Ezekiel Fajenyo and Sunday Patrick
The manner in which some readers of political situations in Africa, and elsewhere, respond to critically potential political events has often left much to be desired. Of a fact, some interpreters and analysts display more confusion and perplexity than the political players who have often pushed their territories to the valley of death.
Responses to the recent emergence of the woman activist and liberationist, Joyce Banda as President of Malawi, shortly after the demise of Bingu Mutharika (78), who died of cardiac arrest is an example of such. Banda had been his Vice President, but their relationship was sour, the type we had experienced in Nigeria between Atiku Abubakar and Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007). Such conflicts do happen at every level of government – local, state and federal, and in every society where people demonstrate interest in occupying positions of interest; such incidents are never ever without foundation. Personal interests, political ideologies, ethnic experience and religious differences have been known over the years to contribute to such actions. Contemporary politics is rich in diversity and like everything scientific, participants’ responses to situations have often been diverse, and understandably so.
The situation in Malawi should not have been unnecessarily read out of context.
It is significant to note that some funny characters have begun to read spiritual meanings, anchored on conspiracy theory, into the death of President Mutharika and the success of Banda, both of whom happened to be strong members of the T.B. Joshua led Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (The SCOAN). Common sense should make it obvious that Prophet Joshua could not have been dangerously instrumental to the political separation of the former president and his Vice, as good members of his church. Political differences are obviously not spiritual matters but issues which embrace sheer political affairs as seen in many countries all over the world. Even in Nigeria, state governors and their deputies have been known to tear at one another’s necks, just as in other African countries, even when they belong to the same political parties, ethnic groups and religious affiliations.
If Joshua prophesied the death of the Malawian president, he has been known to correctly do this, over the years, not only of presidents, but also artists, professional lawyers, business gurus, statesmen, politicians, social activists, soldiers, media workers as could be seen in volumes 1 and 2 of the books – What the Future Holds (a journal of prophecies for the outgoing years given by T.B. Joshua). The books which are quite available, are according to the publishers, on “events which were to come, concerning individuals, nations and the world at large and reveal to all that Jesus Christ holds our future”; they are true revelations to a prophet who is known to let people “know God’s opinion about themselves” and of events which were to come, “concerning individuals, nations and the world at large and reveal to all that Jesus Christ holds our future”. The books can be very helpful to Joshua’s critics to know what true prophecies are, and what their significance equate to.
When Joshua spoke of the late Malawian president, some notoriously obsessed political juggernauts refused to understand his antecedents, and know that this man had made such revelations more than a hundred times over, before now. A reference to these books by any of such critics would reveal that T.B. Joshua is a genuine prophet, at work in Africa, straightforward, blunt, truthful, believable and unpretentious; there are evidences in his past prophecies that are akin his approach when speaking about the Malawian president.
But the issue goes beyond all these. Some people are beginning to read conspiratorially into the meeting between Joshua and Banda which eventually pushed off Mutharika from the political scene. What that is supposed to mean is difficult to establish. Professor Moyo, a Zanu PF minister, started it all when he said that Joshua’s involvement in the tragedy, “smacks more of a plot than a prophecy. One thing for sure is that there is no prophecy here but just a prediction if one is to give him a benefit of doubt”.
Such claims leave much to be desired. Joshua could not have had any specific interest in Malawi which could not be satisfied by the previous president and the present leadership. He could not have destroyed anybody’s life for any reason, whatsoever; what he said of the late president has been his prophetic trademark over the years. It is dangerous, therefore, for anybody to have created a selfish agenda from the so-called Banda/ Joshua controversy; it should indeed remain “a kind of wild goose chase” and has no potential to create tension anywhere in Africa; it cannot engineer violence and ethnic distrust in a country firmly gripped by widespread poverty. Poverty is one feature of most African countries, and political affirmations have not necessarily been built on platforms of truth, patriotism, discipline and passionate interest in moving the countries forward.
Mrs Banda’s immense popularity as a woman rights activist and critic of the past regime has been established. She founded her People’s Party (PP) which has protested “the feminization of poverty and her desire to tackle the menace”. Her emergence as president has been orchestrated by her deft political understanding and years of activism; Malawians trust her so much they brought her into governance as President. Banda is mature, focused, intelligent, courageous and understands the socio-political and economic realities of her home country. Being in government, she has urgently effected changes in the banking, media, police force, and ministries to attract people who are capable of introducing good fortunes into government. She has also pledged to re-unite with Zambia, as shown by her familiar talks with President Michael Sata. She had said, recently: “I spoke to President Sata of Zambia. We both committed ourselves to restore the cordial diplomatic relations between our two governments. It is important for us to improve and strengthen relations between our countries knowing how critical Zambia is to Malawi as a neighbor”. This president means business; she is focused and sincere, and Malawians do not centre attention on her religious life but what she is capable of achieving, based on what she had done in social, gender and political activism, over the years.
While Mrs Banda will make a good impression of herself as a rare politican and woman president in Africa, Joshua’s image as a believable end-time prophet cannot but only improve better with time!