VP Chilima’s treatment by Malawi govt: Joyce Banda had seen it all, let the games begin

Malawi’s government reduced Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s security detail, including a security vehicle , days after he ditched the ruling party and declared his plans to run for president next year on the banner of  his political movement called United Transformation Movement or UTM is what can be called history repeating itself.

Chilima (left) and Joyce Banda: Familiar story

During the  UTM launch, Chilima, and his lieutenants who spoke before him, castigated the DPP-led government and its leadership, accusing them of high-level corruption, nepotism and sheer incompetence.

He pledged to put behind bars “all thieves” within 30 days of his presidency and that he would reverse most of DPP “inhuman’ policies, including the controversial quota system of selecting students to public universities.

The matter about the withdrawal of the VP’s security personnel has been widely trumpeted, especially on the social media where Chilima’s sympathizers have blamed the DPP government for the move. Many such commentators have called it an act of cowardice, saying the DPP is hell-bent on frustrating the “growing Chilima’s movement and UTM crusade”.

Whichever side of the fence one is standing, there is only one fact attached to all this, which is that it was bound happen. The complex nature of President-Vice relationship in Malawi is well documented. First multiparty President Bakili Muluzi fell out with his hitherto beloved Vice, Justin Malawezi, at the very end of his 10 year rule.  so did the late President Bingu wa Mutharika with his Vice Dr. Cassim Chilumpha so early in his presidency, who he incarcerated on some trumped-up treason charges.

But the worst case scenario was that between President Bingu wa Mutharika and his Vice Joyce Banda between 2009 and 2012, when the former died in office.

Indeed, in 2009, President Bingu wa Mutharika defied all odds and chose Joyce Banda as his presidential running mate. This unprecedented choice had won the hearts of many people who believed in gender justice – the 50-50 women campaign which today is being trumped on legislators but quite on presidency.

The choice of a female presidential running mate won Mutharika much popularity and praise. The move was also seen to be in line with the National Gender Policy (Malawi Government, 2008), the Constitution of Malawi, the SADC Protocol on Gender (Southern African Development Community, 2008) and that of the African Union (2009).

Both Mutharika and his DPP won the elections resoundingly. Bingu wa Mutharika and Joyce Banda became President and Vice President, respectively.

For the first time in Malawi’s history, the country had a woman as Vice President, and hopes for having a woman President started to grow. But the relationship between the President and his Vice, Joyce Banda, deteriorated at an alarming speed. It is well documented that their relationship had become increasingly tense as the President’s desire to position his younger brother, Peter Mutharika, as the next president became obvious.

One political commentator observed that Joyce Banda “ceased to be useful, and now had to be cleared out of the way for Peter Mutharika”. Peter Mutharika had previously served as the Legal Advisor to the President and also served terms as Minister of Education and Minister of Foreign Affairs and so he was being earmarked to succeed his brother and assume the position of presidential candidate for the DPP in 2014.

But Joyce Banda was having none of that. Her close associates have revealed that on choosing her as running mate in the 2009 elections, Bingu wa Mutharika had promised her that she would succeed him at the end of his term in 2014.

When it was obvious the President had reneged on Joyce Banda taking over and that Peter Mutharika had become ‘heir apparent’, Joyce Banda bluntly refused to endorse the President’s young brother.

Joyce Banda’s resistance resulted in her dismissal from the position of DPP Vice President on December 12, 2010. Although she was ousted from the party, she continued to serve as Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, in accordance with the Constitution. However, with the deteriorating relationship and increased tension, the conditions were unfavorable for her to perform her duties to her full potential.

Comparatively, JB may have suffered extreme mental torture more than any other Vice President in the democratic Malawi. The DPP and President Bingu wa Mutharika publicly denigrated and humiliated her in a bid to completely silence her and force her to resign as state Vice President and pave way for the appointment of Peter Mutharika. Despite being a woman, President Mutharika and his DPP government had plotted to arrest Joyce Banda on trumped-up treason charges.

One of Malawi’s most prolific writers, the late Raphael Tenthani, wrote in one of his famous Muckracking columns in 2012 that Joyce Banda was “subjected to daily doses of derision at public rallies and on Malawi’s state airwaves”.

Noel Masangwi, senior DPP official and one of Bingu wa Mutharika’s closest confidantes then, publicly declared that “Malawi was not ready for a female president” in reference to Joyce Banda. The then First Lady, Callista Mutharika despised Joyce Banda, referring her as “wophika mandasi” (one who bakes fritters), in derisive reference to Joyce Banda’s involvement in women in small businesses.

The DPP government also wanted to enact legislation that would empower the President to fire a Vice President since in its current form, the Constitution does not provide for such powers.

The worst case scenario during that stormy relationship with Bingu was when in early October 2011, government withdrew most of her security detail from her official Mudi and Area 12 residences in Blantyre and Lilongwe, respectively, including security vehicles.

A few days after the withdrawal of state security, her Vice President’s official vehicle; a Mercedes Benz, registration number MG 2 was hit on the side she used seat at Kanengo in Lilongwe as she was returning from Kamuzu International Airport. Luckily, she survived because she had used a different vehicle on instructions from her remaining security.

So, there is nothing new about Chilima security personnel and vehicle being withdrawn. After all, the President is also a Mutharika. Ask Joyce Banda. Let the games begin!

 

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comrade
Guest
comrade

Please lets not even start to compare SKC to JB, ! Chilima is in a class of his own

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

The more DPP is seen to be victimising Chilima, the more they will elevate him through a sympathy vote. By some law of nature, people tend to side with those who are perceived to be underdogs and victims. DPP should not fall into that trap.

Aka
Guest
Aka

I disagree with Lilian because Chilima still goes to Capital Hill to work

Kukondera
Guest
Kukondera

God is not a man. He will protect SKC.

Watematema Mutu
Guest

THE SAME DOGS WHICH USED TO ADVISE BINGU ARE STILL ALIVE AND IN POWER AT STATE HOUSE. THOSE WHO PLANNED FAKED UP BUT ABORTED VP KANENGO ACCIDENT ARE STILL THERE AND CONTEMPLATING HOW TO DEAL WITH SKC! GOD SAVE THE LIFE OF SKC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Godwa
Guest
Godwa

a quota system selection ndi anthu 10 okha enawo, 90% amasankhidwa pa merit. okoma atani onga fungwe. zinazi osamangonenera chifukwa cha kampeni chifukwa enafenso tikhumudwa nanu. kota system ndi Chichewa chake ndi equal share, kugawana mwachilungamo. odana ndi chilungamo kapena ekhayo wofuna kukonderedwa nthawi zones ndi amene amakhumudwa. Auzeni zoona anthu kumudzi . Anthu muwafotokozere bwino bwino chifukwa ena amayesa kuti quota system chi chinthu chopwetekera anthu a mdera lina kapena chigawo china koma sichomcho ayi

ndangodutsamo
Guest

I agree with Lilian – we are spending too much on taking of presidents – no dziko la malawi ndilosauka kwambiri – we should learn to manage our resources to benefit anthu ambiri than kumangosamalira ma xpresidents olemera kale.

google
Guest
google

QOTA SYSTEM IS GOOD. OLO NSAMBI WA NG’OMBE. PAMAKHALA NG’OMBE INA YOMWE NTHAWI ZONSE IMAFUNA KUTI IYO NDIYE IKHALE PATSOGOLO KUPITA KUBUSA , KUPITA KOKAMWA MADZI OLO KWINA KULI KONSE. INA IKANGOYESERA KUTSOGOLA NDI NDEU. IMATHAMANGA KUTSOGOLO KUTI IKHALEBE PATSOGOLO. ACHILIMA MUKADZANGOYEREKEZA KUYAMBANSO KUDZAZITSA ANTHU A MBOMA LIMODZI KAPENA AWIRI OKHA KU UNIVERSITY, MUDZIPANGIRA NOKHA MAPOKOSO PATSOGOLO. KAPENA MUKUNGOWANAMIZATU. INUYO NGATI CITIZEN NO 2 IN MALAWI SIMUNATSUTSE BWANJI MULI MBOMA. MUMAFUNA MUNGOPEZERA CHOCHITIRA KAMPENI ETI?

