Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thanks, but no thanks to another Muluzi or Mutharika

The recent manoeuvrings for the presidential candidature for the 2014 elections in Malawi by Peter Mutharika and Atupele Muluzi  have reminded me of one of my earliest blog posts where I endorsed the then Senator Barack Obama as my preferred candidate for the US presidency. In that post, I pointed out that:
"I am reluctant to lend my support to Hilary Clinton on one count and one count alone: in a country of nearly 300 million people, I cannot be convinced that there are only two households that can produce Presidents...."
 To hear that the DPP, as predicted, has endorsed Peter Mutharika as the party's candidate to succeed his brother, Bingu wa Mutharika, while Atupele Muluzi, son to former President Bakili Muluzi, is seriously contemplating to contest for the state presidency, brings back to mind the same notion that made me reject Hilary Clinton's candidature. While I have nothing personal against Atupele Muluzi or Peter Mutharika, I refuse to accept the underlying perception that  out of the 13 million plus Malawians, only the Muluzis and Mutharikas are capable of producing presidential caliber individuals.
If truth be told, the Muluzi era, which was characterized by mismanagement, corruption and incompetency, will count among Malawi's lost years. As for the Bingu years, need I say more? As they say, the works of his hands speak for themselves - murder of innocent Malawians, long fuel queues, deprivation of academic freedom, forex shortages, arrogance and corruption of the grandest scale - are showing that he is not only out of touch with reality, but also that his style of leadership does not belong to a Malawi of the 21st century. And for some to claim they want Peter Mutharika to continue his brother's legacy is, in my considered opinion, pure lunacy.
The long and short of this post is that if Atupele and Peter- who admittedly have to be judged in their own merit, not by the performance of their fathers or brothers - stand for presidential office in 2014, I would, on principle, not vote for them. Malawi belongs to us all, not just for families of Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi or Bingu wa Mutharika. I would rather we looked elsewhere among the millions of my country-folk for a new leadership. This is no guarantee that we would get a better leader, but we would be giving others the opportunity to captain the ship. So, nothing personal about Atupele Muluzi or Peter Mutharika, but thanks, but no thanks.

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