Chakwera’s SONA: A case of rightful diarrhea diagnosis but prescribed with panado 

At the heart of Malawi’s continued impoverishment is a question of poor governance, not lack of resources to harness.

Chakwera delivers his speech during the opening of the 49th Session of Parliament

This country—as President Lazarus Chakwera echoed Bingu Wa Mutharika’s ‘the country is rich but Malawians are poor’—is endowed with everything that Mauritius has.

The reason Malawi is failing to harness its resources and develop, like Mauritius did, is all about the question of governance.

When we talk about governance, we are not talking about Lloyd Muhara being drunk with power to the worse of attempting to send a legitimate Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to an early retirement.

We are not talking about this because Muhara’s insane moves were only a result of an erroneous bigger picture.

When we talk about governance, we are talking about the interplay of the three arms of government—the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature, and how decisions made from these three define the tone of how this country is managed.

From Chakwera’s diagnosis, in his inaugural State of Nation Address, he sees that the Executive is too powerful, the Judiciary is too underfunded, the Legislature is too subservient, and all three are too corrupt.

The Executive is too powerful—it considers itself sacred, makes bad decisions and, without being checked, it gets away with it. That’s a fact!

The Legislature is too subservient; to mean, it is only eager and prepared to obey its political masters unquestioningly with due regard to the wishes of their constituents. That’s a fact!

The Judiciary, though independent, suffers from chronic underfunding, something which paralyses its effectiveness. That’s a fact, too!

But above all, these three arms of government, as Chakwera rightly said, meet at one intimate addiction to being corrupt.

In other words, something I agree, Malawi’s governance system is broken; as such, the continued impoverishment cannot be reversed unless the governance system is fixed.

For such a diagnosis, Chakwera’s SONA rates best.

In fact, even medically, the first step to healing is to ensure you get the right medical doctor to run a successful diagnosis of your problem.

However, the actual healing happens when, after rightful diagnosis, the doctor must correspond with rightful prescription.

In the case of Chakwera’s speech, we are seeing a case of a rightful diagnosis of malaria, but instead of being prescribed with the rightful L.A; the doctor prescribes you with magnesium.

Chakwera’s speech hasn’t deal much on how he will pull a 180 degrees turn in giving the right prescription to the broken governance system responsible for Malawi’s failures.

For instance, his SONA fails short, till now, on key specific measures, legislative or administrative, on how the Executive, especially him as the Head of State, will reduce the strength of his office.

What we wanted to hear, which is specific, is something akin the boldness of saying ‘I am therefore delighted to report that within the past 40 days, the draft National Civic Education Policy has been finalized and is ready to launch.’

On reducing the powers of the Executive, Chakwera has, again, just sold the nation beautiful dummies and it’s sad.

Let’s go to the legislature. Its crime is in MPs being subservient—following political masters. To change this, I expected Chakwera to underline two things.

One, to announce that his party, MCP, will not be involved in poaching MPs from another party; and two, his government will ensure that Section 65, which protects voters, is strengthened and implement to stop the wanton crisscrossing of MPs.

The trend is the same with the Judiciary. Their biggest challenge, we agree, is funding. However, Chakwera, in his SONA, has only urged Parliament to consider an increase of funds given to Judiciary.

I was expecting, as a head of state and also one with a good majority in Parliament, to be blunt and say: ‘my government will allocate funds to Judiciary that will be more than 5 percent of the National Budget—an increase from the current 1 percent.’ Again, Chakwera only made a lip service.

All in all, Chakwera was on point to diagnose Malawi’s governance problem as key to the country’s continued impoverishment. However, in terms of prescription as to what needs to be done, he has completely missed it.

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Neserare Noiz
Neserare Noiz
9 months ago

Koma zinthudi zimaphweka ukamangotsutsa ndithu. Speech yomweyi chikhala kuti ananena ndiagogo aja, mdalayu benzi atanenela mmphuno “empty promises” kkkk. Upulezidenti mumaufuana uja ndimenewutu Ochakwe, kkkkkk. Mungopanga recycle ma speech aanzanu.

kanchenga
kanchenga
9 months ago

You will probably get comments because the truth told leaves subservient commentators lost. They don’t know whether to be for or against. Anyway truth is sweet and I enjoyed reading it.

Chathengo
Chathengo
9 months ago

But speech is just speech, u can’t preampty everything. Judge him basing on his actions.

Jason Mlowoka
Jason Mlowoka
9 months ago

What Chakwera brought to Parliament is nothing new. Every Malawian knows the problems the country has and is facing. He actually stands in a better vantage point for the very fact that he is the recent past opposition leader in the same August house who basically knows the ailments the country has/is going through. On top of that, his second in command is not new in government because he held the same post for the past 6 years. Repeating the stories all over again is an insult to Malawians as rightly said, what we want to hear is not a… Read more »

Mlomba crew
9 months ago

Ana achepa awa lol

Seseda
Seseda
9 months ago

Guess we are still on the road to Canaan, bola tisakhake kuti tazela njira ina

Mbonga Matoga
Mbonga Matoga
9 months ago

Mr Fido, I think you need to listen to the speech again you might have missed the key points that Chakwera mentioned as the right remedies or medicine for the disease that Malawi is suffering from….. One thing I would also like to school you on mr Fiko is that doctors do not only need to prescribe the right cure for diseases, but also most importantly medicines that the patient can afford to pay for……….the fact that we now have the right government in place does not mean that all of a sudden our economy is at par with that… Read more »

President Chisokonezo
President Chisokonezo
9 months ago

Governance is very wider than judicial and anti corruption bureau. Both deal with the aftermaths of already corrupt acts which has taken place. Increase and strength both internal and external audits, financial intelligent unit, procurement units that is where most of concealed fraud and corruption come from as 70 percent of budget is about procurements. Procurement audit unit must be set to pre audit all procurement as it is done in other countries for reasonability of price agreed. Otherwise corruption will be there.

Phiri
Phiri
9 months ago

I think the author Is being presumptuous. Chakwera cannot reduce his powers without amending or changing some laws. The author also ignores the fact that the details of the budget have yet to come out. How does he know that the budget of the Judiciary has not been increased from the 1%. Calm down, it is only 2 moths. You had 6 years in which you success was only the plunder!

Nzilikazi
Nzilikazi
9 months ago

Chakwera talk show was very boring yesterday. We curse the judiciary for giving us this all talk and no action president. Yesterday, Chakwera just stopped short of licking the CJ’s ass.

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