ON account of the grim economic and political experiences that the nation has had to go through in the past three years that have brought the nation to almost its knees, Malawi has to make very hard and painful choices in order to salvage what remains of our glory and then spring forward.

It has been said we are now in a recovery period and yes, it could be. How well we will metamorphose out of it depends on the first steps being taken now and that outcome will judge the value of today’s tough decisions. Posterity is waiting to judge us.

So that’s why we are forced to cancel the once-in-a-lifetime chance of hosting the African Union summit –forgetting about its economic implications — because we are afraid that Sudanese President Omar al Bashir will attend and we might not arrest him and therefore earn the wrath of the international community whose wounds are yet to heal from previous action when he attended the Comesa summit last year.

Or, we were going to be daring enough and arrest him but we shudder to think of what reaction would be visited on our country from those people who love him.

And as a price of our decision not to host the Sudanese president for fear of arresting him or not arresting him and the resulting consequences of either action, we have opted for our president not to attend the continental gathering where she could have introduced herself to the club of most powerful politicians on the continent, networked and thrashed out ideas for the development of the country and the continent.

Fresh history is bringing in these moments of tough decisions and judging their worth is very, very difficult. But what we know is that we have to do away with executive arrogance and reform in a very large way, but of course not to be pliable to puppetry. The axiom should be that we know what we are doing.

The bottom line is that in everything that we do, we have to do it for the sake of Malawi and Malawians, as President Joyce Banda has explained about her decision not to have created opportunities for government to be able to be pushed to arrest Al-Bashir. Hard decisions come with results, good or bad.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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