kman
Guest

Who is Chilima as of now? Vice President of Malawi by Law but not by duty.He is like any of the retired president who cannot even command for demolition of Mtandire Houses.My fear is if he comes a commander in Chief most of Malawians will have their houses demolished and forced to surrender back snatched wives to their original husbands.The self acclaimed rigging master,heeeeee,even Russia can do this,muyisova sumunati ma yooooooooooo!

google
Guest
google

SKC QUOTA SYSTEM YALAKWIKA CHANI. YOU ARE TRYING TO PLEASE WHO AND AT THE EXPENSE OF WHO? NDI ANTHU 10 OKHA ( KAPENA 240 IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY ) MU BOMA LILILONSE INCLUDING LIKOMA DISTRICT OMWE AMASANKHIDWA. KUTHADAUZA KUTI BOMA LILILONSE LIYENELA KUTUMIZA ANA KU UNIVERSITY OSACHEPERA 10 PA CHAKA KUTI CHITUKUKO CHIFIKE PONSEPONSE. NDI ANTHU ODZIKONDA OKHA AMENE AMAFUNA KUTI KU UNIVERSITE AKADZAZE OKHA OSATI CHIFUKWA KUTI NDI ANZERU KOMA CHIFUKWA CHOTI AMAUZIRA MAYESO ANA A MCHIGAWO CHAWO. KUNENA KWA NDITHE NDITHEKU TU MUZITENGERA NGATI NANTHABMWE. QUOTA SYSTEM IS NOT ONLY A MALAWIAN SYSTEM IT IS THERE IN AMERICA… Read more »

WISDOM
Guest
WISDOM

MY DEAR THE PROBLEM IS NOT ABOUT EACH DISTRICT SENDING 10 STUDENT TO UNIVERSITY, THE PROBLEM IS THAT SOME DISTRICTS THEY ARE SENDING MBUZI KU UNIVERSITY WITH 20 POINTS WHILE THERE ARE SOME STUDENT OUTSIDE THERE IN SOME DISTRICTS WITH 12 POINTS LEFT OUT TO ACCOMMODATE MBUZI ZOMWE ZILI NIMA 20-30 POINTS. WE WANT TO SEE STUDENT GOING TO UNIVERSITY ON MERITS.

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Guest
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

The reasons why quota system is used in some states in USA are completely different from those obtaining in Malawi. The country has its won policies to carter for the solutions. The system is often challenged and often the aggrieved parties are given a redress. In Africa, the biggest problem is tribalism where those in majority often tend to trample on the rights of the minorities by controlling their numbers when they outshine the majority. If those in the majority fail to excel in a particular discipline but a minority is able to excel, then one would expect those in… Read more »

Tiyeseni Phiri
Guest
Tiyeseni Phiri

Remember that education infrastructure in Malawi is not evenly distributed. For this reason performance distribution at MSCE is often skewed. If performance is to be measured on MSCE scores alone the current great imbalance in educational attainment will continue. To redress this situation the quota system is an interim solution whose basic premise is that intelligence in any community is normally distributed. Therefore it would be right and proper to let learners in a given community to fight for the limited university places allocated to such community first before breaking down community boundaries. This system is no disadvantage to any… Read more »

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Guest
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

The disadvantage of the system is that it impinges on the right to attain education as enshrined in the Constitution of Malawi. 10 per district as introduced by its backers in the late 1980s was ideal. The country’s population was below 9 million. With the current population increase which is estimated at 17.6 million, 500 per district would be an ideal number. As a source of conflict, its success on the ground has been put under wraps. What is being expounded on its application in Malawi is merely a smoke screen intended to conceal the damage the system is causing… Read more »

Chizomba
Guest
Chizomba

And this is why American educational system has never been admired in Malawi. People can easily buy a degree so we were told in Kamuzu Banda’s educational system of the then.

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