Nobody is born a politician, most of us may well argue. But for others, politics is the bonafide thing. Look at how Enock Chihana and Atupele Muluzi are fairing? The golden spoon seems to have been born with them in the political foyer!
Then we have one ol’ 76 (or thereabout) years-old John Zenuz Ungapake Tembo, who was born on September 14, 1932 in Dedza District, Central Region to one Mr. Zenus Ungapake Tembo, a minister of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP), there was no inclination in earlier days pointing to his longstanding political career at present.
Similarly, the late flamboyamt Bingu wa Mutharika, born Brightson Webster Ryson Thom on 24 February 1934 in Thyolo to a Mr. Ryson Thom and his beloved wife Eleni Thom, both members of the Church of Scotland Mission which later became Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian, did not need a politician parent to advance his career to presidency.
His father was a down-to-earth teacher for 37 years and his mother taught the women of the Women’s Guild (Mvano) group. First president late Dr. Kamuzu Hastings Banda, with his shoddy parentage, was also no spear-header for any Banda child. To pay strength to that, current president Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda is far from this Banda lineage of the central region district of Kasungu, as local history well serves us.
Kamuzu, proudly called so, was humbly born near Kasungu in the then British Central Africa to a Mr. Mphonongo Banda and dear wife Mrs. Akupingamnyama Phiri. Well, do not bother about his date birth, which historians struggle to pin at 14 May 1906 (documented in some biographical accounts.) So whether you are one of those historian like Desmond Dudwa Phiri keen followers or practitioner, the world may not as much bother whether Kamuzu’s birthday falls on 15 February 1898.
One thing for sure that most of us must be aware of, is that Malawi’s first leader died on 25 November 1997 at Garden City in South Africa. They all seem to die in South Africa for one queer reason or another. Events of April 5 also point that way, right?
So this is no relative to Madam Banda, only if it could be forced that the only relationship between the first and the current Malawi leaders be the same surnames they share, and also, that Mai Banda was at one time a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) women’s group member. Inde nanga, Mumba! Again, Joyce is a Ntila for birth’s sake, and only married a Banda.
A bit about Mai Banda, born Joyce Hilda Ntila on 12 April 1950 in Malemia village in Zomba District, has none politically inspired in the family bloodline to have shown her the way to the presidency. If anything, her father was merely an accomplished and popular police brass band musician.
Bakili Muluzi? Well, Atcheya was born Elson Bakili Muluzi on March 17, 1943 and a good tchit tchat with your calculator will tell you exactly how old the charismatic former Malawian leader is. He raised from Kapoloma in Machinga District. Unlike Chakufwa Chihana, he advanced his political career by fondling late Dr. Banda’s political whims, may I say?
Chihana was born in Mhuju Village, Kawiluwilu area and his father died when he was young and he was raised by his mother, an activist for local women. No wonder CC grew up to be another activist through the Commercial General Union that brought his late Banda’s woes and exile.
As Malawi’s 2nd Vice President, the man played his political ‘macho’ and made Kawale women mourn to his prison time tales. Ha ha ha ha! Mwe anganya mwe!
So for Malawi, it is only truly or rather just Enock and Atupele whose lineage seems to have built them into what they are today. Their fathers were both active politicians that withstood late Dr. Banda’s wrath to earn themselves noisy sirens from those tax-payer propelled presidential motorcades. I have no wish to talk of Cassim Chilumpha and quiet Justin Malewezi who also tasted the top most powers. Do not try to foreplay me into trapping current VP Khumbo Kachali in this arena of seasoned politicians and their backgrounds!
The point is, where in the world did the two youngsters master their political muscle to convince Mama JB they should be in cabinet? Apart from trying to appease late Chihana’s spirits and probably ease Bakili’s continuous aching spine (which has miraculously healed after April 5 events), is there anything else worth pointing at that can qualify the two youngsters in those portfolios?
The answer is a big YES.
For starters, Atupele is a trained and cool lawyer. Apart from his father’s influence that might have opened his eyes into political arena, am sure he would have ended probably at Ralph Kasambara’s legal firm or in some corner of Europe of the US work-studying some prominent lawyers there. Well, he has been a Member of Parliament for some time, but his temperament at switching ideas – from YOUTH DRIVE to NO NEED ANYMORE is kindah worrisome to youngsters who may be dreaming the political highway but have no father’s to influence their politically hastened strides.
For Enock, after his great sense of socio encounters around town and about, I may as well say the biggest qualification he is now minister is his father’s fearless ‘ego’. Nganya CC the ‘Simbi ya moto’ could cause a headache. Ask late Banda (posthumous?) and well, Dr. Bakili, and you will hear for yourself.
So when you hear the likes of Tembo not giving an inch to letting the new blood take over the once mighty MCP, we may as well start to think the Dedza giant has realised no better qualification in his son for serious political office and blessed his diplomatic (lesser evil) appointment, that he so much distastes young blood he cannot let the likes of Alekeni Menyani Menyani and others to take lead of the cockerel party.
Lessons are learnt from all directions, and the SAME OL’ STORY is that these creepy old politicians will either propagate their personal agendas through sons that are no better or near political geniuses or stick to the post till death do them part.
Would Bingu ‘anoint’ any of his children to the challenging political platform? Nope, he found none. The ol’man sought solace in his equal oldie, Peter – and that is the sad ol’story!
How about JB, does she have a child that would brave it into politics? I do not know, but hard lessons are learnt the hard way.
Looks like Malawi will have to keep up with my madness and be tuned to the same ol’ story by the same ol’ crappy politicians that do not bring bread and butter on our poor tables.
Why do these people think other families cannot do better at politics?
Malawi politicians and the sons they give unto us!
And we are not discussing young politicians enjoying political glory simply for being some ol’ past time politicians’ children, nope, we are talking about the influences that the old in age have managed to spin into the current situation.
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