Tuesday, April 9 2012, was a very refreshing day to listen to the comprehensive press briefing addressed by the new President of the Republic of Malawi, Her Excellency Madame Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda.
As a nation in mourning and at a crossroads, the press briefings are helping to keep Malawians abreast of the critical developments that are underway and those in the pipeline.
This, in the process, is going a long way to assure Malawians that the ship is now being steered away from the collision course with the iceberg, just to borrow from the story of the Titanic that is being commemorated this year after 100 years of that epic disaster.
On motherly care
What is very promising about HEâ€™s remarks of Tuesday is how it clearly came across that as a mother, she naturally has a passion for life, for the well-being of Malawian citizens in that holistic motherly way. This was seen in the way she sternly came out on issues of Safe Motherhood where she is committed to eliminating our disastrous distinction of having our mothers, wives, sisters and cousins dying like mosquitos in the process of giving birth.
She also clearly mourned the brutal and heinous killing of our brother, Robert Chasowa, in cold blood that chilled the nation and brought a sickening murderous taint on the hitherto peace-loving image of Malawi as a nation.
On the economic management front
She struck a very constructive note when she clearly articulated the reasons three months ago she advised the then powers against hosting the African Union (AU) Summit this July.
I found her reasoning on the AU Summit very measured and thoroughly thought through in terms of what was achievable and not achievable in our current economic shambles.
So, the conclusion we draw from HEâ€™s presentation is to urge Cabinet when it meets this Thursday to do what is RIGHT and not what is MIGHTY and let Malawi pass the AU Summit in July because much as it is a good to have, but as HE rightly enumerated, it will leave a big gap in our already dire straits economic state and that will make the recovery longer, more prolonged and more painful.
We have the power to avoid this by eating a humble pie and telling the world that at the moment,Â we have more pressing priorities. Doing so will not only endear us to our cooperating partners, whose understanding and help we so urgently need, but it will demonstrate to all Malawians that times of grandiose megalomania are past and gone.
Granted, there are too much vested interests by powerful interest groups who have invested in hosting this summit, but then that has been the tragedy of this nation for a long time.
Powerful groups with vested interests have always hijacked the otherwise well-intended initiatives and priorities of the leadership and that is how our rail system was ruined in the 1990s, pushing the cost of transportation and in turn prices of goods and services went up, unwittingly crippling the economy. The examples of the ills brought upon us by vested interests are all over the place and they manifest from regime to regime. One of the factors that perpetuate this malady is the unholy behaviour of our political class being allowed to shamelessly change political colours with impunity and not out of ideology or conviction but purely out of convenience and opportunism.
We can only pray that those days are numbered and gone. God help, protect and bless our nation.– Wilkins Mijiga is a Blantyre-based marketing professional and has written this article in his personal capacity.