Chakwera says Malawi ‘poverty by choice’: Calls for national development agenda

Leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera argues that while Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world the continued impoverishment is no longer of circumstances but by choice.


Chakwera: Poverty by choice

Chakwera told parliament that the country needs to develop an inclusive and long term agenda for the development of the nation.

“It is unacceptable that 50 years after independence, the majority of our people are poorer and worse than before,” said Chakwera.

He said it is “inexcusable” that Malawi is still ranked amongst the poorest in the world.

“Ours is no longer poverty of circumstances but poverty by choice, perpetuated by leaders too cowardly to make the top choices that can move us forward,” stated Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president.

“Someone actually said – Why Africa’s people are poor is because their leaders have made this choice. “

Chakwera advocates for the national development agenda which he said requires collaboration between all sections of society and effective courageous leadership from government.

“In a society with social and economic divisions as deep as ours, neither social nor economic transformation is possible without a capable, viable and functioning state. The state provides institutions and infrastructure that enable the economy and society to operate based on a reformed electoral system that everyone has trust in,” said Chakwera whose party maintains his election victory in 2014 was robbed by DPP for Peter Mutharika the incumbent.

Chakwera accused the Mutharika administration of failing to alleviate poverty but hell bent on leaders’ wrongful self-enrichment.

“On behalf of every Malawian who wants justice and on behalf of every Malawian who is waiting for a government that will have nothing for us without us, I say that we are not impressed with this administration,” said Chakwera.

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67 thoughts on “Chakwera says Malawi ‘poverty by choice’: Calls for national development agenda”


  2. Teacher says:

    Well said. But it’s not only government at fault. It’s all Malawians. Malawians embraced poverty long time ago. Malawians are lazy. Malawians lack creativity because of their lazy minds. Malawians go for the cheap way out of everything. That’s why they urinate anywhere, they litter anyhow even in the bus, they eat anything as long as it’s food, they beg even the president goes begging. Unless the mindset is changed, nothing will.

  3. Teacher says:

    Well said. But it’s not only government at fault. It’s all Malawians. Malawians embraced poverty long time ago. Malawians are lazy. Malawians lack creativity because of their lazy minds. Malawians go for the cheap way out of everythings. That’s why they urinate anywhere, they litter anyhow even in the bus, they eat anything as long as it’s food, they beg even the president goes begging. Unless the mindset is changed, nothing will.

  4. mbwiye karonga karonga says:

    ngati kuli mbutuma yayikilu kumalawi ndi chakwera will never rule Malawi

  5. makwinjaishmael says:

    The MCP president is right, “Poverty by Choice,environmental degradation by choice aswell and hunger is by Choice too. Let start by Cleaning the gentleman so called Watipatsa, during the time his Dadie was at political roggerheads with DPP, he could make alot of noise regarding electricity . He seemed to be a useful engine towards environment. He was claiming to bring a competitor to Escom and make electricity cheap.These remarks from his political sharpen mouth made us have trust in this young man. The moment he was Picked by the DPP to be min of Mines and what- what, we thought this was the best time for him to prove whatsoever he has been irritating us with to be viable. The position was so infuential to Ideas he had regarding electrucity issues in Malawi. I could support his Ideas because to my understanding, i thought having competitor to escom would mean Malawians accessing cheap electricity for domestic use like in Mosambique, this would mean no chacco business in most towns of the country since many have opted to use cheao electricity for cooking and the like. We would have contributed to the protectioin to our remnant forest in
    this way since chacco manufactures would have been lacking markets for their product and hence stop to the cutting down of trees. We could have reclaimed our positive environment in which eratic rains, floods and the like would have become history and no one could have been singing songs of femine. By then Watipatsa had a point before joining DPP.One can assume that under DPP bright people tend to swallow their ideaologies for fear or every one is busy plunderling wealthy leaped from the power.Leaders in Malawi are after making their bellies big and flaby. If am wrong let Atupele Muluzi come out and start implementing zimene ankatisokosa nazo and so to say if Dpp really is their to help Develop this Nation. Subsidise electricity, make it reachable to all and you will see
    Malawi soil regaining its potential to provide food for all.
    eratic rains, floods and the likefoOuLeaders are not reader f

  6. Christian life says:

    We will get to know the best by majorities interest and it is currently dpp a party that can claim support beyond its base in the south, the only party that has repeated its rule on Malawians regardless of peoples claim. How do you become a president if you can’t get out of of your house (your selected central region districts)

  7. bernard says:

    i supot this point that the truth shall prevail, juses was crusfied becos h was speaking the truth.Many wil come after coruption,we r in last day wat bible says wil come to pas read 2 timothy 3 vs 5 going down

  8. Mvula J. Mvula says:

    Also advocate for introduction of identity cards to eliminate dubious voters during the election years!

  9. haga says:

    im sure this Chakwere guy is becoming sure this is not the right time to assess could he accuse peter for failling to alliviate poverty when he has been a president for less than a year.kamuzu ruled malawi for 31 years,muluzi for ten and bingu for 12 years but u have the courage to accuse peter.what are these agendas you have in mind that will transform malawi to greater hieghts?outline your agendas now.were tired of your poems i see your chances of winning the 2019 elections getting slim,with udf getting swallowed by dpp and the death of pp.

  10. Abusa chakwera, ndati ndingokukumbutsaniko kuti boza nditchimo pamaso pa mulungu, kodi mukunena zowona kuti uphawi uli m’malawi muno it by choice?,ndikuti ndi azitsogoleri ndiwomwe anatisakhira umphawi uwu?, sinanga nanutso muli m’gulu lomwelo?,kodi inu osauthetsa bwanji umphawiwo?, bodza musiye ababo inu mungazalangidwe nalo, khalani chitsazo chabwino kwa amalawi anse ngati m’busa.

  11. tupobanda says:

    Chakwera has just said the truth here, the issue is the DPP gurus and cadets know what kind of man he is and are doing all they can to try to distract people from him but it will not work our plans are finished and the good thing about Chakwera is that he has no bad history and you cant find any to pin on him its game over DPP.

  12. martin lolani says:


  13. mary says:

    The truth shall always prevail.

  14. Jose' says:

    On behalf of all Malawians? CHAKWERA?

  15. sd says:

    Malawians especially from the south because uR clever not azimwale ,b careful. This guy is a mfalisi..he’s [email protected] just as he was doing on the alter but jesus WARNED about pple like him. He is1 of those pastors who lies but R [email protected]&conviencing pple like they dd travel to heaven&came back. The south DON’T listen to this1 he’s full of talk but CAN’T deliver,I challenge if he can b president that country ll b failed state. Can he run a country without foreign aid?100%NO. Let him&his chewaism, SOUTH DON’T SUPPORT this PUNK!

  16. mwana mulopwana says:

    Dr Chakwera , I choose to differ in some ways, firstly Africa is poor because of greed, I don’t look at you as if you will be the one to save Malawi out of this porverty you still have issues that you are supposed to address us about your wealth during your period you were at assemblies of God, how you left Nkhoma to join Assmblies, if you will come out clear on this then we can trust you ,
    To my understanding you duped CCAP just because you wanted the scholarship to study and later you thought it easy to start your own church,
    The church you ministered is in so much poverty that some of the ministers in the village are leaving in real poverty but you managed to build houses in Area 10, can you explain your wealth .

    Thirdly the duty of opposition is not just to oppose but you are also managed to take track of all bills that have passed and also all the projects either road , hospitals etc, you can go and supervise on site and even ask the project manager on the pace of the projects,

    Last week you were one of the people who blocked the bill that could have assisted people who were affected by floods, yet you could have done better to allow the bill to pass and then later follow up on all the projects and take track record of all, it seems Dr Chakwera you just buck like a dog but you cant bite, I rest my case

  17. True Malawian says:

    This is the opposition we have been looking for. I believe you will not do the same if we put you into power come 2019

  18. Think-tank says:

    A selfless and visionary leader to lead Malawi out of abject poverty is not yet born. All these leaders are selfish, hypocrites, corrupt, power hungry.

  19. nYAU SITHOBWA says:

    Nice speech the problem with Malawi its because all the Leaders from south are thieves ndi mbava and if we will mantain selecting i tell you MW shall remain as it is

  20. Kanyama Chima says:

    MCP leaders say that their victory was stolen- how: the MCP has no structures in the Southern region (by the admission of one, Eston Kakhome)which is more populous than the other regions so I wonder how they expected to win. I see than again losing in the 2019 if they ignore organising their party in the region as many commentators have said in the past. These claims are unfounded. Please get down to work: talking only just exposes how empty your heads are.

  21. Guarantor says:

    For the first time this is sense coming from Chakwera………..

  22. kanyimbi says:

    Za zii basi.

  23. Omex70 says:

    Powerful speech from a leader who can take Malawi to higher heights. The state house is waiting for you come 2019 if there will be no another ‘kenyattaism’ judgement and ‘Saulosim’ cheating.

  24. Pharula says:

    Please let the opposition leader know that Malawians are no any longer dull and if he thinks those baseless arguments can swerve even an inch to level headed Malawians he is joking. Your core function is to provide checks and balance. Go to your drawing board and produce alternatives if not forget that 2019 rhetoric. If joining demonstration is the best strategy , who are you fooling? You are government in waiting .Please convince the electrolate that you can govern. We are not after good orator we are after perfomers.We aren’t after people who have done basic economics theories but those who can translate those to the common man and I find you wanting.

  25. kamphulusa says:

    You are very right Mr President the leadership we have had since the coming in of malt party democracy is responsible for the misery which many Malawians are now experiencing. We have the worst tax regime which is scaring away international investors of good will. Only crooked investors who are able to cheat by breaking all the fiscal laws and share the taxes evaded with the corrupt officials are able to survive. The officials get 10% and the crooked investors get away with 90% which they take out of the country. Just imagine our educated boys and girls being employed as security guards and watchmen in prisons and elsewhere, even those with University degrees- jobs that were for people with primary and form two secondary education during Kamuzu era. We need leaders that have the welfare of the people at heart and not thieves. We need leaders that can create an environment that attracts investors to come and create jobs for our so many young people who are flocking the empty job markets every year

  26. Nanyoni says:

    Chakweratu apa akunena zoona.i feelthe DPP party is not doin g seems they have no clue how to run a government.

  27. Zanga Phee! says:

    I don’t see the problem with Mr Chakwera’s credibility in 2018 the problem i see is the first two years of paying back loans that incurred during campaign it is a must for every individual to compensate him self or this moment, put himself on better position in fearing of the next time when he or she retired.This happen to every individual turned to be the president.I Wonder if Chakwera will not have such a feeling of purchasing luxury cars (x6) and all that,certainly i do wonder as well why in most cases MCP it’s operations conduct in central region Lilongwe in particular what does this mean? so someone who is totally based in Nsanje?If Mr Chakwera will be staying in Blantyre having most of their caucus in Blantyre i think Malawias will cast their vote to him come 2019.the guy has sound policies if it turned to reality Malawi will be a country in Africa to stay for life.But why on his interim cabinet only focus to central gurus and lip sticking few individuals from south?Any ways See my name.

  28. Charombanthu says:

    I share your position Dr Lazarus Chakwera. Our leaders are hell bent on self-enrichment at the expense of the ordinary Malawian and unless this can be reversed, we will languish in dire poverty for another 50 years to come. The MSB saga is a living example where politicians who owe the bank billions are being bailed out using the taxpayers money…

  29. Cymru says:

    When political parties are outside government, they are seen as holy and can say anything against those in power. But the fact is that once they get into government nothing changes, what was said is never fulfilled. I do not believe that the poverty in Malawi is by choice. No person wants to be poor. Leadership only cannot end poverty. The citizens have also a party to play. There are so many factors to consider, What Dr. Chakwera is saying may be, is just one of such factors. No leader can deliberately make a choice that the people of the country should be poor. The goodness is that Dr. Chakwera is one of our political leaders now and it is hoped that he is likely to contribute to end poverty in Malawi.

  30. Mccarthy says:

    That’s big man’s talking, poverty by choice indeed!!!

  31. That’s true poverty by choice,please let us move forward. let us subtract structures built by kamuzu and see whether we are developing eeeish God .

  32. Jozza says:

    Zoona bwana wamkulu; peter use this guy will assist u.

  33. ujeni says:

    Big up Chakwera you are putting across the right points. Apart from human poverty through which you can see but just looking at the physical appearance of Malawians, you can also see and notice poverty by for instance looking at our infrastructure and how they are laid out.

    Take Lilongwe for example, east, north west entry point in the capital all you see is miserable moulnorished people in grass thatched mud houses, dusty roads, dilapidated poorly built dirty buildings along dusty roads. We can control this, we can plan and beautify the city but by choice we dont see that as important. Yes we a have poverty by choice.

  34. Mnjonja says:

    True that Mr Chakwera. Our leaders only celebrate success when elected to high office. They don’t want to take risks. They don’t have far stretching ideas to develop the nation. All they have at heart is on how to enrich themselves. They forget their main mandate of being elected to office – to improve the living standard of the people and alleviate poverty.

    In a country like Malawi, we need leaders who can establish effective government enterprises. It is only the Government that could initiate big investment spending because such investments take longer to mature and start making profits. The Gov could absorb such costs in early stages. This investment spending will create jobs for the masses of the people. These people will in return pay personal taxes that will finance Government spending further. Utilise MW to strength – Farming. Establish greater commercial farming programmes

  35. Angel of Doom says:

    If anyone thinks or believes that Chakwera said anything useful if what I have read here is what he really said, then they need their heads examining.

    Chakwera is like Chikawonda, very captivating to those that are easily mislead, but by the end of the day when you look at what they have said you will find that they have said nothing of substance.

    Take chakwera’s statement in the paragraph that begins “in a society……

    Ask your yourselves if we are one society, then that society is a nation, if that society is a nation then by definition it is a state.

    Society is abstract, nation is abstract and therefore state is abstract, resulting is what Chakwera is saying in that paragraph meaningless.

    Rome was nor built in a day, and people say this time and time again, there is a reason for that.

    In our local languages, we have “Nthanga kunena anapisa likongwe wa pogozi” “Kunena kwa ndithe ndithe Nathabwe anazitengela”

    Chakweras actions fit into all these sayings, somehow he believes things can change at the snap of a finger.

    It took the Almighty God 6 days to create what we see today, does Chakwera think God was not capable of doing it in 1 day?

    He is talking about long term agenda, does he really believe that in 50 years there have been no long term agendas?, Has he ever asked to look at past agendas?

    An agenda, is a list of things that need to be done, is he telling this nation we have never had such a list?

    A good leader of opposition tries to find out what the list is , and offer to help in achieving items on that list.

    Chakwera has opposed a loan because he wants an explanation on how money was used to help during a disaster, well and good, but who in their right mind will act rationally in a disaster? People are dying and you should saying “Inu ndalamazo mbwino nazo mukukagula chani dikilani kaye tikafunse”? really? and this was a man of God?

    Chakwera this time round should be helping devising ways and means for accounting for funds in a disaster situation, not penalizing those that have already been penalized by the disaster.

    The worst thing a person can do is play politics with peoples lives.

    Chakwera is not leadership material, I wonder how people forget that not long ago just after he was elected leader, he made unilateral decision after unilateral decision, but now short memory Malawians think he is the best thing that has happened to Malawi since the Nation was born.

    Chakwera knows how to play the system, he says what he knows people want to hear, but does he himself believe in what he is saying? ITS ALL POLITICAL RHETORIC.

    Chakwera has used the pulpit for so long, and the political “Nsanja” is just a pulpit for him from where to convince the desperate that, give it to me, your reward is in heaven “Njombe yinu yiri kuchanya”

    Believe in Chakwera at your own peril. “Onena analipo koma nkutu mwanga”

  36. Chawezi says:

    Chakwera will never be impressed by the Mutharika administration because if he is to be impressed, then that will be the end of politics for him and MCP. Being impressed means him no longer standing for presidency. Therefore it is Chakwera’s duty and responsibility that no matter what, he should never be impressed by the Mutharika administration

  37. young chakana says:

    I think what we Malawians need is a change of mind -set. The belief that government can do everything for us is not helping matters. We need to adopt the philosophy of hard work and pursue it to the core otherwise, no sweat no sweet. I rest my case there.

  38. henz says:

    Bravo Mr president

  39. Kenkkk says:

    Excellent Laz. That is talking!!! Long term development strategy formulated by inputs from a cross section of Malawians and all sectors is needed. This then becomes a blue print for any incoming successive govts.

