Leader of opposition in Parliament, hangs somewhere between a man who doesn’t know and who pretends to know; this in relation to his response on Monday to President Peter Mutharika’s statement at the opening of the 46th session of Parliament last Friday.
Chakwera speeches lean more towards the packaging and presentation more that on the content and contextual substance.
Since he attained the leader of opposition role after last year’s elections, the pastor-cum-politician has been blinded by political affiliations, a thing that has narrowed his scope on national matters.
So, it does not surprise when his statements are circumscribed in a tone like that on the political podium during his rallies.
Among his many misfirings, Chakwera in his response attacked government for what he calls “slow execution of justice in Cashgate cases and the sale of Malawi Savings Bank”.
By now, any sober-minded observer of national affairs should be able to see the progress of Cashgate cases which have reaped several convictions and guilty pleas from the accused.
If Chakwera has been missing these developments on Cashgate cases, it then vindicates our earlier fears that his comments emanate from a platform of ignorance or disinterest to embrace the truth.
On the Malawi Savings Bank sale, Chakwera is simply outdated and has no basis whatsoever to question the rationale of a sale that was duly sanctioned by local economic experts, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Parliament among other stakeholders.
Noticeably, the MCP leader’s greatest undoing is his novice stature on administrative issues at state level.
As such he fails to understand how policy-making and execution is carried out within the apparatus of the state.
Malawians can forgive him since he only has some experience of running a small church, but his slowness in learning the dynamics of state system is becoming more worrying by day.
The way he begs for the President to touch every tid-bit of affairs in Parliamentary statements leaves many grey areas to understand.
Malawi, as any country, has many problems that might not be enough to be mentioned within any statement by any government official.
Based on that premise, Chakwera should be the first to know that a head of state is a corporate leader who gives an overview in all sectors of public affairs.
It therefore defeats conventional wisdom to expect the President to start explaining all policy procedures that for example brought about the changes in Standard 8 and Form 2 exams.
The MCP leader is free to go to Capital Hill and do his own research on how these policies were pushed through but he should not expect the President to cover for his (Chakwera’s) laziness to research or his denial to accept administrative realities.
Some of the answers Chakwera is seeking are better sought from cabinet ministers of Principal Secretaries not the President himself.
Another anomaly in his presentation is the mistiming of events just to gain political mileage.
When President Mutharika spoke last week, he touched on crucial aspects such as food and drug shortage in the country.
He then ably explained how government has put measures to avert hunger and how it is expediting the public reforms to ensure proper administration and dispensation of drugs in all health facilities.
At the back of that clear strategy by government, Chakwera comes with his speech and starts talking about electoral reforms while offering threats that his party will take stern action if nothing is done in the next twelve months.
Why should the Leader of Opposition worry with 2019 elections when the country is supposed to discuss and address the impending hunger first?
Don’t we have three more years before we go to the polls again? Why then can’t we first focus on areas of priority in serving Malawians?
For knowledge sake, Chawera needs to be taught that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is currently carrying out reforms starting with demarcation of constituencies.
Following this will be other administrative reforms at the electoral body before things get to legislative stage.
Furthermore, Chakwera should appreciate that even the Public Affairs Committee and other civil society organizations are already at an advanced stage in their proposals towards efficient electoral processes.
It against this background of reforms that the MCP leader should just wait up until the reform process gets to the legislative stage through all the stakeholders involved.
No need to panic about 2019 when there are other crucial and relevant issues at hand.
To have a whole Leader of Opposition speaking without offering alternative solutions is in itself a shame.
It is high time Chakwera goes back to the drawing board and speak the language of Malawians by proposing what he or his party think should be done to avert some national problems.
If all he can do it talk just to fill his parliamentary schedule then we are better off without a Leader of Opposition as a nation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :