President Lazarus Chakwera is setting the right tone as his inaugural address lent itself admirably to what is expected of his governing style – eloquent but not bombastic, pointed but polite.
Chakwera had unique stresses in his opening lines, which set the tone, and indeed the rhythm, for the rest of the speech.
He said for 26 years of multi-party democracy. one administration after another has been shifting its post to the next election, promising prosperity but delivering poverty; promising nationalism but delivering division; promising political tolerance but delivering human rights abuses; promising good governance but delivering corruption; promising institutional autonomy but delivering state capture.
“And now, after 26 years of false starts and stale finishes, it is no secret that my generation has not only left our homeland unbuilt, but also in ruins. It is because of these ruins that our first task in building a new Malawi is clearing the rubble,” said Chakwera.
He said before Malawi can begin to rebuild, it is a must to clear the rubble of corruption, for it has left public taxes in ruins and declared the ruins stops right now.
“We must clear the rubble of laziness, for it has left our infrastructure in ruins; we must clear the rubble of passivism, for it has left our rights in ruins; we must clear the rubble of donor dependency, for it has left our dignity in ruins; we must clear the rubble of regionalism, for it has left our nationhood in ruins,” said Chakwera.
There was more poetry in his speech: “We must clear the rubble of negativity, for it has left our resolve in ruins; we must clear the rubble of impunity, for it has left our governance institutions in ruins; and we must clear the rubble of unprofessionalism and incompetence, for it has left our services in ruins.”
President Chakwera, a former church pastor, delivered his inauguration speech similar to his sermons on the pulpit.
He said the ruining of national treasures of both nature and state is “a sin of my generation that I am bound by God to confess and bound by you to correct.”
The President said for this reason, Malawians must not imagine that it is possible to make the corrections without pain.
“We must accept that the national bones we have dislocated cannot be corrected without suffering.
“I was reminded of this truth three months ago when my 12-year-old grandson suffered a greenstick fracture in both arms after falling badly in school. To straighten the bones, an orthopaedic surgeon at Kamuzu Central Hospital had to apply enough pressure to the arms to administer healing through pain and tears,” he said.
Chakwera said his administration’s quest to heal the fractured nation and governance system over the next five years will come with pain.
“We must have the courage to face and endure the pain of systemic surgery if we ever want to enjoy wholeness as a nation.
“In this transaction, we must each accept that in the context of Malawi’s recovery and transformation, we are each a patient with a bone that needs straightening and each a physician with a duty to straighten the bones of others.”
Chakwera continued: “ We are each in some way part of Malawi’s problems and must each in some way be part of her solution. We cannot absolve ourselves of responsibility for the maladministration we have allowed to happen on our watch for close to three decades any more than we can renege on our responsibility to make amends.”
He called for a collective responsibility in fixing the country’s problems.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :