New leader of opposition but same old politics

On May 06 2015, the leader of MCP and opposition, Lazarus Chakwera, gave a response speech to President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) of May 05 2015. The President’s SONA marked the opening of the 2015/2016 budget session.

President Mutharika with leader of opposiiton Lazarous chakwera after opening parliament

President Mutharika with leader of opposiiton Lazarous chakwera after opening parliament

In his speech, the Leader of Opposition did tackle a number of areas of national concern which the government needs to address, for which I sincerely congratulate him. For instance, he talked about the alleged MK 92 billion corruption scandal, the controversial MBS sale, the MK6 billion bailout for MBS loan defaulters, and the alarming deterioration of security where some members of the Police are also involved in crime.

He also did not hesitate to point out some mistakes government made the past financial year, including the March 11 2015 Lumbadzi Police event –graffiti by the President.

However, right from the preamble, the beauty of the speech of the Leader of Opposition is badly marred by bitterness and desire to tear apart the President’s SONA which is sadly the traditional approach of Malawi’s opposition. Throughout his speech, while the Leader of Opposition continues to tackle some areas of national interest, he continues to display unnecessary bitterness and attacks, and eventually, as far as am concerned, contradicts his preamble and the very source of his bitterness and discontentment with government, in his conclusion and Malawian dream.

Preoccupied by the sole purpose of sticking to traditional opposition of literally opposing government, the leader of opposition did not only mar his speech with attacks, but ignored very important areas which would have given his speech more substance and political maturity and present to the people of Malawi a transformed Opposition under his leadership:

For instance, the leader of opposition while acknowledging the need to congratulate the President as a matter of protocol, he still does not congratulate him because, he claims, he is overwhelmed by pity for suffering Malawians. But he forgets that it does not kill him to put politics aside, and congratulate the president for his one year of office, as a matter formality and goodwill, just to gesture some political maturity that even in discontentment he remains a statesman and respects the President with whom, he partners in running matters of the State.

The Leader of Opposition could have congratulated the President, that while millions continue to suffer, the President inherited a government whose 40% of annual budget is supported by donors, without donor support; but he has run it for one year on a Zero Aid Budget with constant availability of fuel and forex, and relatively manageable shortages of drugs, which is a huge improvement from last time when a similar budget was characterized by an economic catastrophe and related public protests.

Yes, Chakwera could have congratulated Mutharika, for a speedy, well planned and well implemented process of repatriation of Malawians from South Africa, during the Xenophobia where some Malawians lost their lives.

Chakwera could also have considered that some of the Malawians suffering are victims of a natural disaster of floods which affected more than 1million, to which plight, government responded well enough through food, cash and policy formulation.

The leader of opposition also clearly had unrealistic expectations from government, and this is where his conclusion and Malawian dream crashes with the reality that he should have considered in the first place. You see, he or whoever drafted the speech for him, seemed to have forgotten somewhere in process, that we are reflecting on the past 12 months, and projecting on the coming 12 months, because the Leader of Opposition laments over desperate living conditions of Malawians over the past 12 months, yet when it’s time for him to share his dream in his conclusion, he makes it very clear that Malawi will only achieve certain levels of living conditions in 2065.

In other words, the leader of opposition is fully aware that attention to a given time-frame matters when expecting realization of certain achievements from government. It is surprising therefore, that he expected all Malawians to have moved out of poverty that past 12 months.

If only Chakwera had given the SONA an objective analysis, and given Mutharika and government the credit they deserve for a job well done, and criticize them for the job poorly done, his speech would have been one of its kind in this century. But alas! Chakwera is quickly becoming another John Tembo. Perhaps, that’s the standard he is chasing to prove to MCP and Malawians that he has the balls for the opposition leadership. But he is swiftly drifting into the archaic politics where government and the opposition have a cat and mouse type of relationship, or if you loved cartoons, the Tom and Jerry type of relationship; where government plays cunning Jerry and the Opposition is the ruthless Tom. Its high time Malawian politics graduated

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25 thoughts on “New leader of opposition but same old politics”

  1. Sibande my ass! Mulibe nkhani inu.

  2. Leston Mulli says:

    Kodi a Sibande mwalowa nawo Dpp (Petrol Desiel Palibe) ? Now that the petrol has gone up mu kachetechete, wait you see the remaining years of this useless president of yours. The stupid person that we have and Malawi has ever had is Atupele Muluzi (I wondered father like son) going into coalition of brother is crimes. Who will save this nation of this nation of this madness, please!!!!!!!!! A silikale kumangomangidwa ngati ma laiya, anthu a nfuti kumsana kumangomangidwa without any reason??????!!!! This article is a madness and mare suport of DPP, which is Plundering the resources of this power country…God help us.

  3. Ndi udindo wa Boma osati DPP,akanapanga congratulape ndkanamuona kut nd galu,bt know he iz 2019_2029 head of state.walemba nkhaniyi ndi wopusa.

  4. he is right by not congratulating the president.

  5. isaac says:

    DPP pull up your socks otherwise .Chakwera is right by not congratulating the president.Please probe the cash gate players now.

  6. MBACHI says:


  7. Stanley muhekiwa says:

    Excellent article! Keep it up! Kumaphunzira kuyamikira osati kulira nthawi zonse!

  8. Kokotowa says:

    Mmene analalatira Chakwera zangoonetseratu kuti ndi wa Satanic!

  9. Jelbin mk says:

    I have never been MCP since just because my own father was imprisoned by the Dr Banda’s administration some time back on political grounds so I grew up hating anything associated with MCP but now with this changed leadership I won’t haste joining MCP soon. About the author here huuuu you are the worst of your kind how could you try to force the leader of opposition in his full capacity stoop as lowly as you do to those DPP crooks who protects fellow rich crooks on the expense of a poor person of the poorest country in the world? Remember robust opposition is good and healthy for any democratic government including that of Malawi therefore Chakwera’s remarks and comments calling the loan evaders crooks is not ad bad as you think rather it is a fairer word he used to describe then he would have gone as far as calling them murderers because their withholding of repayment to MSB has some far reaching consequences which will lead to possible lose of lives in hospitals of which could be prevented by the six billion bail out. Mr Sibande you are enraging me now, do you mean you are too foolish to understand the role of opposition leader in parliament or in any democracy? If yes then you don’t deserve to write on this platform because you are incompetent. For your own information the opposition is there not to clap hands at mediocrity but to do the checks and balances of the day to day running of government especially checking the wrongs because by doing so the government will know their wrongs and correct them if they are listening. This concurs with Billy Kaunda’s song (timanena zoyipa zokhazo n’cholinga choti muzikonze).

  10. Kenkkk says:

    The only congratulations Laz should have made is for Peter’s completion of one year and nothing else. Laz was excellent and he really made many of us mcp supporters very proud for showing what an opposition leader should say. He was spot on on many very important issues which these dpp thugs are shamelessly blundering all over the place.

  11. Namiasi says:

    Congratulating who?my foot,away with your bootlicking politics mr sibande.

  12. Mathews says:


  13. special advisor says:

    I agree to some extend. Dr LC’s robust response was rendered less credible by his lack of acknowledgement of the modest achievement that president APM made over the past 10 months. However, government will do well to listen. People are incrrasingly becoming disenchanted and indignant. In particular, it is simple logic that at a time like this, the SONA should have focussed on what the issues were, what actions were planned, what budget was planned and how much has been achieved, planned versus actual. Thereafter, tackle what new issues came up and how gallantly these issues were tackled. Then go into a forecast of the future, what actions are intended and how all this ties into the Malawi dream and party manifesto. The president and MPs from governing benches will do Malawians and their party a great favor if they take this free advice and polish up during debate over the next 6 weeks. Chakwera has made a strong point. Ignore it at your own peril. And I hope Chakwera too is listening and he and his party will be shifting gears too, to keep APM and his guards on their toes. God bless our nation.

  14. Joseph says:

    There is absolutely no sense in this article inu. If you want to congratulate someone, even as useless and puppet a president as APM, you have to compare his achievements( if any AT ALL) against his goofs( which are plenty). He protects the Mk 92 billion but yes repatriated Malawians(who he doesnt have a long term plan for), he is running a useless zero deficit budget but makes Malawians pay for Mulli’s loans who not only has his bussineses still running, but Malawians also are dying from hunger, lack of medicine, non payment of teachers….i can go on and on till tomorrow, the point is, APM is taking from the very poor and giving the very rich. That disqualifies him from any compliments at all from any thinking Malawian, unless you are paid to do it ofcourse.

  15. King says:

    The author of this article is a DPP stooge and a moron.Why should chakwera praise the president when he is failing to deal with numerous important issues affecting poor Malawians.

  16. mphwache wa bingu says:

    And more importantly Chakwera should start attending economics classes and learn to think using his head not heart. The value of the kwacha is at its strongest during the tobacco marketing season for obvious economic factors. Chakweras speech lacked data and evidence. It was no different to a church sermon

  17. nyayo says:

    Chakwera wants to make himself relevant all time that’s why he has specialised in criticisms. A sour grape rationalist! He knows that with his old age,the only way he can’t grab the mantle swiftly is by agitating. Typical of people who race against time. However, if he was patriotic enough he would have engaged his party in social responsibility. Am told he ha shadow cabinate minister. Let him deploy them in villages and help the poor or woo donors to support us. We are seek and tired with kicks if a dying horse. See what Raila Odinga is doing in Kenya. He criticises alot but also active help the government in matters of national interest. Mwandikwana!

  18. tingopenya says:

    Yayi tele munthu walankhula basi.munthu aakanyela posayenera sitiphimbira kuopa eena apondapo period!

  19. Tatopa says:

    Man of collar is not only bitter but also economically illiterate. See the man tackles manipulation of the exchange rate leading to stability of the kwacha. The whole idea of having economist is that they should read the variables and juggle them around for stability.

  20. ujeni says:

    You people who said Chakwera is bitter and you the writer of this article, need to go and see or watch what leader of opposition does in great democracies like the US, Australia, UK and many other democratic countries.

    Chakwera infact was too nice, he was supposed to hit harder and bring the truth home. You Malawians are used to hero worship and do the tagwirizana nazo kale mentality. Smell the coffee this is 2015 in multy party democracy

  21. chipsyenthe says:

    I dont see any sense in ur article. I believe, as an example, that uve know idea of how the house of commons in UK operates! You’re deeply immersed in Bakili politics. Did u expect him to kneel down to prove it to u that he had congratulated Peter for the 20% of his tenure? Was it wrong to provide a long term dream for the nation? Are u immersed in a pompo pompo approach to national matters? We need visionary and realistic leadership not ‘ine ine’ governance! !

  22. honourable says:

    He messed on some points but u the DPP u messed big time. U trying to rob us by protecting Mulli. Hw can he fail to pay loan yet he was bidding to buy inde bank. Was he going to buy it with stones if he cd won the bidding?

  23. Chikopa says:

    Yes i couldn’t beleave that he was him who was speaking if you think of his background us man of God he is worse than john tembo , look the way he commented the appreciation of the kwacha it was us if a nursey pupil speaking not worth leader of opposition

  24. kandapako banda says:


  25. Chipapwiche says:

    Hope Chakwera will read this and see the sense in it. Bitterness is making him mix up thugs. I think he doesn’t still recognise Muthalika as president

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