When the news of the demise of the president Bingu wa Mutharika broke out, I was taken by surprise. I did not expect his death to come this soon and just soon after some prophets had predicted it to be very close. Of course the amazement did not last too long as I started pondering on the question of succession. Was it going to be the legitimate successor (the then VP JB) or was it going to be someone else? If it were to be someone else whom then would it be, the Speaker Chimunthu Banda or someone from outside those ranks? No matter how much I tried to think of other possibilities, I was convinced that the presidency was constitutionally JB’s. Now that all seems to be in order and JB has taken control of national affairs, it’s the appropriate time to congratulate her and wish her good luck. So Congratulation and good luck Madam President Joyce Banda, this is not a simple achievement and neither is it a simple task.

Madam President, you are inheriting this country at a time when we are at the lowest point socially, economically and politically. Our relations with the outside world are not the best, our relations within the nation are soured by tribalism, the economy is mauled by absence of radical changes on the supply side, poor donor relations and deteriorating human rights situation. These for sure should be the very first tasks leaders should consider addressing to put the nation on a right track while seeing that we get moving forward. For example repealing the less savvy press freedom law, etc would easily have our relations with the USA and UK back whereas avoiding politics of tribe, exclusion and destruction would bring Malawians together. Forming an inclusive government, making inclusive appointments, talking non-partisan, non-tribal etc would be pertinent.

Should the leaders ignore this and decide to rule unjustly and without inclusion, as a tribal leader or something, the people of Malawi will not be on your side when it will matter most. Nevertheless, should the leaders decide to be such a good and eminent leader as I think JB can, of course the rewards will be numerous!

Good Luck Madam President. I know you have loads of work to do before stuff can normalise.

Face Of Malawi

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