ou win some, you lose some and losing everything can in fact motivate one to push harder and to keep on digging even when faced with the most hopeless situation.
When all seems lost, one just needs to stay focused and keep eyes on the ball. Your butt may be kicked, but that is just part of the game: the important thing is to live to fight another day.
It's in line with this thinking that we continue the fight for a better Malawi – which is possible but isn't on the horizon yet. Ours, we know, is a crusade for a kind of politics we believe could deliver desired outcomes for our Malawian brothers and sisters.
In this regard, when Joyce Banda was, with much pomp and ceremony, sworn in as Malawi’s not-any-other-kind-of-president, we believed for once, and still do, that forces beyond everyone’s control had conspired to put Malawi on a different path.
We want to believe that the country's new leadership is different from the previous ones.
The fact is mother Malawi has suffered a lot. Starting from dictator Kamuzu Banda to his protégé Bakili Muluzi; from Muluzi to his handpicked successor Bingu wa Mutharika (who was on course to annoint his own brother to succeed him), Malawians were left wondering whether they were destined to rot in hell while on earth.
Kamuzu used to say he wanted three things for the people he found naked – wearing nyanda
(traditional thong) – when he returned to Malawi, then Nyasaland, to break the “stupid federation” so his people could be free: food, clothing and shelter or houses that didn’t leak when it rained. Never mind those that leaked when it wasn’t raining! If the majority of our people lacked any of these, by Kamuzu’s definition, his mission to lift his kind up would have failed.
And worse, those that were - one way or another - moving towards acquiring some of this elusive trinity are now worse off.
To put things in their proper perspective think of a hungry child who comes to a parent demanding something to eat but can’t get any. A mother knows firsthand the pain of failing to provide for a child.
Having been poorly led for much too long, Pres Banda’s ascendency to the most powerful office in the country means a lot to many in a male-dominated world that has seen too many unnecessary conflicts which have perpetuated human suffering. This isn’t to say we’ve invested all our emotions and trust in her for we can easily get disappointed. We appreciate the need to give her enough space to do what is right but it’s also our job not to give her too much leeway lest she veers off track.
That point brings us to the issue of Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga who’s been cleared of any wrongdoing by Vice President Khumbo Kachali, Banda's point man, in the matter of giving false information to the nation. Kachali, in his defence of Lipenga, has redefined the role and importance of the finance minister. According to Kachali, the minister of finance should forthwith be called the Finance Messenger or Finance Post-boy. Lipenga was only a courier, Kachali says, Lipenga shouldn't be blamed.
This publication doesn't regret calling for Lipenga’s resignation or his firing after he refused to take any responsibility. In fact, we aren’t alone in refusing to buy Lipenga’s innocence. Lawmaker Lifred Nawena raised similar concerns when Kachali presented the findings of his committee to parliament.
How did a minister of such an important ministry not know what he was presenting to the nation? If the minister wasn’t in MRA meetings, his number two, an economist unlike him, had an idea of MRA revenue shortfalls and should’ve given his boss a heads up on what was going on before allowing him to go and make a fool of himself before the nation.
Who appeared before the Kachali Inquiry? Was former Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda debriefed? Can we see the transcripts of the whole inquiry?
Raphael Tenthani muckraked Pres Joyce Banda in his Sunday column this week, putting his finger on perhaps the reason she wanted Lipenga to remain on her team: “From the beginning it was clear President Joyce Banda was not keen on firing her moneyman. Her revelation that it was actually the minister himself who demanded a probe into the affair was clear sign that his job was as good as safe.”
A MaraPost reader opined on this website, saying Lipenga had better character than most on the president’s team. Good for him.
There’s an unhealthy tendency among us to settle for less than the ideal. The sudden permanent removal from this earth of Pres Mutharika, a man whose deeds and pronouncements betrayed him as one who thought nobody but him could lead Malawi, must provide a good lesson to us all.
Political expedience too often dictates the actions of politicians who seem to care more about themselves than the common good which causes untold misery on the voiceless. While we respect the decision by the Kachali Inquiry, we retain the right to question intensely decisions like this one which fail to pass muster. Like the president and her government, we believe our cause is bigger than us which means we sometimes have to step on toes in the course of doing what we do. It’s a requirement; nothing personal. Patrick Mwanza
, Editor, MaraPost
FYI: The chairman of Barclays Bank has resigned after it was revealed that bank employees rigged interest rates.