President Joyce Banda is the Head of State and Government in Malawi. No contest.
She became President under the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. No contest.
Despite being the only President of Malawi who never won an election, she is by the Constitution a legitimate leader. No contest.
She has been in office for eight months and did inherit challenges. No contest.
What is in contest is whether the person who became president is material for that office.
What is in contest is whether she understands what being President of a country – not of a choir, not of a drama group, not of a mandasi selling club – means. This is what is absolutely in serious doubt.
For every problem she faces in her administration, she finds an easy excuse in Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration.
Granted, Bingu left problems and some of them will have to take time to be resolved.
But which President never inherited problems on earth? From US to Fiji, all incoming leaders come in to fix problems they find and they leave office leaving behind issues that their successors find to solve.
The difference between a President who understands his or her office and one who does not is their availability at taking responsibility.
Barack Obama inherited a mess. But he took responsibility for it. He never wasted time in the blame game because he knew that once he became the president all bucks ended with him.
Instead of continuously blaming Bush, he went to work, challenging all Americans along the way that they would have to face the problems together and fix them together.
Joyce Banda is different. She forgets Mutharika is dead. She fails to understand that because he is dead that she the President. She does not understand that because she is President she is answerable for everything that besets the country today.
When people are crying, they need their President to give them answers, not to blame someone who is long dead.
To blame the shortage of drugs the country is facing at the moment on Mutharika is sheer bankruptcy of clues about leading. In any case doctors have made it very clear, they alerted this administration in October (Mutharika died in April) that supplies were running low.
This administration (not the Mutharika one) never acted. Instead the President (clearly not understanding her terms of reference) was busy distributing flour and maize. People have tried to advise her to keep her bottom in her office and deal with the real issues attendant to her office, but she will not listen.
In the middle of a crisis that is when she is convening a meeting to act on an October alert? Should she not have convened the meeting she had with doctors on Monday in Lilongwe way back in October?
And you have her boot-lickers commending her for having convened the meeting, saying it symbolises that she is a listening president. Come on, you must be very silly, does a listening President wait for people to die before she acts when she ignored pleas to act before lives were lost?
She does not even need to be commended because what she is doing now is firefighting.
Her uncouth arrogance have created an emergency which should have been avoided had she acted in October.
And in her panic, she is not coming up with long term measures to deter the recurrence of the problem.
Monies may have been released from Treasury to buy drugs, creating another problem. Was this money budgeted for drugs? How will she will finance the service for which the money she has borrowed for drugs was appropriated for.
Today as we speak staff in all hospitals have not been paid.
If this is not a Joyce Banda made crisis, what is?
And you have a president who thinks the best she can do is go South Korea and get a hollow degree when lives are being lost due to lack of medical supplies and the staff that should saving those lives are not being paid.
The presidency is more than running Joyce Banda Foundation, Madam President!