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To be president

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With Mada Musa:

When you ask around, most people will tell you that Hastings Kamuzu Banda and Bingu wa Mutharika are two men who led the country with that air of guile and poise needed for national development.

Common denominators of the two was their insistence to making Malawi better than they found it and the drive to leave a lasting legacy which posterity will look, awestruck, at how people can transform the country.

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Others will tell you that Bakili Muluzi and Joyce Banda have been embodiments of simplicity of presidency which made it an office too and so close for a hug. But with hindsight, those who previously believed in polar terms about the presidency have come to realise that the presidency is more than either rough and grind or softy-softy. It has to be balanced.

Kamuzu Banda used his ways to run and organise the country for three decades. His ways, subjectively, conventional or the other way, made Malawi a pride for many. Bingu, too, came with his clear admiration of Kamuzu Banda’s philosophy and made tremendous strides until he lost the plot and became a monster most wanted to see the back of.

If we were to be raw, it is clear that most of the forward steps we have taken as a nation can be pinned to the tenure of Kamuzu Banda and Bingu wa Mutharika while Bakili Muluzi and Joyce Banda must be given kudos for demystifying the presidency. Peter Mutharika, so far, to me, remains an enigma who stands trial on May 21 depending on the electorates verdicts. It is for the people to choose.

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Why I have given a brief of our past—and present— presidents is that you and I have, in nine days time, that chance to queue and either make another mistake—if at all it is—or correct it.

Not long ago, those who have confidence in them that they are the best thing to ever happen to Malawi came forward to present letters of their candidature. If you happen to ask them, they will all look you in the eye and tell you that come next month, they will be occupants of Plot Number One. But it is for each one of us to think beyond affiliations and make a solid decision that will change our fortunes.

What, I must say, is before us, is a sacred decision we all must make to put Malawi first and filter that trash that is only there to cram the candidates’ roll. This country needs thorough redemption and this must happen before the next generation wakes up.

It is an insult that we should still live in leaking homes, dine in holed ladles and wear clothes that expose our skins while some people have bloated bank accounts from our taxes.

All what we have now is a chance to make a right decision. May 21 gives us that. We will make a blooper of correct our wrongs.

What, I must honestly say, is that of the seven men who have offered to run our affairs after May 21, I see a lack of mixture that will qualify one for the typic Haval leader I dream to have for this country. I know it is a very huge task and we might not have in recent times.

Have you, in any of your silent moments, ever thought of having a president who has the best sides of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika, Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika all rolled into one. If you were to ask me, having such a combination is what means to be president.

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