News24

Joyce Banda - job could make her 'mad'

2013-07-05 22:34

Blantyre - Malawian President Joyce Banda on Friday gave a candid glimpse into the stresses of office, admitting that thinking of the plethora of problems including widespread poverty could drive her mad.

"With this job of being president, you can run mad when you think of the many problems the country faces," Banda said during her televised national address marked by prayers.

Malawi is still plagued by endemic poverty, 49 years after independence from Britain.

Banda, the country's first female president, came into office in April 2012, after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika.

Since taking charge Banda has overseen a raft of policy changes in a bid to boost the economy and unlock donor funding.

The measures included the unpopular devaluation of the kwacha currency by 50%, the easing of foreign exchange restrictions, and the raising of fuel prices and cutting of subsidies.

But the interventions have not been enough to ease poverty, in a country where 39% of the 13 million people live on less than a dollar a day.

"The majority of Malawians are still poor. They have been in this condition too long," she said.

40% of budget

Banda said she had remained "cool" since taking over the presidency and had "tried to resist to be idolised as a semi-god, in contrast to previous leaders."

"I remain Joyce Banda," she added.

In 2011, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)suspended a $79.4m credit facility during the administration of Mutharika, who died from a heart attack in April 2012.

Key donors, including Britain, also suspended aid due to concerns about Mutharika's autocratic rule.

Donors provide up to 40% of Malawi's development budget and salaries for nearly 170 000 civil servants.

Comments
  • Mark Russell - 2013-07-06 07:26

    This woman is my hero! She is scared to face problems practically and with honesty. ..... she is what I believe all politicians should ideally be like. Her ambition and actions are focused on improving the situation in the grounds for Hey nation and not for herself. Politicians in general have forgotten

      Dalai Rama - 2013-07-06 10:49

      I wish you could go to her impoverished country and find the truth: she is just any other African leader, with the exception that she is a woman perhaps she can be exonerated if you like. During her tenure her country has gone from a semblance of being food-sufficient to a state of dependancy. there are no basic medicines in hospitals; the education system is nothing to talk about. of course gays and lesbians can do whatever they want but i m no sure if that improves lives of people?

  • Mark Russell - 2013-07-06 07:26

    That they are public servants but instead focus on self enrichment

  • Mark Russell - 2013-07-06 07:28

    Sorry! Meant to type that she is not scared to face problems. ..... Damned autocorrect and swipe type

  • Faiz Dolley - 2013-07-06 08:15

    Ladys and gents,iam a malawian,and i do follow what is going there.what is happening here in SA in our country is the same,corruption.within two yrs in office now she is in position 3 richer.Bakili muluzi in position 1,Brother to for president peter muthalika is on position 4.now it is reveiled that Bingu accumulated to much money in his 8yrs and he had more than 8 bank acounts in the world namely RSA,ZIM,MALAWI,AMERICA,AUSTRALIA,PORTUGAL,ICE LAND.joice banda now is a world trotter,she can stay 1 month out side the country in the name of bringing the economy back.but that job the ambasoder (sp) or ministers can do.Idought if she is thinking about us coz what i see now all her relatives are in high positions including her children,more info.www.nyasatimes.com.

      Mark Russell - 2013-07-06 09:35

      OK Faiz! Please tell us more! We can only make assessments based on what we have! From what I have read about her she has been a ground breaking politician but I would be very sad in deed to hear otherwise. She is my last hope for politicians.

  • Mokaubere Ditabeng - 2013-07-06 09:25

    Long live Ms Banda long live! Our politicians is SA could learn a thing or two from this woman. She sold the luxurious presidential jet and now flies on economy class like everyone else. I like that humility in a leader. She has also brought about many changes policy wise. She is a good example of 'how to be a great leader in a sea of poverty'.

  • Dalai Rama - 2013-07-06 10:25

    Joyce Banda is not the hero the international community claim her to be. I was in her impoversihed country: rampant corruption, aging infrastructure, a bloated cabinet with a duplication of ministries, jobs and tenders for pals and bootlickers. When her predecesor was there things were slightly better I am told (though he ruled by an iron fist). She is a Jacob Zuma trying to look good to everybody and in the end pleasing nobody. She has undone a path towards good food security that was there before she become president. Seh spends more time outside te country and attends every seminar she can delegate even Ministers to. Go there and find out people's real sentiments on the ground.

      Faiz Dolley - 2013-07-06 21:29

      I agree with u.and we dont like her.

  • Faiz Dolley - 2013-07-06 15:55

    I dont realy know what to do,to help my fel malawians.today we are 50yrs old being an indipendent nation but we are stil in position 9 from bottom,being the poorest nation in the world.within 2months in the office the vice president Khumbo kachale bought 40 trucks,last month the Party for joice Banda bought 40 backies,for the party.i dont know.

      Spyda Da Ryda - 2013-07-07 13:21

      point of correction, we are 49 yrs

  • Munyaradzi Nyamarebvu - 2013-07-09 08:54

    As an incoming SADC chair, this women is already conniving with mugabe to perpetuate his evil reign.

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