic electoral process which is originally intended not only to produce democratically elected leaders but also transformational leadership as opposed to accidental leadership as has been the case in the country” said Munthali
But a social commentator Bright Mollande disagreed with Chinsinga’s opinion as flawed.
“Either the professor had not done much research or he has forgotten. What he said is not true,” he said, arguing the problems are a combination of factors dating back to the 1970s.
Ken Ndanga, United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesman described Chinsinga’s remarks as an overstatement.
“We respect his credentials but we take this statement as an opinion which can be challenged,” said Ndanga.
He said as much as the leaders that ruled the country had some shortfalls, they did extremely well in some areas.
“Any President who ruled Malawi had their achievements and shortfall therefore it’s very important when making these statements to look on what these leaders did to the nation. Therefore, to say that they didn’t do anything is an overzealous and wrong statement”, challenges Ndanga.
During the PAC conference, Chinsinga argued that for the past 20 years Malawi has been governed by “try and error” leaders.
He said the country need political parties which have concrete fundamental political base project where all people will seat together on how could be done to transform this country instead of having leaders who come from a group of people “opportunistically”.
Public Affairs Committee is one of the powerful religious grouping whose influence on Malawi’s political scene is undisputable which is comprise of Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Malawi Councils of Churches (MCC), Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), Quadria Association of Malawi (QAM) and Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :