Who is right, JB or me?

On 8th January President Joyce Banda met with Peoples Party committee members from the Northern Region at the Mzuzu State Lodge.

Let me thank the President for giving out packets of sugar, maize flour and maize I am told, and some transport money as reimbursement. There are people who will argue that such an exercise is not worth the status of the president and that people should not be encouraged to receive handouts. I would agree with the detractors that yes, we should avoid handouts in a normal year. The year 2013 is not a normal year. As the President has said, “my government underestimated the effects of the devaluation as we did not have accurate data from the previous administration.”

The data that the President now has (and this data is from the current administration), is that people are hurting. It is because of that that the President is moving village by village to donate maize flour and other supplies “from her own resources.” In a normal year, people in the high echelons of power like those that gathered at the Mzuzu State Lodge would not have stooped that low to receive the handouts. By the way, I hear that some clergy have refused gifts of fertiliser from the State House. Let me say that I will be more than willing to receive these ‘rejected’ bags of fertiliser and maize flour.

Madam President, your staff at State House know how to get me. Mr Steve Nhlane knows how to get me. Your Minister of Justice the Hon Ralph Kasambara and I sat together in the Cilic board for some years too. He knows where those bags can be dropped.

Madam President, I liked, and not necessarily agree, with your advice to your Northern Region committee that for party discipline anapuse napuse (filial orgies) within the party committees must be discouraged. Yes, of course we know that mbuzi idya pamene ayimanga (the goat eats around where it is tied) but a political party is sacred. As you said Madam President, how does one exercise leadership when wathyoka or wakhobodoka kale? Now my question, as they say there is no smoke without fire, anzathu munamvanji kumpotoko? Has there been a lot of anapuse napuse?

Madam President, you did indeed say in Mzuzu that although Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was Kamuzu’s friend, he never came to Malawi. This is where we differ, Madam. Both you and I know that in the days of Kamuzu, the 4th of July was the day when we had National Day of Prayers at Kwacha Conference Centre. At Kwacha Conference Centre is where we saw the bust (statue) of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. When we asked how that bust came into being, people told us that this was to commemorate Jomo Kenyatta’s visit to Malawi. Now you are President and you are saying that Kenyatta never came to Malawi. Are you misinformed? Am I misinformed? Madam, could I suggest that both you and I go to Dr DD Phiri for a ‘judicial’ review? I fear you may be wrong.

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