Honourable Folks, now that elections are over, winners have been sworn in, APM has appointed his 20-member Cabinet and married, we can now focus on “the economy, stupid”. How does government grow the economy by 7.5 percent? This isn’t just a DPP campaign pledge for which the APM administration shall be held to account. It…

Honourable Folks, painful as it is that a legal technicality prevented the Malawi Electoral Commission from sorting out irregularities before announcing the winner in the 2014 presidential election, it’s heartening that Malawians have moved on. One would hope that never again should there be a repeat of the kind of mess that rocked this year’s…

Honourable Folks, in case you doubt the credentials of Nicholas Dausi, the new head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), don’t look for answers in the special training he underwent during the Kamuzu Banda regime. That’s a long time ago when dictators reigned over Malawi and the rest of Africa. In those days you were…

like was the case with his late brother in 2004, Peter Mutharika has this year risen on a minority 36 percent of the votes cast in the presidential election. He is President of the Republic of Malawi thanks to the first-past-post system which Malawians wanted to change to a 50+1 system proposed through a National…

Honourable Folks, the May 20 Tripartite Elections have  invariably been described as “irregular”, “circus” and “fraudulent.” They are all adjectives that make the current electoral impasse look like a laughing matter and you can  joke about, dust oneself and move on. But a laughing matter does not force Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, the outgoing…

Honourable Folks, politicians have in the past killed then re-created Kamuzu Day for sheer political expediency. Did they know it was Kamuzu Day on Wednesday? Coming six days before the tripartite elections on May 20, most of the 12 presidential candidates—perhaps with the exception of MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera—had very little time for anything else other…

Honourable Folks, after the three presidential debates which were preceded by running mate debates, a question arises: Are voters any better equipped now to make informed choices on May 20? I asked a few friends what they thought about the debates. They said, as usual, the candidates came out more clearly and boldly on failures…

Honourable Folks, there’s no denying that winnowing ourselves from donor dependence is the desirable goal we must aim for. Every progressive developing country aspires for trade and attracting foreign investment—not aid. Yet aid is very much a reality for many countries in Africa, including our neighbours—Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia—which are attracting many more investors and…

Honourable Folks, these days we have to deal with a sense of remorse—almost self-pity—daily for being part of the past 50 years of independence for which there’s very little, if any, to show for it. Will the next 50 years be different? We can’t take no for an answer if our children are to inherit…

Honourable Folks, when Kamuzu Banda was retiring from politics soon after the 1994 elections, he saw the future of MCP in the new multiparty political dispensation as lying in the “young blood”. This year, after 20 years since the old man’s call, the young blood has made the presidential race as conspicuous as it is…

Beyond May 20 Tripartite Elections

Malawi is not gaining from democratic free and fair elections as a recipe for good governance and sustainable development. The 2014 Tripartite Elections which will coincide with Malawi’s 50 years of independence will be yet another opportunity for Malawians to reflect and make a decision that should reconstruct the foundation for good governance, economic growth…

Honourable Folks, talk about hitting the jackpot. A lawyer who handled the deceased estate of former president Bingu wa Mutharika on behalf of his family made a standard legal-fee claim for his services—five percent of the total value of the estate. That standard rate made the lawyer an instant billionaire! He netted K3.5 billion or,…

Honourable Folks, the one achievement of  Zodiak’s  public debate for running mates held last Saturday is to train the nation’s eye on a constitutional office whose importance has remained controversial since the advent of the multiparty political dispensation in 1994. From the days of Bakili Muluzi, the pair that contests as presidential candidate and running…

Honourable Folks, selling the incumbent President, Joyce Banda, as presidential candidate for People’s Party (PP) in the forthcoming elections may prove a challenge for her spindoctors. Should she lose on May 20, it would partly be for the reason that her government seems to take the trust of the electorate for granted. Elections are coming…

Honourable Folks, transformational leadership is a mantra for the 2014 presidential election. Virtually, all candidates in the presidential election talk about it. It’s a thinking that attests to the fact that there’s little to show for the past 50 years we’ve been an independent sovereign State and a realisation that the success or failure of…

Honourable Folks, allow me to start by thanking old pal, Levi Zeleza Manda, for his account of the Rwandan miracle published in the previous issue of Weekend Nation. I’ve talked about Rwanda before, but Manda’s account is by far more detailed. Machetes were wheezing at the speed of death in Rwanda in 1994. At that…

Honourable Folks, ever heard of Agenda 2063? It’s a developmental framework for the African Union for the next 50 years. Like Malawi, many African countries wasted a greater part of their first 50 years of independence, reeking abject poverty in the abundance of sweet-smelling natural resources. The continent was better known outside for its civil…

Honourable Folks, something about the word “just” casts a spell on Malawian politicians. In the past week alone, politicians on both sides of the political divide have used “just” in a manner that betrays a tendency to take voters for granted. On Saturday, 18th January, Information Minister Brown Mpinganjira—flanked by Finance Minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba and…

Honourable Folks, the prospect of voting again in the May 20 tripartite polls evokes in me both excitement and trepidation. Excitement because the dead wood among elected leaders shall face the wrath of the short-changed voters!  From the President to MPs, they all have their fate in the hands of the electorate—the ultimate stakeholders in…

Honourable Folks, the prospect of voting again in the May 20 tripartite polls evokes in me both excitement and trepidation. Excitement because the dead wood among elected leaders shall face the wrath of the short-changed voters!  From the President to MPs, they all have their fate in the hands of the electorate—the ultimate stakeholders in…