Analysis by Susan Masongola 14/5/15
Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda can at best be described as the architect of Malawi’s socio-economic development, the best leader and the achiever of achievers amongst all make presidents we have had. Why? Please read below.
The country’s cream of professionals is beneficiaries of the magnificent educational foundations that Kamuzu built. Kamuzu founded the Universities of Malawi, Poly, Chanco, Bunda, Kamuzu College of Nursing.
He took the country from scratch and as a bush but built roads that connects all Malawians from Nsanje to Chitipa. To a great extent, Dr. Kamuzu Banda is to Malawi the godfather of the country’s infrastructural, economic, educational and political development.
Malawi can now better celebrate the day of its political icon through no any other means but the development and implementation of strategies that could at best sustain the legacy of Kamuzu Banda. Malawi has produced academic intellectuals, engineers, doctors, lawyers and many professionals through the works of Kamuzu Banda.
He built the Kamuzu Academy International school that has been one of the best high schools in Africa and for children who under performed he built the Malawi College of Distance Education so they too could access higher education. Apart from universities he built technical schools all over Malawi to train young people to have skills in welding, carpentry and many other skills.
One great component easily noticeable in Kamuzu’s legacy is the belief in high standards. A look at a number of infrastructural developments that Kamuzu spearheaded clearly states his vision. In terms of education, the Ngwazi believed in provision of high standards of education. And compare with any other Malawi President after Kamuzu, you will agree that Kamuzu scores 100% out of 100%.
Kamuzu was a great teacher. He taught Malawians values of respect, discipline and hard working. He never spent a week without encouraging farmers to work hard and he literally visited the farms to motivate people about the importance of agriculture.
He built Bunda College of Agriculture, Natural Resources College and these were fundamental institutions for research and crop and animal production.
He expanded the industrialisation as he set up David Whiteheads, a clothing manufacturing company, Bata Shoe company, Tea Processing, People’s Trading Centres in every District and the Malawi Post Office which became Malawi Savings Bank all these were the works of Kamuzu Banda. The list is just endless.
On international stage Kamuzu was a negotiator to end apartheid. He was the only black African President to visit South Africa and confront the leader about apartheid please look at his quote as below;
“We have to start talking to each other. I go to South Africa. You come here. I allow your people to come here and see how the people live. This might not solve the problem today, next month, in five years, ten years, or even twenty years. But I honestly believe that this in the end is the only solution.”
One thing most people would talk of Kamuzu is the hard working spirit that he instilled in the civil service and the general public as well. Kamuzu was well aware that with hard work Malawi could rise from the meshes of abject poverty into stardom. The big question is: we now live in the multiparty democratic dispensation can we still call ourselves the proud Malawians that work very hard for the development of our motherland?
How many times have our school pupils, the very future of our country, been sitting idle outside classrooms as teachers are reported to be running personal businesses or concentrate on teaching part time students?
How can we justify the culture of some civil servants that is bent at attending one workshop to another day in day out not in the interest of development but to receive allowances?
Why is it that to access some services in the public sector money has to exchange hands or else one will have to wait eternally to be served?
Why have we lost our admirable workmanship identity, the very legacy that Kamuzu left with us?
It cannot be complete to talk of the Kamuzu legacy if we are to forget his political prowess. Though many other bad political issues were attributed to Kamuzu, it is worth noting that he shaped the political spectrum of this country. Kamuzu practiced the politics of development not the politics of self enrichment and self-aggrandizement. Kamuzu played the servant of the people not the lord of the people. It is out of such ideals that he was there to spearhead projects that entailed developing the country.
Certainly Kamuzu could have ably resisted the multi-partism system of government as he was the sitting head of state but when the people voted for multiparty Kamuzu accepted the people’s wishes and that is a sign of democracy at its best.
The statesmanship of the Ngwazi was well shown when he conceded defeat to his challenger Bakili Muluzi even before vote counting had been completed. From this we have a legacy of being united in adversity.
When the current crop of leadership quarrels, putting the wishes of the people at a stake, prioritizing self interest issues at the expense of the people that cast ballots, it is time we realize that we are deviating away from the legacy that Kamuzu Banda left us with.
As a nation we can copy the hard working spirit of Kamuzu, honesty, discipline, unity and togetherness these will develop a nation and make us stronger.