2024-06-13

Is Richard Chimwendo Banda A Rising Political Star?

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Some people are considering and praising Richard Chimwendo Banda as a rising political star. They think if there was an annual award for the most impactful politician in Malawi, Richard William Chimwendo Banda would scoop it with ease. You don’t need to love Chimwendo Banda to appreciate the ingenuity, the industry and the hard work he puts onto whatever he lays his work on.

They say after having observed Malawi politics for the past five years; the same period Chimwendo surged to prominence and my conclusion is that there has not been a politician that period whose presence in Malawi politics looms large than Chimwendo’s. If he had not made a name for himself while he was in the opposition, many people could have attributed his rise to stardom to the leverage of power at his disposal, but hell no- the guy has worked his way up from nothing. While the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) regaining of power is largely attributed to the party’s organizational sense, not much is talked about of Chimwendo’s contribution on to the same.

They define Chimwendo Banda as a man too many: His approach to hardwork is unmatched.His political mobilization and ability to energize the crowd are second to none. It is these attributes that earned him the name “bulldozer.” All these attributes put together, one can see that Chimwendo is destined for greatness, it was hardly surprising therefore to see him making it in President Lazaru’s exclusively provisional”Cabinet at the beginning of his term. He was appointed the Minister of Homeland Security. He joined the exclusive club comprising Felix Mlusu as Minister of Finance, Chikosa Silungwe the Attorney General, Mordecai Msiska who declined the appointment and was replaced by Titus Mvalo as Minister of Justice.

Those who have keenly followed Richard Chimwendo Banda claim that the impression they got from these appointments is that they were crucial positions to set the tone of Chakwera’s administration. Over time, President Chakwera’s confidence in Chimwendo has grown from strength to strength as evidenced by other responsibilities placed on his head. As some of his colleagues he was appointed within that provision Cabinet fell by the way side, Chimwendo has been constantly present in Chakwera’s Cabinet. Thus far, his influence has also stretched to the far corners of the Ministry of Sports where he had a stint and the Ministry of Local government where he is its current Minister. Chimwendo is one politician who harbours enmity with politicians of the other camps. He find a common ground and interact with any politician across the political divide. Perhaps, it is this ability to reach out to others, politically, that compelled President Chakwera to appoint him Leader of House in Parliament.

They continue suggesting that by and large, Chimwendo Banda is a utility player; the more reason President Chakwera always entrusts him with responsibilities on top of his demanding tasks as a Minister and Leader of House. He is obviously in Chakwera’s mind when it comes to appointments. Like a tale of precious stone, his type is so rare to come by. He is a rare gem. MCP and indeed Chakwera are blessed to have him. He is what other politicians do not have. Still in his youthful ages, Chimwendo is one for the present and the future.

Others with contrary views argue that Hon Richard Chimwendo Banda does not deserve to be called a rising political star. They point of his weaknesses that in November, 2022 Hon Richard Chimwendo Banda, who was Minister of Youth and Minister of Tourism Michael Usi were alleged to have pocketed K4 million each from Malawi Gaming Board (MGB) to influence the passing of a bill in Parliament. The allegations are contained in a report which MGM Director of Finance, Administration and Human Resources Henry Bakuwa wrote to the Auditor General. At MGB, K600 million is alleged to have been stolen through an account which senior managers under former MGB chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe allegedly opened without the knowledge of the board .

Again, in December, 2018 Chiefs and communities in Dowa mobilized themselves to hold demonstrations against their MP Richard Chimwendo Banda over the K4 billion fund. Dowa District Commissioner, Alex Mdooko Villagers surrounding in Tsikiti primary school in the area of Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa will protest at the District Commissioner’s (DC) office to force their MP Richard Chimwendo Banda to tell them the truth surrounding K4 billion Community Constituency Development Fund which Parliament shared equally to the 193 constituencies of the country.

In conclusion, this discussion is still an ongoing debate. From the above different views, is Richard Chimwendo Banda a rising political star? What are your views?

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