Potholes on the Road to 2014: Cheerio 2011, Welcome 2012

Background:

All in all six articles were published under these series in the year 2011. The first, Potholes on the Road to 2014 Part I, was published in March 2011 at the peak of an MBC Television programme bearing the name Road to 2014.

The articles, carried by Nyasa Times with some appearing on MaraviPost, are listed below. After the hacking of July 2011, the first three are no longer accessible on Nyasa Times archives (due to the hacking activity the online publication faced) but they are nevertheless available on Maravi Post on the links provided.

Rationale:

To those wondering what the purpose of this series is: as explained in Part I, although reasons for perennial Malawi’s malaise and underperformance are many and complex, indispensable is the fact that as a country, we have yet to find the right formula for the identification, vetting and electing of leaders, especially at Presidential level.

Peter Mutharika: DPP presidential candidate

These write-ups therefore, challenge people to rethink, examine and debate presidential potentials and hopefuls, critiquing their strengths, weaknesses and known strategies, in the hope that come 2014, any hidden skeletons will be in the open and as a nation, we will be aware of what is before us.

We are glad to say that through these provocative articles and more so in the ensuing debate, strengths and weaknesses of some of the contenders have already been surfaced.

These series on the web:

1.      Potholes on the road to 2014 Part I – The Intro (Link: http://www.maravipost.com/scope/75-editor/4890-portholes-on-the-road-to-2014-part-i.html#ixzz1hGEjLGcw)

2.      Potholes to 2014 Part II: Peter Mutharika returnable whence he came? (Link: http://www.maravipost.com/malawi-politics/district/4891-potholes-to-2014-part-ii-peter-mutharika-returnable-whence-he-came.html#ixzz1hGEXagtz)

3.      Potholes to 2014 Part III: ‘Crown Prince’ cruising, JB must up the ante (Link: http://www.maravipost.com/malawi-politics/district/4905-potholes-to-2014-part-iii-crown-prince-cruising-jb-must-up-the-ante.html#ixzz1hGM4GiM9 )

4.      Road to 2014: When and whence cometh a ‘David’? – Nyasa Times, November 1, 2011

5.      On the way to 2014 – Telling it like it is – Nyasa Times, December 8. 2011

6.      On the road to 2014 -Phoya: Real deal or victim of ‘bowa bwanga’? – Nyasa Times, December 22, 2011

The articles above introduced Prof Peter Mutharika and Mrs Joyce Banda – who in the race to 2014, were the main newsmakers in 2011. The final one throws the gauntlet at HDP to come clean on whether or not he will join the race.(HDP is yet to respond. But whenever he does, we will have another go at him).

Preview 2012:

In 2012 we will go further. Atupele Muluzi, whosoever comes up in the MCP ranks, other UDF possibles, Mark Katsonga, Enoch Chihana, James Nyondo and more, will be put on the microscope as they become more and more visible in the race to 2014. The higher the monkey climbs it is said, the more he is exposed!

Again, from the time articles on Prof Mutharika and Mrs Joyce Banda were published a lot has happened, you can therefore expect follow up articles on these two, and please brace yourselves!

Beyond the known “practising” politicians, also in focus in 2012 will be private sectors gurus. These include billionaire – Jimmy Koreia Mpatsa, PCL’s Matthews Chikaonda and BPP’s Leonard Chikadya – all of whom, in the year 2011, threw caution to the wind and made scathing attacks on the Mutharika regime’s mediocrity.

The questions that their onslaughts raised in the minds of many are: are they indirectly expressing interest, or are they merely living up the adage that empty tins make the loudest noise? Standby for our take on these gentlemen.

We will not leave it that: we will cast the net wider and zoom in on the women and men that “governed” in Malawi in 2011, namely, the collective winners of the Nyasa Times Award of “Our People Our Pride” in 2011; Civil Society Leaders and the Academia.

Should people like John Kapito, Rafiq Hajat, Undule, Mhone, Rev Sembereka, Martha Kwataine, Jesse Kabwila, Blessings Chinsinga, Dorothy Ng’oma continue their important role as watchdogs of human rights from the touchline? Is this enough?

Or should they weigh in, join mainstream politics and make Malawi politics a clean game? And do they have what it takes? All these questions, we will try to find answers to in 2012.

Objectivity:

There are many challenges in coming up with these articles. Key among these are:

·        Maintaining objectivity,

·        Researching adequate background information,

·        The use of secondary sources of information,

·        The fact that some potentials are not news makers which hides their weaknesses and strengths making them difficult to write about, and

·        The fact that political parties have not yet held conventions to choose or endorse the candidates.

and this is where you readers come in.

These challenges are mitigated by your comments. In some cases, interesting information or line of thought is brought forward, and in other cases, one is left wondering whether Malawi will one day get rid of bootlickers, who refuse to apply their heads in any sort of critical analysis.

We hope readers will continue providing objective comments so that the potentials’ skeletons, if any, and likewise their strengths, are brought into the open.

Readers’ Drop box:

Noting that some readers have bulky comments (e.g. pdf files and other such items) that cannot be posted on Nyasa Times comments section; and to allow you to contribute even more and, hopefully, improve on objectivity, a “drop box” for matters related or having a bearing on the potholed road to 2014 has been created.

The email address is as below. Whatever is emailed to this address will be confidential and will reach the author of the series:

[email protected]

For security purposes, please stick to pseudos BUT ensure the accuracy of your submissions and avoid abusing the facility.

Au revoir

Nyasa Times on its part has pledged to continue providing the forum for this debate on the road to 2014 and urges you once again, to enjoy the festive season responsibly!

 

*Wise One from the East

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