Malawi’s Parliamentarian Clement Chiwaya (United Democratic Front –UDF) last week gave a stirring lecture at an American College in Michigan on the political situation in Malawi.
Chiwaya spoke at Aquinas College, his alma mater, when he was asked to lecture in a political science class, PS 151: World in Crisis on “Power transitions in Africa; Malawian case”.
The parliamentarian graduated from Aquinas College, situated in Grand Rapids, Michigan State in 2002 with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Community Leadership.
The Mangochi Central legislator hailed Malawians for a peaceful power transition after the death of former President Bingu wa Mutharika, calling it an “exciting rare moment part of our history.”
He recalled how Malawians waited with abated breaths on how authorities would handle the situation.
“Any misstep would have plunged our tiny and poor country in a political abyss that could have reversed the gains we have made since we became independence,” Chiwaya told the alert audience.
“It was the most difficult time but Malawians closed their ranks and files to ensure that rule of law and constitutionalism is followed.”
The determined legislator singled out people who, in his judgment, played a crucial role towards ensuring that constitutionalism was followed.
He made special mention to the country’s Army Commander, Henry Odillo and his officers for showing professionalism by not taking advantage of the deliberate power vacuum that was created by delaying the announcement of the death Muthalika.
Chiwaya said political patronage, nepotism and favouritism were the main contributing factors to political malaise which results in poor power transitions in Africa.
He said that by surrounding themselves with cronies and by being nepotistic, the presidents create a pool of dependants that rely on political connections to survive and the departure of any president in this situation creates panic hence decisions to cling to power unconstitutionally.
Appeal to donors
On the economic front Chiwaya called on donors to assist Malawi especially now when the new government is trying to reverse economic woes caused by poor economic policies and executive arrogance that prevailed during the Mutharika reign.
“The Joyce Banda government needs the support of all Malawians and donors to take this country out of the economic mess but that is dependent on what kind of policies the government will champion,” said Chiwaya.
Chiwaya became a member of parliament for Mangochi Central in 2004 and was reelected in 2009 to serve his second term.
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