The tale of ‘recycled politicians’ in Malawi’: You are better off where you are, Hon. Chimunthu Banda

Africa’s first generation leaders emerging from independence struggle positioned themselves as the only ones capable of leading and as presidents for life. We had our own horrible experience of ‘president for life’, Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who ruled Malawi with an iron fist.

Kamuzu Banda presided over a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) government that was the worst political nightmare Malawians have ever had in their history of political independence.

When the winds of democracy swept across the continent in the early 1990s, a new era of ‘term limits’ in national political leadership crept in where leaders served for a limited time and paved way for others.

It is therefore with a sense of great shock and utter disbelief that I hear of a calculated political comeback of former Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda.

The former DPP cabinet minister under the late President Bingu wa Mutharika has set his sight on attaining the position of Vice President of the Republic and may run as running mate to President Peter Mutharika in 2019 if all political matters will be equal.

According to reports, the DPP may wish to lure the former Speaker, who hails from Nkhota Kota in Central Region, to return to active politics in order to fix what they see as the party disadvantage there where almost all districts are overwhelmingly dominated by the MCP of Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.

Whatever the case is, I think this syndrome of ‘recycled politicians’ has now become cancerous and dangerous to Malawians’ quest for rapid social, economic and political progress.  It is doubtful that Chimunthu Banda would be a valuable resource that would be lost forever if he weren’t able to return to frontline politics.

Indeed, Honourable former Speaker has a wealth of political knowledge and experience but it is imperative that when politicians decide to retire, they must remain retirees in order to create space for up and coming politicians-the youths-to make their own contribution.

Politicians like Chimunthu Banda are a stumbling block to national progress and must not be allowed to stop or delay new political talent from emerging.

The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has superb and highly ambitious young politicians who must be given an opportunity to play their rightful political leadership role instead of inviting recycled politicians who belong to the political dustbin.

Indeed, Chimunthu Banda may have a great character and integrity. He is one of the fewest politicians in the country with a clean record. He quietly stepped aside when the DPP national convention overwhelmingly rejected him as its 2014 presidential caniddate in the May 2014 elections, in favour of President Peter Mutharika. Strong rumour has it that he actually turned down an offer by former president Joyce Banda to be her running mate because he was convinced it was time to retire from active politics when his term at Parliament came to an end. What makes him think the DPP has now changed its mind and that he is now the preferred presidential running mate candidate?

Chimunthu Banda commands a lot of respect from Malawians because of the great service he rendered to this country as former school headteacher, a parliamentarian, cabinet minister and Speaker of the National Assembly. He is widely revered for voluntarily stepping out of active politics. He was considered our own Nelson Mandela.

Indeed, retired politicians like Chimunthu Banda have a role to play in Malawi politics. But that role must be more of advisory than active participation in the day-to-day politics.

Politicians have their own life cycle. There has to come a time when they have to pave way for others, particularly the youths, to take over and run the affairs of this country. Political power is not forever. The problem with some of our politicians is that they want us to believe that the only way to serve one’s country is to be involved in politics for life. This is not only wrong, but deceitful as well.

In fact, former South African President, the late Nelson Mandela, is a distinguished example of how a retired politician with an excellent or an unblemished political career can serve his or her country outside of politics.

Chimunthu Banda, whatever you motivation is-to become Vice President or to genuinely serve the people of Malawi-you are better off where you are-in retirement. It will be the only sure way to preserve your impressive legacy as a politician because any attempted comeback will erase all that good record.

A critical assessment of the position of Vice President in Malawi from the Justin Malewezi to the Saulos Klaus Chilima time tells us that circumstances of their position are not rosier. It is an open secret that State Vice Presidents in Malawi suffer various abuses and demeaning treatment by the very people who put them there.

One wonders what would motivate Chimunthu Banda to leave the comfort of his retirement home to vie for the position of State Vice President. Maybe he believes it would be different with his vice presidency. Time will tell!

“No power on earth can stop an oppressed people determined to win their freedom” –Nelson Mandela

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ChangingFaces
Guest

kulemba buku has little to do with how far you’ve gone with education; its all to do with TALENT. People who have never studied English at university do occasionally write better books than English majors, uuuh?
Also, you dont need a university degree develop software. The most important attribute is TALENT. Actually, I’m planning to teach poor school drop-outs some computer programming (c, c++, java, web, mobile)

Kaka
Guest

@ The Analyst, lero walemba za manyaka!
And your statement kuti all and sundry know that Chimunthu Banda cannot write a sensible book, is not only unfair but is an insult to my former Headmaster at Nkhotakota Secondary School, a retired Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly and an elected former member of various regional Parliamentary bodies.
Such insinuations and innuendos should be reserved for characters such as Mulumbe et al and mediocre institutions such as Sulom and Fam.
Nanga za withdrawal ya Tnm sponsorship mulemba liti tisekepo?

Mulopwana
Guest
Achiumia or chauma whatever u call yourself who told u that politics is for the young? Chimunthu as abonafide citizen has all the right to comeback, and I dont see any thing that can stop him including you thom and the so called stupid Analysit who always comment on every issue.what about Sidik did u say any thing no you did not just bcoz Çhimunthu is heading to mighty DPP it pains u the most. Let me remind u the ignorant mind,Malawi is a free democratic state,better enjoy your £ £ than critising the humble soul.GET PREPARED AND FACE THE… Read more »
DPP
Guest

Nanga a consultant a Chilima ziwathera bwanji? Khasu lagwira ntchito ndipo a DPP atopa nalo. Season ya ulimi ikubwerayi akufuna khasu lina m’pini wake wa ku Nyanja ku Nkhotakota. DPP woyeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

juwe
Guest

The Analyst can you repeat again and again. It seems majority of us don’t understand these people who call themselves politicians. They are mere greedy individuals masquerading as patriotic citizens during campaigns and show their true colours on the post. It is high time the electorate understood the psychology of the so called politicians and show them the exit before they meddle with our tax. We need to try new blood magulu a a Chilima ndi anzao osakhala zimenezi zachikalezi. Zinthuzitu ndi za Eklezia zosiyiranasiyirana..anatero mkulu wina.

Mugonapamhanya
Guest

Could the above comment still be there if Chimunthu had decided to join MCP? If Chimunthu has made a bad decision why are you taking pain killers for his headache? The truth of the matter is that those of you who are uncomfortable with Chimunthu’s move have laid bare your political inclinations. Pepani simunati.

The Analyst
Guest
O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O This, I shall say once again. . . . Chimunthu Banda disappeared from the political arena, not because he wanted to write a book (as others suggest, somewhere); since we all know that Chimunthu Banda cant write any sensible book, truth be told. . . . He went into hiding, not because he was tired (as he’s still young, politically), but (in his own words), because he couldn’t go back to a lower rank after serving as Speaker; and (in our words), he couldn’t live with the shame and embarrassment of failing to be DPP’s torch bearer; and the… Read more »
Ngalamayi
Guest

Maybe the DPP feels it needs some clean politicians who don’t have a shadow of Cashgate or other corruption scandals hanging over their heads. Maybe the DPP wants to use Chimunthu Banda’s popularity in Central Region to benefit the party. Maybe they want to convince the country they are not a party dominated by southerners. But will Chimunthu Banda risk mixing with so much corruption? That shadow could fall on him too.

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