Malawi’s calculative and manipulative leaders

Malawi was a de facto police state during a good part of former president Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s 30 years rule. There was no rule of law or judicial system to speak of. Kangaroo courts and traditional tribunal were Kamuzu’s preferred systems. The late Orton and his Wife Vera Chirwa who were recognised as prisoners of conscious by Amnesty International were among scores of other innocent Malawians who became victims of Kamuzu’s Kangaroo courts. It is not that Kamuzu believed in the fairness of Kangaroo court, he did not; this is why he favoured it because he could easily control outcome Continue reading

Unwritten rule that fosters corruption in #Malawi

It is now two years since Malawi was rocked by its biggest government corruption scandal in history. The systematic looting of public coffers by civil servants, private contractors and politicians saw them steal US$31 million from government coffers. It is estimated that about 35% of government funds have been stolen over the past decade. The country’s national budget for 2013-14 was about US$1.3 billion (630.5 billion Kwachas) at today’s exchange rate. But has the country learnt anything from its biggest scandal that saw donors withdraw support? The University of Malawi’s Blessings Chinsinga recently pointed out that: … efforts to root Continue reading

Malawi: Tyranny of the majority?

French political thinker, Alexis de Tocqueville, noticed that as much as democratic leadership is determined by people, ideally majority, ‘majority rule cannot be the only expression of supreme power in a democracy’. He added: “If so, … the majority would too easily tyrannise the minority. Thus, while it is clear that democracy must guarantee the expression of the popular will through majority rule, it is equally clear that it must guarantee that the majority will not abuse its power to violate the basic inalienable right of the minority.” Attainment of people’s basic rights is what has defined Malawi political history, Continue reading