My disagreements with Vice President Joyce Banda

From the beginning, I have to say that I am not a Joyce Banda fan. Not that she doesn’t impress in all aspects. In fact she is probably the most credible contender to becoming a State President I have seen.

I admire Mrs Banda for her bravery. Despite the tough and perilous political terrain, she has held her own, has remained focused and she will definitely go very far, even winning the presidency. I did not admire her when she said that among her disagreements with Bingu or the DPP was that Bingu had promised her that after his final term, he would hand over to Mrs Banda. That statement, however true she recalled history, did not charm me. Was there not an opportunity at the time to thank the President but add: “Wouldn’t it be right that we go to the convention to get your successor Your Excellency that appointed me?” That Mrs Banda was charmed by that and felt cheated when Peter Mutharika was appointed was a big minus from my part.

I have a problem with Mrs Banda is that she has been using state resources for her political party business. I do not think the vehicles and State Residences staff that are running up and down on her political party errands are being funded from her party’s coffers alone. There is mixing of government and private and political party which I find particularly worrying. My suggestion is that Mrs Banda should find a way of assuring some of us that using government resources for political party business, is unacceptable.

Thirdly, I do not think that all the resources that Mrs Banda is using for her political business is all coming from government. Government cannot provide her with all the resources she seems to have. At the opportune time, Mrs Banda should be able to present the party’s accounts to a convention. Anything else short of that will raise my alarm bells. Certainly she is collecting money from well-wishers on behalf of the public. I doubt it is personal money. Public money must be accounted for publicy.

Mrs Joyce Banda is against the “quota” system as implemented by the University of Malawi. I cannot fault her position as I know many people also hold this view. I am for the “quota” system as currently implemented in this country. We differ in ideology in this regard. While Mrs Joyce could advance that agenda for political gain, I am no politician with nothing to gain for my stance. The question we should be asking Mrs Banda is whether she is also against the “quota” system as it is being implemented which has resulted in an unprecedented number of women into the University of Malawi? The quota system is not just about North, Center and South. It is also about getting women in the University of Malawi. What does Mrs Banda say about that? If she can’t answer, then her party people should get the selection list and see how many women and how many men were selected last year.

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