Richard Chimwendo Banda: Malawi’s rising political star

By Linda Kwanjana

If there was an annual award for the most impactful politician in Malawi, Richard William Chimwendo Banda would scoope it with ease.

You don’t need to love Chimwendo Banda to appreciate the ingenuity, the industry and the hard work he puts onto whatever he lays his work on.

I have observed Malawi politics for the past five years; the same period Chimwendo surged to prominence and my conclusion is that there has not been a politician that period whose presence in Malawi politics looms large than Chimwendo’s.


If he had not made a name for himself while he was in the opposition, many people could have attributed his rise to stardom to the leverage of power at his disposal, but hell no- the guy has worked his way up from nothing. While the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) regaining of power is largely attributed to the party’s organizational sense, not much is talked about of Chimwendo’s contribution on to the same.

Chimwendo Banda is a man too many: His approach to hardwork is unmatched.His political moblilisation and
ability to energise the crowd are second to none. It is these attributes that earned him the monikor “bulldozor”

All these put together it one could see that Chimwendo was desimed for greatness, it was hardly surprising therefore to see him making in President Lazaru’s exclusively provisional”Cabinet at the beginning of his term.

He was appointed the Minister of Homeland Security. He joined the exclusive club comprising Felix Mlusu as th Minister Finance, Chikosa Silungwe the Attorney General, Mordecai Msiska who declined the appointment and was replaced by Titus Mvalo as Minister of Justice.

The impression i got from thesos appointments was that these were crucial positions to set the tone of Chakwera’s administration.

Over time, President Chakwera’s confidence in Chimwendo has grown from to strength to strength as evidenced by other responsibilities placed on his head. As some of his colleagues he was apponted with in that provision Cabinet fell by the way side, Chimwendo has been constant present in Chakwera’s Cabinet. Thus far, his influence has also stretched to the far corners of the Ministry of Sports where he had a stint and the Ministry of Local government where he is its current Minister.

Chimwendo is one politician who harbours enmity with politicians of the other camps. He find a common ground and interact with any politician across the political divide. Perhaps, it is this ability to reach out to others, politically, that compelled President Chakwera to appoint him Leader of House in Parliament.

By and large, Chimwendo Banda is a utility player; the more reason President Chakwera always entrusts him with responsibilities on top of his demanding tasks as a Minister and Leader of House. He is obviously in Chakwera’s mind when it comes to appointments. Like a tale of precious stone, his type is so rare to come by. He is a rare gem. MCP and indeed Chakwera are blessed to have him. He is what other partys do not have.

Still in his youthful ages, Chimwendo is one for the present and the future.