Analysts have said the country had a pleasant surprise from the boring State of the Nation Address (Sona) in the past administration which mostly sent legislators to sleep in Palriament, saying President Lazarus Chakwera’s maiden Sona themed “Restoring warmth to the Heart of Africa” lived up to its billing.
The chairperson of the Civil Society Governance Platform, Benedicto Kondowe said the Sona was inspiring hope and welcomed the special corruption courts.
“On the special corruption courts which are being called the Financial Crimes Court, they are welcome, but the President must also ensure there are short-term and long-term measures.
“A new court would require a lot of time [for now] they should explore designating judges to preside over financial crimes cases now like we did with Cashgate,” he suggested,.
Kondowe also pointed out that there should be more judges to dispense justice as some people are being denied justice due to current case backlog in courts.
Governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that Chakwera’s address, on overall, did not disappoint.
He said Chakwera’s address , which was themed “Restoring warmth to the Heart of Africa,” was grounded on communicating on how the Tonse government would deliver what it pledged in their manifesto—largely MCP and UTM 2019 manifestos.
“It’s a Sona that has set the tone on the priorities that the Tonse government would want to focus on,” said Munthali.
However, Munthali said key areas of concern is whether the Tonse government would be able to implement what it had pledged in the Sona within the coming financial year.
“Looking at some things highlighted in the Sona, you clearly see that they can take two to four years. In short, it’s unrealistic to implement all things pledged,” he said.
Nonetheless, Munthali commended President Chakwera for his promise to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – as it was put in Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 2019 Manifesto.
“It is another positive that needs to be widely supported if the country is to indeed heal from it’s past atrocities,” said Munthali.
However, he pointed ou that the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission cannot happen overnight- that is within this financial year.
“ There is need for government to clearly come up with a roadmap towards the establishment of the Commission. Besides, this may also require for the President to be clear on which ‘Truth’ does Malawi want to reconcile with.
“ Is it only those atrocities done during one party MCP era? Or is it even those done after? The establishment of such a commission may also require setting up an enabling legal and institutional framework which may also need time. However, the suggestion to review the National Peace Policy is welcome especially in the context of the new Ministry.”
He also commended Chakwera for committiong himself to appear before Parliament three times in line with the Constitutional provisions as well as the pledge made in MCP 2019 manifesto.
“Malawians will be looking forward to the honouring of this commitment. The same applies to the reducing of Presidential powers. However, it will be critical to be clear on what Presidential powers should be reduced and the extent of reducing such powers,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa said he will respond to the speech on Monday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :