Levi Kabwato

Joyce Banda: New president, old tricks?

Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, needs no reminder that her honeymoon in office is over. When she assumed office in the aftermath of Bingu wa Mutharika’s sudden death, not many people, least among them Banda herself, would have thought that in just under two years, her presidency could be beset by so many problems and challenges….

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On voluntary tech servitude

I’m one of the many Android users who recently installed the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) application on their phone. Big deal. Doing this as I did, however, on the day Germany and Brazil were introducing a draft resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age at the UN General Assembly, I found myself confronting…

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Time to rethink justice in Africa

I recently attended a public lecture by acclaimed author, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, titled The Language of Justice in Africa. The lecture was on how the English language has assumed its powerful status in Anglophone Africa and how the justice systems in these countries, premised on English codes, may actually be miscarrying justice by virtue of…

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Tsvangirai, it’s time to step up or step down

To anyone who has been paying close attention to developments in Zimbabwe since 2009 – after the formation of the government of national unity (GNU) – the 2013 election result was almost a forgone conclusion. Governments of national unity, as I have written elsewhere, create a false sense of security and unity in deeply polarised…

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Zimbabwe, it’s complicated

This month marks two key milestones in Zimbabwe, a country that for over one and a half decades has attracted significant attention to itself because of an ailing economy, limitations on civil liberties and political rights and what has been described as the ”mass exodus” of its people to other countries the world over. One,…

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Will Banda’s international ‘success’ be her downfall?

Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, has been somewhat of a revelation ever since she assumed office in April 2012 following the death of then president, Bingu wa Mutharika. At the time, Malawi was facing all manner of problems — food, fuel and forex shortages — symbolised by long queues at shops and at service stations. Add…

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Have we forgotten Mohamed Bouazizi?

Two years ago last Friday, a young man from Tunisia named Mohamed Bouazizi died of burn wounds after literally igniting what the world has come to know as the Arab Spring. Bouazizi, a fruit and vegetable vendor immolated himself after suffering humiliation at the hands of a police officer who confiscated his goods, ostensibly because…

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On Zim’s wounded political beasts

Addressing the recent ZANU-PF annual congress, party leader and Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe likened the (mis)fortunes of his party to those of a wounded beast. “We are now like a wounded beast,” Mugabe said, adding emphatically, “You know how a wounded beast fights. Let’s fight back and restore our own pride.” Mugabe’s unhappiness with the…

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Marikana: Political or economic unrest?

No one can argue that South Africa will never be the same again after the Marikana massacre. What remains arguable, however, is how the country moves forward in the aftermath of the incident. For business, the sooner everything dies down and workers go back to work the better. For workers, in sharp contrast, this is…

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Is this finally Malawi’s Lazarus moment?

It was Eric Arthur Blair who once remarked; “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” Well, Malawi turned 48 on July 6 and for a country that has taken so much battering pre and post-independence perhaps it, too, has the face it deserves at that age. Yet, for just more than 100 days now…

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