Friday, May 25, 2012


The message is clear to everyone aspiring for the country’s presidency in the next General Election scheduled for May 2014. One has to invest quite an amount of money, wit and intelligence to oust the incumbent.

Joyce Banda’s stint at the State House so far has revealed one thing; she has employed a political strategy that will see her at the helm beyond 2014, and who knows what might happen during the 2019 Elections.

We would argue that to an extent her job has been made easier because she just has to reverse all the “sins” committed by the previous regime. Fine and good but let us not forget that she is even restructuring the conduct that has been deemed normal for a very long time.

I was surely surprised two days ago to note that the country’s public broadcaster MBC was left untouched during the funeral of Banda’s sister (a Mrs. Chanthunya)
The logic behind the move was that, this (the funeral) was a family affair and it had to be treated as such. Good move.

And of late, the state broadcaster has become a platform where ideas are being marketed without segregation. It is soothing to see even the DPP leaders, who not long ago turned MBC into a propaganda tool, being given a chance to criticize the current government. Isn’t this democracy at its best?
People might have reservations about the MBC liberalization due to several reasons but those doubts have to wait the length of time to see if her move is authentic.

Muluzi tried to do it during his first months in office up until the weight of power was too much for him and he later abandoned the move. MBC was back to what it was supposed to be, ruling party’s mouth piece. The redrafted MBC Act, which was professionally done by the Law Commission ended up being tampered with at cabinet level and thrown into the fire place at State House.

Then came Bingu with the same song. He at one time stopped the live broadcasting of his function in Thyolo opting for the live coverage of a football match. We loved him for that didn’t we? The time he realized that the state media is the only tool to maintain the grip on the electorate, he too dropped the idea.
Just as an extension of memory, during his first months in office Bingu used to turn away party women dancers whenever they followed him. “Go and work to earn a living” he would tell them. Slowly he accepted that things cannot be done otherwise.

Now Joyce Banda has begun her journey satisfactorily. I am so eager to see whether she is going to hold on to her philosophy. Is she ready to run her party without the use of state media?

For her to show seriousness in this issue, there is just one way. Dust the MBC Act as it is versioned at Malawi Law Commission, take it to cabinet then present it in parliament. Trust me, a true independent state media would be a major plus to our democracy.

Not that I don’t trust what she says, but the danger lies in the fact that some overzealous dude from the ruling party will wake up one day and decide to convince the president otherwise. To avoid that, let’s just have the MBC Act restructured so that every sitting president should follow the rules of the game.
Now I said Joyce Banda is being unfair right? Yes, she is playing her cards so right such that Malawians will give her their votes not out of sympathy but due to her wise ways.  

With John Tembo dancing to the now famous “JB tune”, Peter Mutharika abandoned by a host of MPs who supported his late brother and the other “briefcase parties having nothing tangible to show, it simply looks rosy for Joyce Banda in the next elections.

The only main challenger to her might be my good friend Moses Dossi whose campaign is limited to an insignia on his mini car, only located in Blantyre.

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