Muluzi and the Malawian presidency
I read a Twitter post recently that suggested the African presidency has become such a lucrative business that incumbent presidents all over the continent are busy ensuring they are succeeded by their wives, brothers, sons or any kind of close relative. The trend has been working well in many parts of north, west and central Africa. The attempts to import the concept closer to home need no explanation.
There is however one man who has taken this political meddling to a whole new level. He goes by the name of Bakili Muluzi. During his last years of power, we saw how this man tried to extend his term of office by hook and by crook. After those attempts failed he handpicked two gentlemen, gentlemen he thought he could control like little puppets.
When his successor stopped talking, walking and acting the ‘puppet’ by showing the world he had a backbone of his own, Muluzi kicked Plan B into full swing – impeach the rouge ‘puppet’ and get the junior ‘puppet’, the second in command into the seat of authority. That plan failed miserably too.
Running out of ideas, Muluzi decided to try to get back into the presidency himself even though the law clearly said he could not. Like any politically hungry and desperate person, he was not deterred. That attempt failed. When push came to shove he went into an unworkable alliance with someone he had earlier claimed had blood on his hands. Result? Yet another failure!
Well, as predicted, he is at it again. This time around his son is the …er, puppet. His son denies it but his father’s destructive tactics have been laid bare for all to see, except of course for those whose heads are buried too deeply you-know-where to take note.
What is amazing is that each time Muluzi is up to his antics his party suffers a great deal. Cracks and divisions develop, infighting ensues, dirty linen is hung out for all to see. Which begs the question, what is it with Muluzi and the Malawian presidency? Why is he so very desperate to install himself or a proxy in statehouse? Why does he time and again selfishly advance his own personal agenda ahead of party unity?