Thursday, May 3, 2012


HUMANLY speaking, the loss of a life is naturally a cause for grief and anxiety. In politics, however, grief and anxiety does not always follow the loss of life. Here it is the good and the bad of the individual that decides; if the good outweighs the bad, grief and anxiety follow, and the direct opposite is consequently true.

This is why it is not surprising to note that almost all Malawians, from a human perspective, are grief-stricken on the sudden death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika. And that is why, politics-wise, it is not so surprising that Malawians' are expressing happiness on Mutharika's death because, politically seriously, his demise is an overdue breather.

Whilst Malawians humanly mourn and/or politically celebrate the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika, it would help if we spare some of our precious free time and follow how President Joyce Banda's 'clean sheet' mentality will guide her policies.

Expectedly, President Joyce Banda will reshuffle her cabinet to bring some of her party royalists, sycophants, and opportunists. It is most likely that Dr Ken Lipenga and two more late wa Mutharika ministers will be maintained, though it is highly expected that all the three will not maintain their ministries.

The other faces joining government business will be four first time 'toddler' ministers especially one in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, and five other faces who served either in the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration, most especially in his boom days, or former president Bakili Muluzi's administration.

But most importantly, President Joyce Banda is most poised to trim the cabinet to a lean 25-person or less. What would be important here, however, is the calibre of the people she would choose to serve in the most crucial ministries; Ministries of Finance, Education, Health, Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Agriculture.

The expectation is that president Banda will consult widely on her selection of cabinet. Additionally, ministers she will choose to head those keys ministries will be the ones who will be deemed royal to her but it is doubtful if she will accord them independence of thought and action.

On the international scene, President Joyce Banda is expected to go begging, like literally begging. She is expected to normalise all the sour diplomatic relations with Malawi's erstwhile donors. In fact, it is suspected that international relations will be among her four policy priorities in the first days of her reign.

Again, she will forge new or strengthen existing ties with international nations and organizations on the hope aid flows to Malawi so that Malawians wake up a Malawi of pretty goodies and less complains.

Her calls for international support will be immediately heeded and almost unquestionably taken on board given the current powerful voices of women empowerment.

She would, however, tread the international land carefully and resolutely by not nodding to any conditionalities in the name of aid, otherwise Malawians would see her as not strong enough for a president. For she would not like being called weak as that would obviously soil her clean sheet, she would be soft while at times be hard as situations would demand.

The improved international relations shall mean that donors will rethink on their financial support excusal resulting in release of money, thus reloading the ever-hungry forex reserves and improving export potential of both fuel and other essential commodities.

The cries about bad laws in parliament will be a thing of the past. President Joyce Banda is set to repeal or refuse to assent to bills in parliament that would likely attract public condemnation. The reasons for this is that she has enough experience of what it means to be at loggerheads with one's citizens, and because that would be against the dictates of her 'clean sheet' mentality.

Furthermore, it is the clean sheet mentality that will be the drive in her anti corruption drive. For this reason, Malawians should, perhaps for the first time ever, be ready to see arrests of cabinet ministers and other high profile individuals both in the late president Mutharika regime and her own.

That is how President Joyce Banda's clean sheet mentality will most probably guide her policy directions. But as we wait for the 100th day of her administration to make a detailed policy-to-policy analysis, let us congratulate her on being the first woman president in both Malawi and the entire Southern African region.


COLLEGE education remains the world's living hope for a better tomorrow. This is obviously the case knowing pretty well that those favoured few accessing it are, generally speaking, most assuredly destined to be refined in character, in reasoning, and in mind. Perhaps that explains why governments and non-government actors around the world have always justified, and oft-times increased, the provision of college education to their respective citizens.

Given the grand talk about the goodies of college education, it should be little wonder then that the Malawi government joined the bandwagon of governments in providing college education to its citizens.

In colleges and universities around the globe, college students are justifiably understood as a beacon of progress, a fountain of wisdom, and a worthwhile investment. To their understanding, college education does not only provide the direction for career prospects to students, but also, most importantly, the opportunities for students to experiment, develop, and nurture their genuine potential.

