I’ve nary thought like president. Today I’m trying to think like Madame Joyce Mtila Banda president of the good republic of Malawi. I am especially thinking this way at the time I am faced with the challenge of accommodating the president of Sudan, Omar Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the role he played in planning and committing genocide in Darfur.
It is at this time I’d have made history by being the first African female president to order my army to have Bashir arrested and handed over to the ICC come whatever may. If it succeeds, I am sure this would offer me a very renowned title of Africa’s One and Only Iron Lady. I’d become another Margaret Thatcher from Africa.
My real and unreal enemies would start trembling on hearing my name mentioned. I understand. I am a novice in the office of president. Thanks to my education, I am better placed than military dictators that had never even attained a diploma. Cameramen and camerawomen would be engulfed with fear when taking my photos.
Bashir can enserf Africa Union (AU) but not the country of brave warriors of Malawii whose Bisa people are renowned for their skills of hunting. After all, Malawi is more important than AU and Bashir.
As commander-in-chief of Malawi armed forces, I’d nary budge to categorically instruct my army to fix the man come shine or rain. If anything, apart from awarding me international applause, it would boost the economy. Malawi would be flooded with international aid with no strings attached. Again, after easing the law on gay and lesbian, this would be yet another tool to garner more monies. Bashir being a big fish, I am sure catching him would send shockwaves all over the world that female presidents are incorruptible despite the fact that first ladies can be corrupted.
To make sure that my big fish lands in the nets, I would divert his presidential jet to Blantyre and have him arrested and booked while waiting for handing over to ICC to keep Charles Taylor and Laurent Gbagbo company.
After being booked in custody, Bashir would blame himself for not thinking ahead of time just like Saddam Hussein. I am sure his finger that has always been pointed to the West would be directed at me. His ‘all- kaffirs- led- by- west- are- under- my- shoe” mantra would fade as his moment of truth comes or he would try to order his propaganda machine to wage a jihad against me.
After putting the jinnie is in a safe bottle, I’d host the African Unity (AU) shoptalk. People like Bob Mugabe would curse me and call me all bad names. However, all European countries would be singing my praise. Dictators in their houses, offices even graves would shiver just by the mention of my name.
This would be marked as the rebirth of Malawi and the renaissance of Africa that existed before the Berlin Conference. By hosting this African Berlin Conference, I’d state categorically that I want to inculcate a new spirit of obeying local and international laws. I am sure Louis Moreno-Ocampo would become my new buddy. This would make more sense given that my husband is a lawyer like him.
So too, I would contemplate boycotting the conference if they move it to another country shall Bashir attend. I would do this to see how free and fair AU is especially when it comes to rule of law and good governance based on obeying local and international laws.
If my boycotting the conference would be seen as a bigger sacrilege than entertaining a criminal, I would let it happen so as to set a precedent for a bright African future that does not condon criminals as it is currently the case.
Now that Bashir is off hook due to Malawi’s jibe and fear of nothing, I must admit, I failed to become Banda in order to avoid the shameful way the civilized and democratic world would look at me for being cowed by Bashir instead of having him apprehended. Anyway, this is Africa.
Source: The African Executive Magazine June 20, 2012.