Winds blow best in Malawi; Malawians I have met around the world always boast but now they have the chance to prove that with presidential elections hanging over their heads like dark clouds on May 20.
The polls are tipped to have all the hallmark of a not too peaceful election but one has to be careful to reach such conclusions. What is certain is that current president Joyce Banda is fighting to regain breath among eleven presidential candidates out like bear hunters trying to unseat her and like the kiddy song, “… and the dish runs away with the spoon”.
But among the twelve, only four should be taken seriously….for the rest …let’s say they are also running. But the poll remains a serious business, so that if Banda is bowled out, Africa would stand shamefaced that it’s Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who would stand tall as the continent’s solo female political head.
Would Malawians allow this to happen? With the brains of the eleven male contestants clogged up to led the country and nothing else, it is doubtful if they had even given this a thought. The outcome runs the risk of putting our women folk on the warpath and threatening countless sanctions on male folks. The outcome could be long drawn coming to think of it.
The answer as to who would be Malawi’s next leader hangs on the swing of the 7.5 million registered voters. And with Banda’s chances hanging on a nearly snapped thread, she would have to put more steam on her campaign as she ventures into the electoral arena to win the poll on her own merit.
Remember that she came to the presidency due to the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012. But even that took muscles to dim the political ploy of the male dominated People’s Party (PP). That sweaty battle has still not ended but it is apparent that its the election that has kept the wolf at bay.
The PP is flunked with all that it would have wished for not to happen at this time.
Gripped by a corruption stench, the issue is again being pushed to the forefront by stubborn opposition parties which by and large are using the development to overstate their electoral importance. The matter is still being investigated, the government said in recent weeks. It involves what has been dubbed, ”cash-gate”, a- 32 million dollar government money that disappeared without trace.
Besides this, most Malawians remember the widespread joke that was used as a teaser during the days of strongman, Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Remember him! He fought to take Malawi out of the then Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
It was about the three brains that were put on display and people were invited to bid. One of the brains was that of a structural engineer, the other was that of an aviation pilot and the third, that of a politician, which at the end of the bid, fetched the lowest price.
Queried on bidder why that of the politician was so low, it was said that because it had never been used. That was said in the days of Hastings Banda.
But for current President Joyce Banda, whose posture is that of a caring mother, she has been able to draw support like in many African countries from the rural areas. Whether this would come out as a plus depends on if rural will heed the call to queue at the various thatched roof polling booths.
The economy is down and most Malawians can hardly pay their bus fare home after quaffing a pint or two of beer from the roadside pub.
Tobacco, once a thriving business for many farmers is now an endangered species due to the vigorous nonstop campaign mounted against cigarette products by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the harmful effect of smoking that it can kill.
So for the presidential contenders, the walk into State may be longer than first thought.
Wednesday April 30, 2014