President Lazarus Chakwera who was this month inaugurated as 6th Head of State and proclaimed that “time of giving free handouts is past” on Tuesday splashed K500 000 to members of parliament belonging to his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) at his Area 6 residence, Nyasa Times understands.
Chakwera splashed the money on the MPs during his meetings with them in four cohorts from morning up to late afternoon in line with the Covid-19 social distancing measures.
The cash handouts to MPs comes hot on heels of Chakwera’s appeal to all Malawians to work hard and that under his administration there will be no freebies and “rewarding noisemakers, hand clappers.”
The cash donation trend first reached madness levels during the reign of Bakili Muluzi from1994 to 2004.
Malawi presidents late Bingu wa Mutharika was also splashing cash, so too Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika.
History repeats itself as they say and some things never change. This time it is President Chakwera at it.
Only less than a month in office so far K35 million to the MPs – not that he has been literally throwing cash the Muluzi way but if we are to learn from the past that is how it all starts.
These early days in office are an opportunity for President Chakwera to lay down some decent standards as he promised to usher in a “new dawn of government accountability.”
Insiders said President Chakwera is being influenced in his decisions by two of his powerful advisers Samson Lembani and Prince Kapondamgaga who has been appointed as State House Chief of Staff.
“This issue of the MPs being given money came from these two individuals. They have also awarded a contract to renovate Kamuzu Palace to an MCP financier a Trinidad,” said an impeccable source privy to developments at Area 6 residence.
South Africa-based Malawian professor of law, Danwood Chirwa likened Chakwera to the behaviour of reverends that preached one thing in the morning and did exactly what they had condemned in the afternoon.
Chirwa defined Chakwera as a President whose notion of truth seems to change according to the demands of the occasion of his immediate speech.
“Today there can be no doubt about the true colours of the new man leading Malawi. He is clearly beholden to vested interests and incapable of breaking loose of the heavy bonds of indebtedness he’s wrapped himself in. That he professes not to know that he is so beholden makes one even more worried,” he wrote.
In the meetings with the MPs, President Chakwera reportedly blamed ‘some’ Tonse Alliances partners for influencing the controversial Cabinet selection which received a lot of criticism.
Chakwera, the former evangelical preacher is yet to appoint his spokesperson; Press secretary and press officers.
Currently, his maverick speech writer Sean Kampondeni is the executive aide to the President dealing with the media.
Chakwera inherits a country deeply divided, politically, regionally and ethnically. With an economy not much better than it was at independence in 1964, with poverty deeply entrenched, with a government steeped in corruption. And with a Covid-19 pandemic spreading.
He defeated immediate past president Peter Mutharika by around 59% to 40% in the 23 June election which was a rerun ordered by the courts of the elections held in May 2019. Mutharika won that election but then Malawi’s Constitutional Court annulled it in February 2020 because of extensive vote rigging.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :