Chakwera says campaign promises will be fulfilled but not overnight: ‘Sensitivity to macro-economic conditions of Malawi’

President  Lazarus Chakwera on Thursday appeared before Parliament to answer questions from lawmakers in accordance with the Constitution and his campaign promises, saying the Tonse Alliance—which took over government after winning the court-sanctioned June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election — will deliver its electoral pledge to Malawians  despite the impact of Covid-19 frustrating achievement of  some of them.

Chakwera will continue going to Parliament to answer questions from members of Parliament because he is required to appear in Parliament by law.
Chakwera believes in the importance of performing this duty not only as a matter of principle to fulfill a promise he made to Malawians but also as a matter of law to fulfill the requirements of the Constitution
Chakwera was back in Parliament  to answer questions from members of Parliament (MPs) in his third appearance since he took office.

But Chakwera pointed out that “promises cannot be fulfilled overnight,” saying his administration is now focused on  ensurin that there is macroeconomic stability within the economic framework within which they will be operating after inheriting what he perceived a rotten system from the  ousted former president Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) .

He said this when responding to his first question in the House from Nkhotakota North East Parliamentarian,  Martha Lunji of DPP, who wanted to know the time of the commencement of the duty-free week and reduction of passport fees which was promised to be at K14,000.00 each  passport.

Chakwera said it was important to remember the historical context of the promises he made to Malawians.

He said his government will fulfil the promises but want to do so  “with sensitivity to the macro-economic conditions of Malawi.”

The President said Tonse Alliance is weathering the storm of bad contractual obligations from the previous administration and the staggered implementation strategy they have had to adopt in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Once we are ready to implement these promises, I will inform Malawians accordingly,” said the Chakwera.

The President said there has been wide range consultation to deal with the issues.

Chakwera ascended to the presidency as the torch-bearer of the Tonse Alliance, a grouping of nine political parties that came together with the primary objective of dislodging DPP. The alliance was formed following the judicial nullification of the presidential elections held in May 2019.

The Malawi leader said there is need for Malawians to know that there had been  two presidential campaigns in the last two years, one in 2019 and another in 2020 and that in 2019 campaign, his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM  Party contested separately and put forward separate manifestos, with  MCP launching its manifesto on 9th March 2019, and UTM launching its manifesto on 23rd March 2019.

Chakwera said the promises had two manifestos with some promises in common and other promises that were unique.

He said promises that were similar included establishing a Universal Fertilizer Subsidy; subjecting Cabinet Ministers to performance contracts; making governance institutions like the Anti-Corruption Bureau, National Audit Office, and the Financial Intelligence Agency independent and  operationalizing the  Access to Information Act.

Others were – creating jobs for young people; promoting large-scale farming through mechanization; developing road and rail infrastructure  through ambitious projects; boosting economic activity through value-addition and industrialization; and establishing a special school to train qualified Malawians for government and foreign service.

As a follow up question , Lunji asked the President if his team was not aware of the passport contractual agreements.

Chakwera, who quit the pulpit as president of Malawi Assemblies of God in 2013 to join frontline politics, said they were not aware of the agreements while assuring Parliament that all campaign promises will be fulfilled during his first term of administration which runs up to 2025 – the destination of the promised land of Canaan.

The President made several campaign promises, including creation of special economic zones, the ambitious infrastructure agenda which includes flagship roads, housing, railway, the free electricity and water connection and ultimately, the  creation of one million job.

Lunji wanted Chakwera to have clear timelines for delivery of key promises.

On the campaign trail, Chakwera also  promised to trim presidential powers once in office. Chakwera reiterated the promise during his inauguration.

As a reflection of the commitment, on 8 August 2020, during an address to the nation, Chakwera announced that he was working on delivering on the promise of taming Malawi’s presidency. This rhetoric and posturing appears to exude the necessary political will to finally review and, probably trim, presidential powers.

South Africa-based Malawian professor of law,  Mwiza Jo Nkhata, noted in published article that although Chakwera, thus far, has been consistent in agitating for trimming presidential powers, specifics about the impending exercise have yet to emerge.

Nkhata, who teaches at University of the Free State, South Africa, argued that there is still uncertainty, therefore, as to how far reaching the planned reforms will be.

“Key to the planned reforms, however, should be the desire to enhance transparency and accountability in the operations of government at all levels.

“Chakwera should not make the mistake of being caught in pandering to the rhetoric of trimming presidential powers without a clear plan,” he wrote.

The Malawian law professor pointed out that the Constitution already establishes the primacy of transparency and accountability, among other values, and these should be used to inform the entire reform process.

This is a third time for the President to appear before Parliament to answer questions. He first appeared in the House for question time on September 10— the first time a Malawi president had honoured the constitutional requirement since the country’s second president in the democratic dispensation, Bakili Muluzi, did the same in the early days of his administration.

Before taking questions Chakwera led the  Parliamentarians in observing a one minute silence in honour of the members who passed away due to the Covid -19 pandemic.

Some of the the departed include Minister of Transport Sidik Mia and Minister of Local Government,  Lingson  Belekanyama and Members of Parliament include John Chikalimba and  James Bond Kamwambi.

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tom
tom
1 month ago

Boma plizi muganzira ma Gloves ku chipatial za hospital workers, akusowa kwambiri

guest
guest
1 month ago
Reply to  tom

akulandira risk allowance, angasowenso chani

braveheart
braveheart
1 month ago

President mumapangila ma demo kuti ukufuna siameneyu ? Musalire inu mukukuta mano ,simunati.Its not even 1year!1000000jobs in 1 year, pano mwalembedwa angati?enjoy the show! Banana people in banana republic with banana president

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  braveheart

there is no PPE like gloves in hospitals,nurses and hospital staff at great risk

guest
guest
1 month ago
Reply to  James

risk yake yomweyi akulandira nayo ma risk allowance yo??

PelomaPepe
PelomaPepe
1 month ago

Mr Talk Talk Chatsika, stop your lies pilizi.

Kapwithi Banda
Kapwithi Banda
1 month ago
Reply to  PelomaPepe

Ndakonda kwambiri dzina latsopano la Chakwera Talk Talk M’busa wa bodza

'mbusa ndi wabodza
'mbusa ndi wabodza
1 month ago

Chakwera has no ounce of shame. He is a liar who misled the people of Malawi, he is busying sinking this nation deeper into debt and suffering. MCP please replace your leader, we need a new leader, not this liar.

Fools Gold
Fools Gold
1 month ago

Talk Talk Chakwera so now you Talk Talk about Micro Economic sensitivity preventing you from delivering on the election promises which you made. Let me remind, that leading up to the elections, Malawi’s economy was in as much dire straits as it is in now, so you should have been aware that the promises which you were making were FALSE and MISLEADING. Those promises you made were impossible to keep even if Malawi’s economy was 10 times better than it is today. You had no idea or clue how much your election promises going to cost. If you did than… Read more »

Atokwene
Atokwene
1 month ago

Chakwera and Chilima are foolish leaders amene akuputsitsa anthu pa Malawi. Lero Lazaro akumukanira Saulosi nkhani yotsitsa passport and having Duty free week. Saulosi ndi munthu wachibwana . Dzayeseni muzachite duty free week mudzaone mmene kwacha idzagwere. The Goverment will lose 800 bl kwacha within a week by giving Malawians duty free week.

nsundwe Boys
nsundwe Boys
1 month ago
  1. President Phwisi full of lies after lies
Idhh
Idhh
1 month ago

Miss DPP, Miss that old man’s leadership
We gave up that old man who really want to do something for this sad country
Crooks!!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Idhh
Wakwiya ndi kadeti
1 month ago

You promised kutsekera okuba ndalama a dpp. Muthalika simukutenga bwanji? Mkazi wake simukumutenga bwanji? Muthalika ndi Zameer wake madilu ku Polisi. We are still waiting. UTM made stupid campaign promises like 1 million jobs, K14 000 passport, duty free week, free electricity and water connections. Zopusa zeni zeni.

Jah
Jah
1 month ago

Mumkati ndalama zilipo mesa

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