President Lazarus Chakwera rose to the presidency fueled by a promise of giving the country back to Malawians after years of being captured by former leader Peter Mutharika and few cronies from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
In giving the country back to Malawians, he meant stopping and reversing every decision that Mutharika and cronies took to keep Malawians in shallows and miseries.
Specifically, it meant stopping corruption even by his own henchmen, reducing presidential powers, strengthening institutions, killing nepotism, creating jobs, re-energizing the economy, improving social service deliveries—the hallmark of Tonse Alliances’ ‘Malawi Wokomera Tonse’ [Malawi that Benefits All].
For the three months Chakwera has been in office, he has taken several leadership decisions that, in his wisdom, aims at helping him achieve the goal of creating a Malawi that benefits all.
In all these decisions—mostly public appointments and hounding up those suspected to have been part of looting public money—Chakwera hasn’t won it all, of course, partly because there will always be two sides to every decision he makes.
Truth be told, as fallen writer Ralph Tenthani would always say in his ‘Muckracking’, Chakwera hasn’t yet faced a riled public with his decisions, fundamentally, because there a blowing public goodwill in the air and, if you listen carefully, it says: ‘let’s give this guy sometime’.
That is why Chakwera should never confuse the blowing goodwill with submission. The public is only being human about it. They know, even against the prevailing pains being experienced, that you don’t sow and harvest in a day. On June 23, Malawians sowed Chakwera and, in their patience, they are busy watering him to fruition, not failure.
However, public goodwill is like a model on a slimming diet. It wears out every day and, frankly speaking, three months in office is not a joke for Chakwera to have defined, through a clear direction, how he wants to create a better Malawi for all.
Let me take you, a bit back, to 2004. Bingu Wa Mutharika won on a United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket with a promise of turning the country around from the Lost Decade, as Emmie Chanika said, engineered by Bakili Muluzi.
In turning the country around, it meant doing something different from what the chairperson of the then ruling UDF, Muluzi.
True to his words, Bingu chose a different path: he fought corruption, strengthened public service, improved food security, reviewed foreign policy, spurred infrastructure and, to cap it all, spoke hope with actions, not just words.
Through his refreshed technocratic Cabinet, through his defiant stand against World Bank on subsidies, through his abandon of Taiwan and adoption of China, through his corruption fight which included even the arrest of a sitting cabinet minister, through his resolve to reach out to political divides—you could feel, not told, that the country is on the right direction to economic goodness.
It was not even a matter of expecting the President to have weekly radio updates to clarify, defend and advance any position taken. His works, even before he clocked first 100 days, spoke for him. In fact, the landslide victory he got in 2009 was only an endorsement of his well proven leadership.
On the contrary, Chakwera’s three months have been defined by a series of leadership decisions—sometimes bleak, sometimes hopeful; the ambiguity that, potently, symbolizes an integral letdown to clearly show, not tell, the road he is using in this journey of taking Malawians to a better Malawi for all.
Perhaps, we may be too quick to judge—of course. Well, then as he talks to every Malawian this Friday, during his first State of Nation Address (SONA), Chakwera has a grand opportunity to show Malawians how he will be running them.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :