President Lazarus Chakwera on Monday hit the 100-day marker that the media has used to judge presidents but the Malawi leader said it is not “panacea” to evaluate his administration, saying his focus together with the second-in-command Saulos Chilima has been focused to turn the country around and steady the ship which was heading in the wrong direction for long time.
Chakwera was speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe to may his first 100 days in office where he also bravely answered some critical questions from the journalists in a live television broadcast.
The President said the new government is aiming at turning around the ship from flooding, pointing out that Malawi may, for a while, sail in unsafe water before things get better.
Chakwera said: “My first task as captain was to put together a solid team of seasoned sailors to stop the vessel from going under and to have it facing our desired shore of shared prosperity.
”I know that because this ship we call Malawi had been hijacked by self-enriching criminal pirates for years, there was a great expectation that having a new captain and a new team of sailors meant that we would reach the shore of new jobs, cheap fertilizer, better hospitals, and good schools right away. However, as any good sailor will tell you, stopping a flooding ship from sinking and turning it around in such hostile conditions of a pandemic are not small feats, but necessary first steps that needed to be done in these first 100 days.”
Chakwera said stopping the vessel from flooding and turning it around was indispensable, saying his Tonse Alliance led administration has laid the groundwork for the voyage.
“We can now begin together back to safer waters and greener shores,” he said.
President Chakwera persuaded Malawians to be “wise enough to remember that the unsafe waters that still surround us, however difficult they may be, are waters we are now sailing out of, not waters we are shipwrecked in.”
The following, according, to Chakwera are among the Tonse Administration achievements in the first 100 days.
- Appointment of a 31-member cabinet
- Organising of countrywide personnel audit in the public service
- Engaging with various stakeholders; Leaders of NGOs, traditional leaders to hear their views
- Organising Weekly Briefing as an accountability mechanisms.
- Appointed board
- An increase of funding to ACB – this is a commitment to fight corruption.
- We have begun to reform MBC to be a true broadcaster and not propaganda machinery.
Other achievements include the appointment of Vincent Nundwe as Commander of Malawi Defence Force, appointment of George Kainja as Inspector General of Police and reversing of the decision to force some judges including Chief Justice to go on leave pending retirement.
On the appointment of boards in relation to women representation, which is below the requirement under the Gender Equality Act, Chakwera said within his term he will achieve 50-50 representation. He stressed it’s a step by step approach to achieving the desired equal gender representation in appointments.
Chakwera pointed out that, before the presidency, he championed women empowerment in church. He said he needs time – to achieve the required gender balance in public appointments.
“The 100 days is not a panacea to all our challenges,” said Chakwera as he never displayed any panic or even bad temper as other past president has been doing in interface with the media.
Chakwera also dislocated that his administration has made progress in the development of the National Older Persons Bill to regulate the protection of the elderly, saying government Has since dissolved 3098 child marriages.
The President has justified his decision to hire some retired civil servants saying this is aimed at bringing back the lost discipline in the civil service.
At the function Chakwera was given a book with a brief version of his biography which has been written by Malawi’s famed writer and journalist Willie Zingani of ‘I write what I see’ fame who titled it ‘Chakwera – the journey to the presidency.’Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :