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Showing posts from 2013

Nelson Mandela's funeral: Barack Obama's speech

To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of state and government, past and present; distinguished guests - it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other. To the people of South Africa - people of every race and walk of life - the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy. It is hard to eulogize any man - to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person - their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world. Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised…

Goodbye Nelson Mandela and lessons for African leaders

If every African King, President, Prime Minister or whatever long titles that they bestow upon themselves just borrowed one Nelson Mandela trait, the continent could have been richer, greater and better than many places in the World. Nelson Mandela said about leadership, "It is better to lead and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership." Madiba never just spoke, he really lived his words. Upon his release, there were quite tensions between those that returned from exile and those that had kept the ANC going during apartheid. This is the tension that has led to the fall of the Mother of the Nation Winnie Madikizela-Mandela from grace.  Directly or indirectly this led to Oliver Tambo being the President, and as popular and as synonymous to the anti-aparthied struggle, this huge man accepted to become only a Vice President of the party. Nelson…

Thank you Nelson Mandela, Africa's brightest star

Never, never again shall man in this land be oppressed by another man- the journey that started some 30 years before 1994, suddenly had become reality. The darkest story of Africa's oppression was re-written. A black man was at the helm of South Africa.
Africa, and my Africa has had very few positive stories of leadership. Coup, corruption, violence and wars are a trademark of our leaders since the independence around 1940s.
Most African nations will be clocking 50 years of independence within the minus or plus of five years, but with very little to show for it.
Mineral rich Angola, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Seirra Leone, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria and many others but have very poor people with very rich ex-Leaders.
Many like Uganda, Guiniea, Swaziland, Gambia and Gabon are still struggling to think of how to get rid of their leaders who have overstayed their welcome.
But there is a story of Nelson Mandela. The boy of Qunu and man who became the greatest of its sta…

Searching for United Kingdoms Foreign Policy in Africa

Megaphone diplomacy does not work, try private talks with China. That seems to be the path that Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has undertaken. He reaffirmed it in Beijing after touring the Jaguar Landrover plant which announced 100,000 new orders. Perhaps, its the billions China has, or it is something else. African Governments have for the past years been warned not to deal with China mainly as everyone grumbled of its human rights record. But today Britain looks set to get billions of dollars investments from the same China. Africans have been warned of exploitative nature of Sino-Africa relationship, but strange someone is keen to welcome investments in the UKs infrastructure in Nuclear and Rail especially the Hs2. At a recent Commonwealth meeting,  Canada and India clearly boycotted the meeting in protest against Sri Lanka's human rights record, and Mr. Cameron came out clearly as a champion when he travelled to Tamil areas to see for himself and the Tamils though…

The buck stops with President Joyce Banda: Malawi's corruption scandals

There are others who firmly believe that the recent spate of arrests indicate a crisis requiring that President Joyce Banda should step down. Well, Malawians voted on June 14, 1993 for multiparty democracy and in some cases we have come to accept that we have some Civil Society Leaders that speak before they think. The only consolation is that they are not elected by anybody and their organisations have failed the  minimum benchmarks of democracy that what comes out of their mouths should never ever be taken seriously. But one thing that we all agree as Malawians, everyone is very angry. We are all angry with the plunder and looting that is being exposed almost on daily basis by law enforcement agencies. This is the first time in the history of Malawi that the large scale theft at Capital Hill is being exposed at such scale. The only other time it happened was the K187 million Education scandal that saw it shake the political establishment in 2001 then equivalent of USD5million where…

African Youth, they remain the biggest losers

Prophet T.B Joshua, is someone I have scrutinized and believed since my trip to Nigeria in 2010, when my good friends in Lagos, told me I could not visit him, as he was satanic. I asked a simple question, what is it that he does that makes him satanic. My friend, now interestingly a convert of T.B Joshua said, "I can take you anywhere but not at that place." Last year he offered to send me the Scoan's anointing water, a miracle trade mark of the T.B Joshua. The Prophet has a huge pool of critics, but none of them will tell you what he does wrong. Actually over the years I have watched and followed his teachings, I have come to understand why he is hated. His actions, charity and message are a big threat to money making schemes that people have been using in the name of Jesus. T.B Joshua is an embarrassment to mega-Church preachers and as such he needs to be ostracized and be portrayed in all demonic senses that we can convince our neighbor. Unfortunately at all times, th…

Finding Agenda for 2014 elections: Time for our MPs, Parties to reflect

Malawian political parties have been accused of having no distinguishing identity and philosophy. Actually frankly speaking they are merely, for many opportunistic clubs for earning a living for those that have no occupation, retired or immediately thought would get rich quick. They have been very few politicians, whose first and lost job has been politics. Among them the Late Aleke Banda, Gwanda Chakuamba, Brown James Mpinganjira, Late Edward Bwanali, Dr. Bakili Muluzi, Dr. Joyce Banda, Khumbo Kachali, Edda Chitalo, Beston Majoni, John Tembo, Portipher Chidaya, Mai Dinala, Mayi Hilda Manjankhosi just to remember a few. The rest of politicians are self created people, who think politics as an opportunity to get really rich quickly. Others like Professor Peter Mutharika, after a stint in the 1960s left for a professional career before fate had it sending them an opportunity to do politics. Atupele Muluzi was born in a political family and adapted to his environment. I am giving all th…

Stealing from the poor part 1: Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry should walk the talk

Having been on the road for the past 14 days, especially in the Southern and Eastern parts of Malawi. I hae come to appreciate poverty and survival of the poor. While in Nsanje they showed me Nyika, that bitter coconut like plant they eat, behind the beautiful Mulanje Mountain, they survive some of them on cow skin mixed with the almost poisonous kalongonda. Food and economy, especially the cost of living dominates the mind of the many poor whose meals for some, even during this harvest period still remains scarce that they only eat once a day, like prisoners. I wished I had collected party cloth materials for all parties, at least the old women in Machinga, the poor kids at Nkata village in Zomba Lisanjala or the begging children of Ngowe in Marka could have found some decent clothes. I would not mind any party giving me loads of T-shirts and Zitenjes, as long as a decent cloth for the poor, elderly and young is given to them. It is with such a troubled mind, that when I reached Mak…

How the poor are surviving: lessons from 12 year old Jabesi: Leviticus 23 verse 22

Since December 2012, for reasons beyond political logic I have opted to live in quite rural areas. There are two places that I have stayed quite long, Mzimba boma but daily travelling 40kms into rural village, where I would with a group of 45 or 60 villagers enjoy bonya lunches, bananas and sugar cane while working on a certain project. These villagers, who are so hard working and spirited took me as their own and even when my employers would bring me nice lunch, they always wanted me to share their "mmemo". But behind all the jokes and smiles and talk, there were signs of pain.
Food was running out and they kept asking if I could extend the project until "we harvest". Everytime I prayed for that to be true. God answered that each time my boss visited the project he would demand more work, therefore at least 50 or so families really did not hit the lowest of food shortage. I could ask for maize in lieu of payment, my employer, even when maize was selling at K10,00…

We are here to preserve democracy and not to practice it- The tale of Peoples Party Leaders

I told you so, is a new song after the kwacha appreciated, well as expected marginally. Swiftly fuel prices have been adjusted downwards, forget that it was imported at a higher kwacha value. Of course maize which leads to inflation have all gone down. Thanks to the magic wand of economic reforms by Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, chiwongolero dziko lonse, Forbes most influential African woman.... the list is getting longer everyday. But for  a patriotic Malawi, desperate for good news, let us celebrate and hope that we get a breather until somewhere in September when we start importing fertilizers and all other small items. May be we should ban importation of all materials locally found, or Dr. Ken Lipenga who is expected to become a long serving Finance Minister in the multiparty era can just introduce high taxes on imported toothpicks and a litany of useless Chinese materials that are all over Lilongwe and other cities. Of course it feels bad everyday to see the youthful Moses Kun…