    Our development programme at the moment is reactive not proactive.

  40. Chekambewa says:

    ukhala choncho and sunzamvetsabe. this will make u fail again in 2019

  41. sunderstar says:

    On this one I support you leader of opposition, Malawi leadership must be visionary and dynamic to create a society of producers than that of consumers and beggars. We need to have policies that are pro development not pro aid seekers. This was not brought in the country by DPP but all the previous Governments are responsible for this and MCP was the worst on this. People were stopped from building good and modern structures in Blantyre because of the Myth that Zoons zimene ndi za Kamuzu Banda so no one was allowed to lead the way because people were afraid of beating the popularity of Dr Banda.

  42. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Dr Chakwera, I know you are in opposition and you are more clever than Peter Mutharika but this time you got prepared to talk hard.

    Someone said,’ Its better to be a lion for a day than to be a sheep all the time’.

    I do agree that our leader and his politicians have chisen a sure road to dire poverty and he is always a subject of shameful debates. Like MSB,,Indians intimidating ACB officers, Prime Minister Ben Phiri.

    I don’t understand why he stood for presidency of a country while he is classroom material. He has put us in very awkward situation, for next four years there is no hope.

    Apa tingoti,’ tinalowetsa njati nkhola la ng’ombe’ kuyesa ng’ombe’

  43. nobel says:

    He speaks like the one Malawians are waiting for. Why are we still poor when Kamuzu laid foundation for development? Someone destroyed the foundations and the current leadership has no capable skills to fix the foundation, on job training ; what a blunder!

  44. Zadziwika says:

    Kuyendetsa boma is not the same as running a church Mr Chakwera!!! Your theories would not have worked at all, that’s why you lost the elections! Wait for 2019 to lose again!!!

  45. Zagwa says:

    I don’t believe the problem is the lack of a development agenda. We have the Vision2020, the MGDS, the former president brought in the ERP and the list goes on. I think the problem is the greed and selfishness of leaders coupled with foolishness on the rest of us, happy to be free-riding hand clappers. Maybe we should fight first to start respecting each other, otherwise even MPs are thieves, deliberating for 2 months on a budget of an impoverished country like this one.

  46. Academician says:

    bwana Chakwera……as an academician am afraid to counter argue with you! The basis of your argument is from the Bokk titled WHY AFRICA IS POOR BY PROFESSOR GREG MILLS. GREG argues that Africa is poor because leaders wanted it poor. But , you quote it at the wrong time because his latest argument is that most African leaders are out of touch because of generation gap. Majority of African population are average age between 18 to 40 and their political leaders are in advanced age and are not in real touch with contemporary problems. Malawi is poor because of old leaders like you Chakwera and othe grand parents politicians. I encourage you to read his two other books such as THIRD LIBERATION and FROM POVERTY TOROSPERITY:globalization good governance and African recovery. But musaiwale analogy economic advisor wa JB. What happened.? So don’t come yavi yavi just quoting books out of context. First we need opposition which is constructive not sayin no to everything. An opposition for the people not for revenge. An opposition which is government in waiting not government in destructive. NATIONAL development agenda should be inclusive and can start if opposition is prepared to listen to government views and amend where necessary. Only last week mwakana bill which could have contributed to national prosperity. I COUNTER ARGUE THAT MALAWI IS POOR BECAUSE OPPOSITION WANT IT SO. YOU see

  47. Christian life says:

    So Mr Chakwera now u made good choice in politics and no more poverty?

  48. hey says:

    Is this rhetoric new? What is coming out of this man?

  49. Chatsalira says:

    I concur with Dr Chakwera that Malawi poverty is by choice. We have resources that we don’t utilize, in few cases we try to utilize the resources we abuse them.

  50. zymology says:

    similarly,am also not happy with this mulhakho adminstration that is only good at excuting journalists instead of developing the country

  51. Julie says:

    National Development Council or Federalism is the way to go, only then our Malawi will develop

  52. Black Market says:

    I totally agree with Chakwera, the biggest problem is the bigger size of uneducated population who vote leaders based on nepotism, secondly lack of political will and justice and finally lack of accountability on the part of our so called leaders.

    The reform itself is a failure without rectifying the known weaknesses of the system. For instance, The civil Service ICT is pathetic yet we cling to the same pathetic way of doing things, without swift wake-up.

  53. MOG says:

    Dziko kuchita kuti, ” teke teke teke teke teke ” munthu wankulu wayankhula. Ife kumva kukoma.

  54. Chakwera Leader of Opposition is right Poor by choice by greedy Leaders who choose to please their Polical senior,praise them even when they see them stealing .Its because of not Loving the People of Malawi hence always people are poorer

  55. Alungwana says:

    We are indeed not impressed with this administration!

  56. Khwethemu says:

    Mwalasa. The country is poor by choice of myopic leadership. Thats the main problem. Leadership without vision. Leadership that has bred corruption starting with Muluzi, Bingu, Joyce and then this Peter who doesnt actually know wat he is doing. He cant lead at the same tym he cant manage. The other problem is we the pipo on the ground who cant rise and challenge our leaders to hold to account for their deeds. We need to draw examples from other countries where poor n visionless leadership is challenged. Malawians no longer look at leadership qualities koma kuti where the leaders come from which is a very dangerous game if the country will have to move forward. Its racism disguised as regionalism kwathu kuno. Wakummwera, waku Central region or wakumpoto wat does that do to help us? Who cares kuti mumachokera kuti? It doesnt scare me because we are all Malawians at the end of the dai. We use the same paddport. Dont we? Ndiye muyankhenso n tok nonsense za zipani. Za ziii. Dziko lotembereredwa komanso lomvetsa chisoni. Busy kuwononga ndalama za misonkho pa milandu ya zii miseu ili yonyansa the rest of Africa, xool zosalipira koma aphunzitsi osalipidwa bwino wat a stupid idea. Mankwala ndi zipangizo zabwino mulibe mzipatala akadwala these so called politicians we vote for koma sikuthamanga kwake ku Joni. Zili ndalama zathu. Umbava ndi umbanda ukuvuta wen pipo entrusted to deal with this akulabdira ma two tambala ndikukhala mu nyumba zonyansa.

  57. daneck Masoka says:

    I think Malawians made a wrong choice by picking up Mutharika whose aims are to enrich himself. We don’t want greedy leaders. Whose focus is oncashgate not development.

  58. Andy moses says:

    Kikkkkk tell them kaya mweee.

  59. onjoya says:

    Chakwera u must learn to tell people the truth. we are in this poverty because of the 31 wasted year under kamuzu and mcp. if those years were properly used, malawi would be a better place to live now

  60. Concerned Malawian says:

    True, really true! So we have some politicians who can see this. I thought we only have blind ones. So, Mnthalika, what nonsense will you vomit with your dog nankhumwa?

  61. Shushe says:

    This comes due to hostile political environment.from mcp,udf,dpp,pp and now dpp again. Our politians are too greedy to uplift malawi.this includes chakwera himself.

  62. Tukombo says:

    And lack of effective leadership!!!

  63. dambudzo mwasanya says:

    Malawi will pick a leader not potential basis but through tribal lines even though he is too thick knowing most of Malawians are illiterate and they cant critically and analytically look at things.What they know is to crawl to leaders like babies.Every politician in Malawi is there to make a fortune.Can you really take that handwriting issue of phony asset declaration of Pitala as an excuse?That would not have happened in west Africa.They would have shut the doors of the state until he properly explains to nations.It will take 1000 years for Malawi to develop with the calibre of politicians like the dim wits Nankhumwas,Kudontoni and the rest bunch of dpp idiots posing as our politicians.Malawians needs proper assessment otherwise we will all die as paupers praising these idiots as our saviours.We really need to change our mindsets if we are going to compete with countries like Rwanda and other African countries that were behind economy.

  64. hon says:

    Anaotcha Mavoti akuba amenewo

  65. Mwihavani says:

    CheChakwera, your friends are only one year in government, do you expect all good things to come overnight? Did you achieve all your required household in a year of your employment? Please bring the most needed pride in your senses before criticising. I respect your eloquence but you make me doubt your IQ. Learn to think maturely so that comes your time of office the same things out of your mouth will not haunt you.

  66. gonapamuhanya says:

    The genesis of this poverty is the 30 year rule of the MCP!

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