Harawa Besai – Malawi

  • March 25, 2020 at 1:33 pm #2325
    Huong Nguyen

    Besai Harawa, Malawi

    The KECTIL Ten Points of Leadership

    Positive:””Dr Jessie Kabwila-Kapasula was the acting president of the Chancellor College Academic Staff Union that was fired during the standoff to ensure academic freedom at the University of Malawi in 2011. Her dismissal prompted protests from Students and faculty which led to a standoff between them and the late president of Malawi, President Bingu wa Mutharika and this standoff is one of the events that led to the July 20th, 2011 protests. Protests aimed at winning political and economic reforms or concessions from the government of Malawi.” Her goal was to fight for academic freedom, which was gained by fighting with everyone else who joined her.

    Negative: “Late president Of Malawi Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s mission was against colonialism and advocate independence. He proclaimed Malawi a republic with himself as president. He consolidated power and later declared Malawi a one-party state under the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). In 1970, the MCP made him the party’s President for Life. In 1971, he became President for Life of Malawi itself.
    He improved the country’s infrastructure and maintained a good educational system but also presided over one of the most repressive regimes in Africa.” His passion was to liberate Malawi but he wanted to stay in control and so ended up oppressing the people in the end.

    Positive: “Chief Theresa Kachindamoto, Paramount Chief of Dedza district with informal authority over 900,000 people, is an advocate for education. She has broken up 850 child marriages in three years, and banned the sexual initiations of young girls.” She has a passion to see the children educated, and so she ensured that the practice of early marriages be abolished.

    Negative: “Peter Mutharika won the presidential election in May 2014. On 21 May 2019, he won a second term as president by rigging the elections. Mutharika was subsequently sworn in on 28 May 2019 for a new five-year term. On 3 February 2020, the Malawi Constitutional Court ruled to nullify the 21 May 2019 election, citing irregularities by the Malawi Electoral Commission. It further ordered fresh election to be conducted in 150 days.” Mutharika has been making appeals to fight the court ruling so that he can stop the re-elections and keep the presidency.

    Positive: “Rachel Sibande, is an inspiring Malawian innovator who is founder of the first innovation hub popularly known as Mhub. This hub is a coworking space for startups where young people get to not only share a working space at a cheaper cost, but also get to learn from eachother in the process.” In starting this up, she inspires others and helps them achieve their dreams.

    Negative: “President Peter Mutharika won his second term as president by rigging the elections. His vision was to be president of Malawi for the next 5 years under any means necessary. ”

    Negative: “Late president Of Malawi Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s totalitarian government regularly tortured and murdered political opponents. Human rights groups estimate that at least 6,000 people were killed, tortured and jailed without trial. As many as 18,000 people were killed during his rule according to one estimate. His methods of staying in power were unethical.”

    Negative: “Malawi former president Joyce Banda sacked her foreign minister, Peter Mutharika, the brother of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika when he died. Peter had been anointed as heir-apparent for the 2014 elections when Bingu wa Mutharika was due to retire. Joyce Banda had been vice-president since 2009 but later fell out with the president and became a fierce critic. She was forced to resign from his Democratic Progressive Party in 2010 when she refused to endorse his choice of Peter Mutharika to succeed him. In the wake of Mr Bingu Mutharika’s death, she sacked Peter Mutharika.”

    Equality and respect:
    Positive: “The battle for academic freedom started when the former police chief, Peter Mukhito, summoned University of Malawi political science professor Blessings Chinsinga to account for a comment he made during a lecture. The action triggered protests that disrupted lecturers for a year. Dr Jessie Kabwila-Kapasula was the acting president of the Chancellor College Academic Staff Union that was fired during the standoff to ensure academic freedom at the University of Malawi in 2011. She was fired for demanding equality and freedom for academics all over malawi which the government of Malawi was refusing to respect.”

    Negative: “CCASU issued a statement asking for an apology from Mukhito and an assurance of academic freedom. Late President Bingu wa Mutharika stepped in and declared that the Inspector General would not apologise, Late president Bingu Mutharika did not respect the call for academic freedom.”

    Good government/ management:
    Positive: “In 2005, under the ruling of late President Bingu wa Mutharika, Malawi adopted an agricultural input subsidy program which enabled Malawi to restore national food security by increasing access to fertilisers and improved seeds.”

    Negative: “Malawi’s former President Joyce Banda risked facing arrest over a corruption case known as Cashgate. Banda was also accused of misusing money for the presidential jet she sold during her administration. Even though no arrests still have not been made, Joyce was accused of mismanaging resources. There has however been no proof of Banda’s guilt till date.”

    Personal Presentation:
    Positive: “Mary Chilima, wife to Malawi’s Vice President is always smartly stylishly dressed. It is no wonder when she holds events like her ‘All white tea party’ to raise money for albinism causes, she raised 5 million Kwacha.”

    Team building:
    Positive: “Jessie Kabwila’s courage and unwavering bravery was monumental and foundational in the standoff with the government of Malawi for academic freedom which later led to the 20th July 2011 protest.”

    Measurable accomplishments:
    Positive: “Malawi’s Chief Theresa Kachindamoto, Paramount Chief of Dedza district has broken up 850 child marriages in three years. This is a huge accomplishment that she has been recognised and appreciated for worldwide.”

    A few times, over the years, I have written a bucket list. They had all the usual things. Travel, learn a musical instrument, read a thousand books. But one day, I sat down, and I wrote, “save a life”. And I loved it. At the time, I had no idea how I would save this life. Maybe call someone to Christ. I wasn’t sure how many ways there were to save a life. And I went about my business, forgot about it. I joined this online therapy website. You train to become a listener. Just to listen to whoever might need it. One day, I started talking to this girl, Mo. I wasn’t sure what to say to her, about whatever she was going through. So I did my best to just listen. Months later, we’d become friends. We were still talking. And she said to me,”Sai, you saved my life that day we first talked. I was ready to jump in front of the next bus. But talking to you helped me. I postponed it. Kept postponing it”. She’d even told her mum about it. This woman who could barely speak English. All she managed to say was, “thank you”. And Mo had to translate the rest of it into English for me. I was overwhelmed. And of course I told my closest two friends about it. And they weren’t even surprised. Their reaction was to tell me of times I’d saved them too. Because I had listened. So I went back to my bucket list and ticked that off it.

    I want one day, when I die, after having saved a thousand lives, having listened to two thousand people, I want people to say, she listened to me. I don’t need them to say I was the nicest. Or the most academically accomplished. I want them to say she cared about people, she was kind, and loyal, she was honest. She was someone dependable. She was loved. She went out and she made a difference in my life and the lives of everyone here. She is surrounded by people she loved. People who loved her back. She died having lived her truth.

    Peer Panel Discussion of the Ten Points of Leadership

    Malawi has had quite a few leaders from different sectors over the years. Very few of those are women. Although lately, we have had more women stepping up and taking more leadership roles. Most leaders in Malawi are self-serving. We as a panel, came up with leaders to discuss, we centred around past presidents Bingu, Joyce, Kamuzu, and their leadership efforts. We agreed that Kamuzu, although a visionary, did not quite execute his plans in a good way. Joyce, was blamed for the cashgate scandal, an issue that is still very debatable because most people argue that she failed in leading the country because she is of a lesser gender. To which there were disagreements because some people believe she was a good leader who was blamed for cashgate scandal even though it was not her fault. Bingu, it was agreed was also a visionary and did good things for the country, although near the end of his life, he started to mess up the country. As a panel, we agreed it is not always easy to be a leader due to outside factors. One may have the best plans at heart but may fail due to different circumstances no matter how good a leader they are, there is always room for learning.

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