Malawi has a new president. It took a week and a half. During that time there were fears and accusations. Threats and counter-threats. Injunctions and injunctions to block injunctions. The Overlords kept us all on high alert. They feared violence, recriminations and general apocalyptic destruction. Told us to stay vigilant. Stay put. Stay safe.
The results were announced on Friday and…not much happened. There was some running, jumping, and flipping in the streets of Blantyre, but not a whole lot more than that. (One dude got shot, which is tragic, but that happened beforehand so I’m gonna call that poor timing)
The end did not come with either a bang or a whimper. The country was not riven by chaos (well, no more than usual). They announced the winner at midnight and about eight (!) hours later Peter Mutharika (a name which, when run through the local accent machine, sounds like “Metallica”) was sworn in. He promised peace, prosperity magical maize based elixirs that would cure hitherto unknown diseases and all that other stuff politicians are always promising. The one thing he didn’t promise was a cow for every home (that was the previous president’s program).
So what kind of president will he be? And can this man lead the ninth poorest nation in the world into a new golden age? Let’s turn to Malawi’s “The Nation” newspaper for insight:
“Unarguably, given the scandals that rocked each and every [government] ministry he headed and, again, how detached he was in both preventing and addressing them, the job of gauging Peter’s leadership style becomes very tricky.”
Sounds good to me.
Congratulation, President Metallica. Crises canceled. Please return to the work you were avoiding and don’t forget to follow the rules you never obeyed.