The writing is clearly on the wall. President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are rapidly losing political ground to the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and its leader, Reverended Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, because most Malawians think that this government is not taking on their concerns and addressing them as a matter of urgency.
On the other hand, Chakwera and MCP seem to have firmly assumed the role of an alternative government and indeed, the role of a government-in-waiting. The MCP is engaging the people and addressing them on the most crucial aspects of their livelihood.
A case in point is the recent public statement by Chakwera, who is also Leader of Opposition in Parliament, where he described President Mutharika as “clueless and directionless”; a president who is “sleeping on the job”.
In his public statement of November 2, 2017, Chakwera addressed, at length, the issue of serious blackouts and claimed that president Mutharika and his government were “deliberately” creating the power “crisis” in order to enrich DPP members through unscrupulous business deals at the power utility company, Escom, in the guise of addressing the power problem.
Chakwera outlined what he claimed was evidence of corrupt dealings by senior government officials in the intended acquisition of heavy-duty electric generators to purportedly to address the power crisis.
He said that Malawi had “literally been plunged into darkness by the incessant blackouts as a result of Escom’s load-shedding, and figuratively, into darkness of hopelessness as there seems to be no end to the blackouts and other economic problems plaguing this nation”.
The Leader of Opposition also tackled the issue of a lift of the ban of maize export as announced by president Mutharika during his visit to Admarc on Monday, October 30, 2017, claiming the lift of the ban was ill-timed and ill-advised, only aimed at enriching “vendors and businesses” connected to DPP at the expense of rural poor farmers who sold them the maize at miserably low prices.
Without seriously delving into the merits and demerits of the ‘serious’ corruption allegations as contained in Chakwera’s public statement, it is still imperative to acknowledge the reality that Chakwera and the MCP have seriously gained political courage and confidence to hold this government to account for its alleged misdeeds.
The MCP and its leader have initiated a fundamental gear shift from intense infighting and mere finger-pointing at government’s perceived wrongs to seriously analyzing government policies and unearthing tangible evidence of misrule and bad governance.
The self-acclaimed ‘re-branded’ MCP is now able to swiftly respond to events and crises, instilling some sense of hope for a better future in the people of Malawi. The MCP has decided, for once, to take a wholly strategic approach in pursuit of government in 2019.
The MCP is speaking to the people of Malawi. The MCP is now truly becoming the voice of the voiceless. The party, led by Chakwera, has sought to take on social and economic issues affecting the common Malawian where the party could consequently gain wider support and effect real change. The MCP is surely attempting to make a difference.
On the contrary, the ruling DPP has misread the exasperated people for a long time and instead of confronting the current challenges head-on; to side with the suffering masses, they are preoccupied with attempting to outdo Reverend Dr. Chakwera, who clearly seems to have some powerful evidence of his ‘corruption’ claims.
In this particular case, president Mutharika should have quickly sided with the people instead of allowing misguided youths to go in public and on the social media and attempt to disparage the MCP leader for his ‘straight’ talk. Our dearest president should have immediately responded to Dr. Chakwera’s concerns with a positive tone and promise the people of Malawi that he would immediately institute an investigation into the Escom matter.
The president and his DPP administration must be seen to be quickly and adequately responding to the needs of the people, especially dealing with the current power crisis, which one tabloid recently reported had gone from “bad to worse” within the past three years of the DPP reign.
With only less than two years before Malawians go to polls to elect Members of Parliament (MPs), councillors and Head of State, APM and the DPP the DPP government has arguably made little headway to improve the people’s welfare as promised in their elections manifesto. It is time to return to the drawing board before disaster strikes in 2019.
There is growing evidence of discontent among Malawians over the falling living standards, which are punctuated by growing nepotistic tendencies in appointing of senior public officers and the distribution of national development cake. Malawians are unhappy with their DPP government and it would not be surprising to see them replacing it with a new political party in 2019, with the burning hope for a rise in public satisfaction.
The issue of rampant corruption must be dealt with, decisively, by the Head of State. The media in Malawi has exposed and continues to expose corrupt government officers and cabinet ministers who have not only become overnight millionaires but have also become sources of people’s miseries and underdevelopment. Now is the time to crack the whip, Mr. President. Our leader must genuinely fight corruption and abuse of power without regard to party affiliation of the wrongdoers.
As indicated in the previous slot, the October 17, 2017 by-elections where MCP won five out six wards and constituencies, were simply a referendum on DPP policies. They were a measure of the president and DPP’s popularity. It is food for thought for APM and the DPP. For Malawians, they merely hold the final say.— Follow @thomchiumia
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“This clearly shows that the Mutharika-led government is more concerned with enriching members of the DPP than the plight of Malawians. They have deliberately created a crisis with the sole purpose of embezzling taxpayers’ funds. This government does not care about the cost Malawians are paying for its costs. Ordinary Malawians are paying for their dear lives just for DPP officials to enrich themselves. In truth, what we are calling government is simply a cartel whose raison d’etre is self-enrichment. The President is either inept at leadership and is completely clueless of what his cadres are doing in destroying the country or he is complicit in these nefarious schemes. Either way, the President has with respect to these issues acted and continues to act against the interest of Malawians.” – Reverend Dr Lazarus Chakwera