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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The super-inflation of the presidency in Malawi
Author:Joala, RefiloeISNI
Periodical:African Security Review (ISSN 2154-0128)
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:heads of State
political elite
About persons:Bakili Muluzi (1943-)ISNI
Bingu wa Mutharika (1934-2012)ISNI
Joyce Banda (1950-)
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10246029.2012.722337
Abstract:The recent peaceful power transition in Malawi following the unanticipated death of the country's president, Bingu wa Mutharika, marked a significant landmark in the country's fragile democracy and an important lesson for Africa. As one of the last countries in southern Africa to undergo political democratisation, Malawi's political culture remained embedded in the norm of patronage whereby 'good' and 'decisive' leadership is aligned with the centralisation and personalisation of power. The circumstances leading up to Mrs Joyce Banda's ascension to power demonstrate a notable level of democratic maturation; democratic consolidation in the country has not been entirely realised. The recurring conflict between ambition and upholding the constitution, displayed in the post transition phase by the executive at the cost of good governance, state functionality and sustainable social development, forces one to question the widely celebrated new leadership. Without rendering individuals as victims of an implicitly corrupt structure, the result of these patterns in Malawi has been the creation of a self-perpetuating elite, whereby the rot of the system itself has become the root of public maladministration and unaccountability. This has culminated in a multiparty democracy with an overly celebrated elected leadership that is likely doomed to fall into the same trappings that marked the demise of the previous leadership. By discussing the impact of the imperial presidency on the state of democracy in Malawi under the country's successive presidents - Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika and Joyce Banda - in the post-transition phase, this essay generates scenarios from an analysis of President Banda's short tenure and the experiences of her predecessors. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]