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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

‘Our leaders need to hear from external voices’


President Joyce Banda, being the lovely and accommodating woman she is, probably found is difficult to say no, so she was always on the road doing elementary things best left to a Ministry PS or, even, a Director.

She was always on the road and when people began saying it was too much and she needed to slow down; Vice President Khumbo Kachale was livid; “tikwenda kwa nyoko?”“Are we going into your mothers’ houses?” is how he derisively and sarcastically retorted.

One Friday evening, in 2012, we found a street in Blantyre cordoned off and a dais erected in the middle of the road. The first-ever KFC had come to Malawi and we learnt that President JB was to preside over its official opening the next day’s afternoon.

I was with Ralph Tenthani, who was on friendly terms with the president, and he called her up to tell her it was beneath her and beneath the office she held to go about opening fast food restaurants, no matter how tasty the crispy chicken and spicy chips might be.

The president listened and, at the end, said: “thank you, my son.”The next day, President Joyce Banda stayed put at Sanjika and KFC was subsequently officially opened by John Bande, Minister of Trade and Industry.

Sometimes our leaders need to hear from external voices to be protected from vultures that circulate around them and seek to take advantage of the office and person of the president.

The vultures, sometimes, sadly, include even people close to the president who can not look the leader in the eye and say: “No, Sir, No. You cannot do that”.

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  1. Truth be told that what Chakwera is doing is not new in Malawi. Others have done it in the past when we saw them touring maize gardens, opening schools & markets etc. The difference between the past leaders and the current one is the frequency and duplication going on now as contrasted with the past, whereby he has the audacity to preside over functions which were already done by others in the past. To top it off all is the very fact that the economy is on its knees. Interestingly, even his spinners/mouth-pieces acknowledge that not all is well, that all is due to Covid-19 and that it is an international malaise. If such is the case, why is it that Chakwera is not taking heed of all the advice made by various quarters, asking him to stop his useless expensive errands he is making? The arrogance and challenges exuded are the cursors that are enabling more Malawians to become angry and confounded with such carelessness and arrogance. Huge taxes are deducted from our meagre wages, Chakwera takes total disregard of our sacrifices, pain and stubbornly takes his colleagues and family on a world tour, leaving the tax payers hungry and with no drugs in the hospitals. After pointing out to him the ills and childishness, he opts to grab a microphone just to castigate those who are complaining, really? And you expect Malawians to continue clapping for mediocrity and others sitting relaxed with their arms folded? Not at all. The man is not prepared to listen to anybody, not even his wife. But Malawians as a people will eventually find a solution to all that because Chakwera is not the first person people have dealt with. He will be paid in his own chosen currency.


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