An Open Letter to President Joyce Banda of Malawi: You go, girl!


I hope it is not too late to proffer my congratulations on your ascension to high office as the president of Malawi.

Madam President, for the short time that you have been in office, you have made me, and I am sure many other Africans who are as passionate about the motherland, very proud.

Your Excellency, as the old adage says, ‘actions speak louder than words’, your deeds lately, have spoken and the world has heard. Please accept my congratulations for the bold steps you have taken.

Of course there have been the naysayers who, in the decisions you have made, only see a desire to please donors. Well, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but isn’t disposing off fuel guzzling limousines and a luxurious jet good for the country? Isn’t putting your foot down and calling for a respect of the rule of international law and conventions, good for the world?

In my opinion, you have earned your place in the annals of history for daring to stand for what you believe in, even if it is unpopular with your fellow presidents.

Between me and you, I do not understand the logic behind shifting the AU summit from your Lilongwe backyard to Addis Ababa, just to accommodate Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir? Anyway, it is the prerogative of the secretariat and only them know the reason behind the decision.

What mere mortals, like me, could do is to urge on voices of reason like yours. You go, girl!

In conclusion, I leave you with the words of Moeletsi Mbeki, an illustrious son of the soil. In his book, Advocates for Change, he defines a leader as ‘someone who identifies political and/ or economic situations that can lead to the solution of overwhelming social problems or challenges facing his or her community and persuades others to work with him or her to implement those solutions’.


Fellow Malawian

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