January 5, 2012
Mbachi Joyce Ngoma
What defines me? I'm Social and Human Rights Activists, a daughter, sister, an aunt and a FRIEND. I take pride in the fact that I'm a true daughter of Malawi and will do anything to fight for the voiceless in my country. Malawi, once called Nyasaland was a British colony. We gained independence on 6th July 1964. You would think that after 47 years of self rule we would have matured from a young republic to a flourishing nation with a lot to show for the freedom our fore fathers fought for. On the contrary. 47 years later, soured diplomatic relations between Malawi and the donor community and its neighbors, human rights violations plus poor governance issues, a mishandled economy and corruption are the status quo. Ironically, the country's budget runs on 40% donor aid. What makes it difficult is that we also have a very unapologetic president!
What has also become the status quo in Malawi is the lack of basic necessities. It is normal to go to a clinic or hospital and find no medicines; no electricity due to numerous power outages, no fuel, or any forex and list goes on and on. However, during a speech yesterday, the state president told the Malawian people to stop complaining and making noise like chickens. That what is going on in Malawi is the same with other nations. My question is, why should people queue up for fuel, have no medicines, no lights because of someone’s mismanagement of the resources given to them to better the country? Why get angry when the donor ask for accountability when you very well know that it was part of the conditions to start with, that they will need to know how funds are allocated? Why is he trying to impose his brother on the Malawian people to rule the country in 2014?
Though the country has a high illiteracy rate at about 80% and there is a need to school the masses on civics education, it is doubtful that the brother will succeed Bingu wa Mutharika as president in 2014. People have had enough, endured and persevered enough under the rule of this president who started off well in 2004 but is now totally the opposite. It's like the case of an experiment gone bad. One minute people are happy the next they are not getting paid their salaries, no food, this from a country that once used to export produce like maize etc.
The good news and one that will be well received in this community is that we could be looking at a possible first female president in Hon. Joyce Banda the vice president come 2014. Why her? She was voted by Forbes to be the third most important African woman in 2011. Once a business woman, a recipient of many awards including the Hunger Project along with Joaquim Chisano the Mozambican former president, a goodwill ambassador for safe motherhood by African Union (AU), a CEO of the Joyce Banda Foundation, founder of the National Association for Business Women in Malawi she announced last year that she would be running for president in 2014. She then formed her own political party after refusing to endorse the Peter Mutharika, the president’s brother. In the course of about a year the party’s membership has grown to about 2 million. She will go down in history as the first woman not to have formed her own political party but one who has enjoyed a huge following. Who knows, she could very well be our first and the first female president in southern African countries.