That is why, in most countries, getting the paper that certifies one's journey in the academic wonderland counts little; what counts more here is a person's ability to do something with that paper.

In fact, college education in the 21st century is structured in such a way that students are given enough time to discover their inner socio-psychological selves; that, after being tutored in the technical know-how of their respective courses for which they were admitted, students explore their other equally important skills such as analytical reasoning, argumentation, interpersonal relations, and negotiation.

It is interesting to note that Malawi's college education wholly adopts this 21st century college education structure. Sadly, however, a miserable number of students enrolled in its colleges and universities behave to the expectation of a 21st century student with the majority of them behaving in such a way that they defeat the whole purpose of university education.

What university of Malawi students know is what is taught in the courses of their programme of enrolment which, mostly if not always, tends to be forgotten since they mostly read for exams--reading for examinations so that they thus survive the anguish that ruthlessly comes with 'weeding'.

Little effort, if any, is made to read other non-course materials for knowledge's sake; an ignorable bunch of students attempt to join non-religious campus organizations; and very few students dare to think in critical and radical fashion.

You would be amazed, for example at the populous Chancellor College, that most of the non-religious campus organizations would have less than a unit students for a general assembly in the earliest days of the semester, and you wonder what would have kept students busy given the fact that during such times the rigors of academic life are always at its softest spot! How sad.

Expectedly, most students know their course areas but have mostly tended to face problems when it comes to presentation, logical reasoning, and argumentation. This becomes more pronounced to science students than to humanities and social sciences students. It surprises a critical mind to see this happening for one begins to ask: “...since when did presentation, logical reasoning, and argumentation become a sole province of few, selected college students?”.

College life now has changed. It is now only about how one outclasses coursemates and how refined one is in music especially HipHop and R'n'B, entertainment, and dressing, and NOT how refined one is in matching class performance, music tastes, entertainment, and dressing with equally important issues like logical reasoning, evidence-based argumentation, and captivating presentation.

Consequently, there is little debating culture in the colleges to the extent that voting for students' representatives is informed not by issues but by friendly tissues; thus, politics of personalities and not policies finds its origin not in the villages as it is always believed, but right in the academic circles where, supposedly, intellectualism is the guiding eye of all activities and practices.

This prevailing my- reading-for-only-my-course mentality perhaps explains why few college students manage to express themselves, why fewer students can manage to make a catching presentation, and why fewest college students can reason logically; but yet, on the contrary, these very same college students give arguably the best technical advice one had never hoped for.

So, do not be surprised next time you invite this author for a talk and he fails to articulate issues; and he reasons like a commoner, and he shivers due to lack of confidence and stumbles on an utterance upon an utterance. When this happens, just know that he is a Unima student who read for exams and had no time for non-course readings. And yes, he came back from college with only a paper.


IN passing, the idea about God is as old as creation itself. Those in the know about revelations in the three Abrahamic faiths--Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, have all repeatedly manifested that God has always revealed Himself to humanity in different forms and fashions.

Of late, however, there has been some talk of great religious interest; the idea that God does not exist as championed by atheism, agnosticism--God neither exists nor does not exist, and, locally prominently, Secular Humanism. There is need to point out here that, though it is tempting to ignore these and other similar '-isms' in terms of its adherents, their idea that God does not exist is too religiously suicidal to ignore, hence my writing this article.

It is worth mentioning here that these God-does-not-exist associations mostly arise out of a growing disenchantment with religion. For the most part, the associations accuse established religions of “grand contradictions and inconsistencies”. Among others, creation, design, and morality are the areas they often times point. Using arguments from creation, design, and morality, I intend to show that God exists and, by implication, to show that those to the contrary opinion are most certainly probably wrong.

Before I get into the crux of the matter, I would like to inform my wiser readership that I excuse myself from appealing to any scripture of the three Abrahamic faiths, and instead use science and reason. This is the case because it is only more proper that I use science and reason as the God-does-not-exist associations believe them than use scriptures whose inspirer they say does not exist let alone believe His revealed scriptures.

