Malawi government, opposition leaders, citizens and the media have been commenting on Donald Trump election as the 45th president of the United States after winning 289 electoral votes to rival Hillary Clinton’s 218.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kutsaira gave a diplomatic reaction to Trump’s victory, saying: “We don’t expect a big shift as far as the relationship with the US is concerned.”
The Foreign Minister disclosed that Malawi President Peter Mutharika has sent a message of congratulations to the US President-elect.
Kasaila expects Malawi to continue enjoying good bonds of relationship with US government in sectors of health, education, security as well as humanitarian help.
Leader of opposition, Lazarous Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president said Malawi can learn lessons from US elections.
“Decentralisation of election processes is something we can emulate,” ,” Chakwera said as quoted by the press.
“ The idea that you could have results put together and transported over a long distance to some central place where the announcement takes place leaves room for machinations. That’s one nation that I have noted,” said Chakwera a presidential hopeful.
But Kasaila, who is also ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesman, said Malawi would not do a copy and paste of the US Electoral system, saying the country “need to look at what is practical.”
People’s Party acting president Uladi Mussa told Nyasa Times that many US voters and others around the world including Malawi would feel “a real sense of anxiety” at Trump victory, adding: “People of the United States have chosen their president and I hope the president-elect will take the opportunity to reach out to those who felt marginalised by his campaign and make clear – in deeds as well as words – that he will be a president for all.”
The two daily papers also highlighted the Trump victory in their front pages on Thursday.
The flagship Daily Times reported the election results as “Tump trumps Clinton,” while The Nation displayed a photo of Trump, with a lead headline “Malawi expects no US policy change.”
In its editorial comment titled “Trump’s victory calls for strategy change”, The Nation newspaper viewed the result through the same prism as Brexit – the British vote to leave the EU, saying Trump was rated rank outsider and “an error-prone underdog” by a large section of the media and the opinion pollsters.
The paper says it joins Malawi government and the international community in congratulation Trump on his victory and also said his main challenger Hillary Clinton deserves a pat on the back “for taking it on the chin offering to work with Trump for the good of America.”
The editorial comment pointed out that much as the US Embassy in Lilongwe is assuring of no major change in foreign policy with Trump as US leader, countries like Malawi and many others with “no strategic importance” to America “need to get prepared for suprises.”
It tips Malawi to ensure good governance to protect the African Growth and Opportunity Act ((known as Agoa – a hugely valuable American free trade deal with African countries) and the vital Millenium Challenge Corporation energy compact.
“Malawi has been ditched before by her development patners over concerns of laxity in fighting corrupton and poor public finance management. The new leadership in America may not have the same level of tolerance to some of the governance slippages,” reads the comment in the paper.
The newspaper urged Malawi authorities to “leave the excess baggae” of corruption, poor public finance management and other vices behind.
Many Malawians also dominated their status upadates on social media commenting on Trump victory with mixed views.
Journalist Bright Mhango posted on Facebook : “The man who insulted women and admitted to secually abusing them, the man who mocked the disabaled, the man who insulted Muslims, the man who insulted Mexicans, the man who insulted and hates the Chinese, the man whose wife posed nude, the man who is very familiar with divorce, the man who wants to build a wall bettweem the US and Mexico, the man run a racisist movement against Obama… has been elected as the next US President.”
Spokesman of the political pressure group, Transformation Alliance (TA) Leonard Chimbanga wrote on Facebook: “May God Bless the Donald. They counted you out . You still soldiered on. God Bless the United State of America. The greatest nation on earth.
On Twitter, Danga K Mughogho tweeted: “Maybe change in Britain and now US will force Africans comprador bourgeoisie to finally get ther development act together.”
Gwana Chakuamba 11 worote on his Facebook timeline: “ Yes Trump ‘won’ the election but people don’t actually vote for the president the electoral college does.”
Journalist-cum-cartoonist Deguzman Kaminjolo mocked prophets who gave wrong prediction that Clinton would win.
During a mock vote hosted Tuesday by the U.S. embassy in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, Clinton emerged winner as more than 300 Malawians, mostly university students voted in unofficial ballot.
One of the students who participated in the mock poll, Frank Nowa of attthe Malawi College of Accountancy said tshe would have loved to have seen the first female U.S. president.
African Bible College student Ndamya Mwanjabe also expected Clinton would win.
But a Malawian based in US, Silaba Mpasu who has been pro- Trump through and through, expressed her delight with the results and remain optimistic about America’s choice of president.
Many Malawians like other Africans are now worried about the policy changes Trump may implement including slow down immigration, probably from African countries toward the U.S.
Some observers believe Trump will stand up to Africa’s dictators and those who exhibits executive arrogance.
Others admired US democracy and its transition of power.
“The loser Mrs Clinton even called Trump to congratulate him and outgoing president Obama also invited Trump to White House to discuss hand-over. The swearing in ceremony will take place in January. If it were in Malawi, results and all machinations would take place midnight and in secrecy,” noted one Saidi, a businessman who preferred not to give his last name.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :