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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bakili Muluzi's long walk to Democracy

The former President of Malawi Bakili Muluzi has generated a stir that no other African leader has in the recent past. While in Durban and Johannesburg, I met a Journalist from Kenya, another from Zambia and another from South Africa all asked me exactly what is wrong with Bakili Muluzi and Malawians.
I have told them that there is nothing wrong with Malawians, they are honest and hard working people who normally leave politicians to make a fool out of themselves if they want to. However on Muluzi I had no answer since I can not with my public health knowledge claim to have reached the levels of a qualified physciatrist.
Reading through Muluzi's speeches during his first term of office (1994-1999) one hears of a democrat that repented the MCP atrocities and that one who would want to give power back to the people. The speeches change radically, when towards 1999 general elections, when he claims to have only 'laid foundation' for the development projects that the country had during his first term.
Yes Muluzi and once his powerful ally Brown Mpinganjira claim the era of mobile phones, internet, free primary education and setting of human rights commission and anti-corruption bureau among their achievements.
But the language of Muluzi changed seriously as Chiluba of Zambia, Mugabe of Zimbabwe and even Sam Nujoma of Namibia spoke of different ways to stay in power. The former President became dangerously close to these men, that Mugabe spoke at his wedding, he donated US$50,000 to a Chiluba centre for democracy and King Mswati if I am not wrong was his best man.
Of course Muluzi was and is still a good communicator that he was able to drag more Presidents into Malawi within a short time. The President of Tanzania then Benjamin Mkapa ended up with an honarary degree, soo too Chiluba and others had roads named after them and Daniel Arap Moi came to open trade Fair and TV Malawi.
Pierre Buyoya of Burundi came, so too Joseph Kabila of RD Congo and Paul Kagame (Bingu's new found freind) shaked their hands first time in Malawi. You add Museveni and Al Bashir, you add Taiwanese Abiyeni and many more that came near and far to celebrate Malawi's new democracy.
Now Muluzi when time was ripe to be recognised like a democract, just like Thabo Mbeki making an ill fated attempt for the third term of party presidency at Polokwane, he went for a third term. People were beaten, churches were insulted and the country united against a very unpopular leader trying to stick into office.
At the peak of betrayal was the vote on July 4, 2002 which a human rights campaigner and reciepient of the Robert Kennedy Human Rights Award Chakufwa Chihana and MCP's John Tembo who was at the middle of the battle to control the soul of MCP voted yes for a third term in a controversial bill brought by Aford's Khwauli Msiska.
It was the Green Mwamondwe's, Kandodo Banda, Jimmy Mponda Mkandawire and MCP's Gwanda Chakuamba, Hetherwick Ntaba, NDA' s Brown Mpinganjira, Joe Manduwa, Jan Sonke and even Cassim Chilumpha who worked tirelessly against Muluzi's third term bid.
When the bill flopped, Muluzi tried to bring back, but the first defeated had given courage to many that then Attonery General Henry Phoya had to withdraw it before debate to avoid embarrassment.
Muluzi without learning any lesson on democracy went ahead to nominate and impose Mutharika and Chilumpha, the pair that have become his political enemies that he vows to finish them off as his core agenda of his come back.
The questions are:
1. Out of 13.1 million population, has Muluzi ever considered that there are other well qualified Malawians who can do better than him as leaders?
2. Does he really know that Malawi is not a personal estate which does not need input from him or influence on how to choose leaders.
3. Does Dr. Muluzi ever thought that there is life after politics and presidency?
4. After missing out the Mo Ibrahim Award dur to his unwelcome stay in politics, doesnt he think it will be embarrassing for him to claim to be a democrat-in case he wins again to new Presidents who have replaced others?
5. In all human sense, what else does he want to achieve as a human being after already reaching the high office of the President? Brown Mpinganjira, Friday Jumbe, Dr. Nga Mtafu and all others make strong candidates each with own qualities.
It has never been my intention to debate Muluzi's come back, but these are questions he might need to be prepared to answer if at all he meets most of the foreign journalists who I spent the whole day debating 'maximum and consecutive two five year terms."
Maximum too is a catch word!!! No comment!!
Bakili Muluzi still has a long way to becoming a democrat!

1 comment:

steven kk said...

Mate ,You have to keep in mind that Muluzi's main concern is businesses which he used to run when he was in power and before,like Ntaja trading.Government ordered Illovo to open up selling Depots in all regions of Malawi therefore clippling Muluzi's long time business.I have heard him him on one of the rallies claiming that businesses are collapsing under Bingu.
Secondly his behabiour shows that he has got alot of skeletons in his cupboard and he knows that once Bingu makes it for the second term with a good number of MP'S he will end up in jail as these people know each other very well.
Just keep an eye you will see lots of things happening ,come June,2009.
Finally just do a small research on people who want Muluzi to come back you and will find out that
90% of those who need him used to do shady businesses which have either collapsed or are on life support machines.