To begin with, the assertion that God exists only requires, and not commits, its asserters to provide evidence. It is those who oppose the assertion that are committed to provide evidence; that is, the opposers have the burden of proof. Furthermore, to oppose that God exists presupposes knowledge of God which, by extension, presupposes His existence.

For example, if I non-metaphorically assert that I have a real Boeing 747 in my shirt pocket and someone screams, “you don't have!” presupposes that person's knowledge of a Boeing 747. To this person, the knowledge of a Boeing 747 convinces him that my assertion is false. It might be because a Boeing 747 is big and therefore cannot fit into a shirt pocket, and hence the scream, “you don't have!” Similarly, those who argue that God does not exist only confirm that God exists because arguing against something one does not have knowledge of is unreasonable if not utterly preposterous. It is said elsewhere that he that knows nothing doubts nothing.


Creation as we see it would need an All-time Cause, Infinite for that matter. I start: that which is in the universe has a cause where by 'universe' I mean 'a world of caused beings'. Proceeding; that which has a cause is finite--limited by time. It follows thus that everything in the universe is caused and limited by time. However, that which is outside the universe causes. That which causes cannot be caused and is infinite. God is outside the universe. Therefore, God causes and is infinite.

The circularity and the classic everything-has-a-cause arguments are hardly tenable. The argument as advanced above means God is the starting and stopping point, and no circularity either meant or implied. Everything-has-a-cause argument is all indefensible as it assumes that 'every' is everywhere 'every'. One good example is at a presidential rally. When the president says, “everyone has to be seated” you would always see soldiers still standing. This means that 'every' there did not mean 'every' but rather meant 'non-soldiers'.

The issue here should be to establish the finiteness of the universe. Logically, to be in the present presupposes to have been in the past and a possibility of being in the future which is possible only through a countable series of time. And the fact that this is 2012 presupposes a past, 1 BC, and a possibility of a future, say the year 2013, 2014 or 3000. Expectedly, this confirms the fact that the universe is limited by time and is therefore caused.


There is no denying that the universe is stunningly intelligently and purposefully designed. You would agree that such design requires an intelligent and purposeful designer. And God is an intelligent and purposeful designer. For this reason, God must have, and of course he designed the universe. Recent scientific studies have all revealed that the separate laws governing the universe are related and interlock the universe thus confirming harmony and order in the universe as intelligently and purposefully designed by an omnipresent God.

It be made clear that Darwin's evolution theory is no obstacle here. Darwin postulated that species did not evolve through orderly mutation, by a random mutation and natural selection--the much-talked 'survival of the fittest'.  Darwin miserably failed to explain how random mutation and natural selection came about and how the matter in his so-called “pre-biotic soup” came to exist. More importantly, Darwin's theory is about EVOLUTION OF LIFE AND NOT ORIGIN OF LIFE. So, even Darwin could not explain the origin of life. Cut loose, a creative and intelligent God created the universe with a goal for His creation.


Contrary to what extreme moral relativists say, there is telling evidence in the world of objective morality. Existence of objective morality is evidence enough of a single supreme moral giver outside of us. If, as argued by moral relativists, what appears like objective morals is nothing but social conventions and natural instincts, then how would we explain the existence of absolute right and wrongs in the world?

Then why is it the case that the world is all unanimous in blaming Adolf Hitler that what he did was, and still is, absolutely wrong? Then why is it the case that all societies in the world, perhaps in the animal world too, it is generally agreed that to torture children, to murder, and to lie is wrong. I ask further: “why all societies commonly agree that it is good to love, to show care, to show compassion, and to be selfless?”.

There must therefore be some higher-order entity, a supreme being who wires something in humans that should teach us that it is objectively wrong to murder and objectively right to love. And that Supreme Being is God. Thus, argument from morality also is one way of establishing the existence of God.

From the foregoing, it is not only reasonable but also spiritual to believe in the existence of God, and Infinite, Personal, Intelligent, Artistic, and Purposeful God. And now, that God exists is perhaps beyond question to the God-does-not-exist diehard supporters. However, it is good to point out that humanity's knowledge of God is limited due to either humanity's finiteness, God's infiniteness, or both. Consequently, humanity cannot absolutely ultimately know God. Therefore, humanity's failure to furnish concrete evidence to prove God's existence should not be construed as vindicating that God does not exist. This is the case because absence of 'seeable' evidence of God's existence is not evidence of God's absence. Yes! ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE!.


UNDENIABLY, the recent Public Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting at Limbe Cathedral and its subsequent resolution has made a tremendous contribution to the two-years-old dormant revolution now the hottest topic in the media, especially the social media. Additionally, it is common knowledge that the revolution discourse in Malawi has gained its fresh momentum with insights from the Arab Spring, effectively moving it from its initial quiet stage to its current violent stage, if, and only if, the latest frequency and significance of its talk is anything to go by. 

Surprisingly, what is missing from the revolution discourse is discussants failure, or say, oversight to name which part, if any, of the Malawi population has the high moral ground, the conviction, and the will to see the revolution through. Always; yes, always, the revolution talk has centred on who gets what when the revolution is actually done, before getting themselves boggled down with the more important question: “who will do the revolution?”.

The assumption here has been that those who talk about the revolution are the ones to do the revolution. Stop it! Those who initiate the revolution are never actual participants of the revolution. On the contrary, they are at best, planners, and always at worst, reapers of the revolution. They galvanise the revolution participants into action while they are inside the comfort of their homes listening to what is transpiring in the revolution on the radio, updating each other on the phones, waiting to reap the sweat of the poor, wretched revolutionists! 

But who are these non-participating revolution-talkers? Your guess is as good as mine; these people are the civil society leaders, political party leaders, tycoons, top-notch individuals in society, and what have you, all aiming at hijacking the revolution. It is annoying to note that, either due to naivety, the longing to see just a change, or a wired mentality to take as gospel-truth 'solutions' from above, those that actively participate in the revolution do not question the decision that follow, at least a week immediately after the revolution.

You might ask, “but who are the revolutionists?”.  Well, these are your aunties, uncles, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and fathers, friends, and relatives in the villages, mark me right here; these uneducated wise people in the villages, who mostly are subsistence farmers with no gainful employment, using the Agogo-economics, Malume-leadership, and street politics.

These are the revolutionists because when they want to effect a change in their life, they always are not motivated by anything outside them, but rather, something inside. They would participate in the revolution, not because some local or international moneyed, self-acclaimed democrat will pat them in the back, but because that is what they strongly feel they want--something intrinsic. Nor will they participate hoping some carrot will be dangled, No!, but will passionately do the revolution for the revolution's sake, and nothing else.

The local masses are a people who, when circumstances push them, do not have the word 'flinch' in their dictionary, and would advance forward till victory. All what is needed now is unlocking the local masses' doors to self-awareness and the invigoration of their untapped revolutionary people power.

However, civic educating the local masses of their power to bring political, government, and non-governmental leaders to task should they deem them incapable is frustratingly a tall order. This remains a tall order for the next 20 years or so largely because most of the government and non-government organizations claiming to civic educate the local masses of their power to change their life and the environment around them have done so strictly shallowly, and almost always during elections and when it is closest to elections. Then one wonders of the impact such exercises would have to the deep-rooted lack of self-confidence in the local masses themselves!

What is heartbreaking, however, is the painful fact that these revolutionists do not know, if they do, they do underrate their collective revolutionary potential. This means therefore that they are unaware of their people power. And because they are unaware of their coveted potential and no one or organization seems to care, it also means that they cannot initiate a revolution.

All what it remains is them following a revolution. Because they do not share the revolutions organized by educated working class individuals, the local masses tend to participate in the revolution the least or there about. Their impassionate participation is as a result of miscommunication between the organizers and the local masses in terms of what really is the cause of the revolution and the organizers' direct and indirect excusal to physically participate in the events leading to the revolution.

The outcome of this situation is a revolution-dry Malawi, at least up until 2032 when the local Malawi masses will have realized of their people power to make state, political, and organization leaders dance to their music. It is only until Abiti Matiya, that granny in the remotest villages in Machinga district, know that she is the boss to the state establishment will a revolution be possible in Malawi. Till at least 20 years from now, and till then, no revolution in Malawi.


THE post-Bingu era is showing, and will surely show, Malawians the unimaginable; the indecency of party prostitution, the politics of opportunism, and the killing of opposition voice through the disguise of the so-called Government of National Unity (GNU).

The politics of governance by convenience also politically called Government of National Unity (GNU) has been seen practised in Malawi sometime before 1994, though, truthfully speaking, circumstances leading to its practice then are quite starkly different from now. Nonetheless, GNU is a necessary evil sometimes.

Here in Malawi, President Joyce Banda regime seem to have fallen in love with GNU and has since adopted it. While it is tempting to give her a pat on the back for thinking as far nationalistically as she has done, it is equally tempting to pose and question her political philosophy guiding her love with GNU.

One would not help but be quick to comment that the GNU has a lot more goodies to offer to Malawi.

However, in as far as it is believed GNU will most surely give Malawi the eco-political and socio-cultural campus needed to guide our country to the road of self-emancipation in the 21st century world, GNU, at least as president Banda's first ever cabinet is, ultimately kills the opposition voice to the extent that Malawians will be sleepwalking into a one-voice political system--Peoples party.

It sounds iconoclastic to be thinking along this line, but mind you, this is politics where the unimaginable is a continuous reality. That the appointments were made on merit is something obviously wrong, of course with fewest exceptions; and that the appointments smack of political silencing is something only few critical political minds would agree.

What becomes annoying in the post-Bingu era is the euphoria associated with the change of governments to the extent that there seems to be no prophesying eye to the kind of repercussions to follow the decisions made today.

Of course Malawians have enough reasons to celebrate the all-inclusive president Banda cabinet; and, just equally, have enough reasons to protect their hard-won democracy.

At the risk of inviting criticism and opposition, it seems that the cabinet is simply a replica of former president Bakili Muluzi's cabinet. Perhaps, so you might argue, president Banda had a feeling that things used to be fine then when these people served Muluzi and hopes for the best that hiring them this time would undoubtedly result to the same good songs.

Of greatest concern in this all-inclusive cabinet is the muzzling of opposition voice. Maybe you would be forced to agree here that the entire cabinet is made up of key opposition party faces that have been the voice of reason during discussions in parliament. And you rightly wonder: “would they be as far reasonable and critical as they did when in opposition? Or they would be willing to sacrifice reason and welfare of the people at the altar of political appeasement, sycophancy, and self-survival?”

Let's us agree that we have collectively failed as a nation. Our failure as a nation comes in the fact that, ironically, we have negatively assumed that those in opposition cannot assist in the running of government business when they are in opposition; for them to do so, there goes the thinking, there is need to poach them to the government benches, what kind of thinking is this?

You wonder why should one be surprised hearing of Atupele Muluzi, the one-time pre-election frontrunner, ditching his whole new agenda for change. Atupele's whole sudden change from “I-for-presidency” to “I-for-change-not-presidency” is expected for, in principle, one cannot bite the finger that feeds you. And here you would agree with this author that the GNU is slowly but surely eating up the opposition voice.

So as we celebrate that the cabinet is all-inclusive, let us be all ears and eyes making sure that the critical voices from the opposition political parties are not silenced by the big cakes offered by government; and that whilst we can, offer the best suggestions to the opposition party leaders that they stop sacrificing their party's tenets at the altar of opportunism and political prostitution.

Thus, it is politically correct and convincing to adopt Bright Theu's thinking that a true democracy can be attained only through constant vigilance by the citizenry especially the opposition political parties as he says: “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance”.