Governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali has given President Lazarus Chakwera a critique of his first 100 days in office and cautioned the Malawi leader against giving a false hope.
Munthali’s critique published in the Daily Times newspaper of October 6 2020 cautioned that that the nation has had before some largely good starts of presidents but which have ended up in misery and mediocrity.
The article argues from a governance perspective that despite a few shortfalls characterised by Chakwera regime, the larger picture seems to be positive -that is comparative analysis is anything to go by.
He states that “while there been some not-so promising signs of Chakwera’s governance track record in the first 100 days in office, there have also been some promising ones as well.”
The governance commentator points out that “the overall picture seems to be largely positive – Chakwera is on the right track towards delivering the Tonse promise.”
However, Munthali argues in the article that the onus is on Chakwera to sustain the gains and ensure that he delivers beyond 100 days to avoid a situation of being another “false start”.
However, Munthali observed that this will not be the first time for a President in Malawi – as rightly observed by Professor Blessings Chinsinga in the article “Remaking Malawi into a functioning State” (Sunday Times of 27 September 2020)- to have a good start as Malawi has had so many false starts over the past two and half decades with each of these governments [particularly that of Bakili Muluzi first term, Joyce Banda’s first few months before Cashgate scandal, and Bingu wa Mutharika’s first term] which unfortunately later degenerated into systematically organized impunity and arrogance on the part of the governing elites.
“So, the onus is on Chakwera to learn from a few mistakes made and build on the gains so far registered. Time will tell if Chakwera’s 100 days was another false start,” he wrote.
However, Munthali who is also a member of Political Science Association (PSA), said Chakwera has the opportunity to build on the gains registered so far by fully adopting a transformational leadership and not a transactional or ‘accidental’ leadership which is largely behind the country’s misery over the past two and half decades. “
Munthali states that a transformational leader is a kind of leaders who is not afraid to burn his or her fingers when spearheading economic, social, political and cultural reforms. While a transactional leader essentially operates within a status quo and does not attempt to change it because of self-political interests or to reward patronage, clientelism, regionalism or tribalism, a transformational leader brings about the fundamental change in the political, social and economic realm of society by often destroying the old way of doing things and making way for a new one.
In his assessment of Chakwera’s 100 days, political commentator Humphrey Mvula argued that the new administration has delivered enough to instil confidence in Malawians.
He contended that the Tonse Alliance government needs more time to fulfil some of its key campaign promises.
Said Mvula in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper: “For a person of my age, I can say I have seen considerable change during this time; we have run for years of uncertainty and unbearable political temperature. The presidency has been demystified and this is refreshing.
He added that economic realities in the Covid-19 pandemic period means major pledges have also faced setbacks, but said the President still set a marker.
“All the major promises require proper planning; you can’t pull off one million jobs in three months,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :