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“Their own worst enemy?”

24 July 2011
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"Let the work of my hands speak for me" by imbrettjackson shared via cc license from Flickr

President wa Mutharika’s second term of office has given cause to two questions about many African leaders: Are they their own worst enemy? Are they really different from other leaders elsewhere? They set the tone for how Africans are going to discourse. It will be them setting the terms, as they know best; they cannot take Africa over a cliff, they reassure.

That is from Steve Sharra’s post, Their own Worst Enemy? The Paradoxes of African Leadership & the Undermining of the African Cause. In it, Sharra paints a picture of Malawi’s president as having miscalculated — that the speeches he has made during and since the July 20th protests will sow his eventual demise. Much as I suspect most in the opposition will agree, only time will tell whether ordinary Malawians are going to have the will and opportunity to change their lot.

I recommend the post as it also provides an on-the-ground report of Sharra’s experience on July 20 near Mzuzu, where many of the July 20th casualties occurred.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz Hancock permalink
    24 July 2011 8:20 pm

    Thanks for this Kim, your posts and direction to others’,in particular Steve Sharra’s post, are most enlightening. From a purely personal perspective I am concerned for Lynn’s safety but from a more general perspective we in the West need to hear more info from Malawi (with a personal bias understood) rather than our western press (biased but probably uninformed). Please keep this going.

    • 24 July 2011 8:44 pm

      I’m glad the posts have been useful. I was also concerned (and probably called her more than she would have liked), but know that she’s in good hands. I’m sure you’re happy she’ll be back with you soon. I can only imagine!

      • Liz Hancock permalink
        24 July 2011 9:32 pm

        I know she has mixed feelings about leaving but I really look forward to her being back home – it has been a long time between hugs. She appreciated your concern and didn’t mind the calls at all.

  2. 25 July 2011 9:16 am

    I actually found the phone calls quite endearing and was happy to have someone looking out for me (in addition to Augu., of course). I think you will find on arrival that MW has calmed down a lot and you should have no real problems with your fieldwork. I will email you tomorrow or on arrival in Amsterdam to talk about the villages etc. that we have selected. Susan is coming to LLW with me so she can probably ferry the maps down to Balaka at least and maybe even as far as Zomba. Sorry to use your blog for this!

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