Hon. Folks, at zero-hour today we welcomed the year 2022 after the curtain finally closed down on 2021 moments earlier.
As I said last week, the New Year will not shed Malawians off their past political and socio-economic struggles in the twinkling of an eye, and we must brace ourselves to take along all those distressing friends, foes and life challenges to this year.
Of course, we cannot talk about the just-ended year without mentioning the numerous impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the political drama and scandals that occurred in 2021.
For me, the most intriguing drama happened around February, when a group of notorious cadets from the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) terrorised a press briefing by the party and clobbered former DPP spokesperson Brown James Mpinganjira and some senior party officials who were addressing journalists in Lilongwe.
In case you have forgotten, all hail suddenly broke loose in the middle of the televised presser, when heavily-built DPP youth militias, clad in party colours and head berets, stormed the venue and roughed up their officials while ordering journalists to vanish quickly.
Mpinganjira was accompanied by DPP administrative secretary Francis Mphepo, national organising secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu and legal adviser Charles Mhango, and they had called for the media conference to respond to government’s handling of Covid-19, among other issues.
Unfortunately, it did not end well for the DPP gurus, all of them loyalists of party leader and former president Peter Mutharika, who were brutally manhandled in front of TV cameras, being accused of attempting to suffocate one of the many political factions that emerged after the party lost the June 23 court-sanctioned fresh presidential election.
There were also several twists and turns on the political front, including arrests by the police and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of people suspected to have had a hand in various corrupt activities during the previous regime and the current administration.
Hon. Folks, corruption hinders development as crooks divert funds meant for the welfare of the masses for their own benefit. This is the very reason President Lazarus Chakwera deserves an applaud for declaring that anyone suspected to be corrupt, including those serving in his government, are not immune to prosecution.
In the same spirit, we urge ACB to continue digging deep into all suspicious government transactions, from the current and all the previous administrations, while guarding against the vice.
This is simply because government and politics impact every aspect of the lives of Malawians who pay hefty taxes in exchange for poor services and development from those elected to represent them.
Honourable folks, today is January 1 2022, and really there is little to write about concerning the New Year apart from saying that it promises to be a decisive year for many, including those in power today.
This year is crucial in that it will determine the Tonse Alliance administration’s resolve to recover the tattered economy and improve the welfare of Malawians who are reeling from regular commodity price increases that have worsened their cost of living.
In six months’ time, Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance partners will clock two years in power amid numerous challenges such as corruption and the Covid-19 which still remains at the centre of all local and international activities.
I will not talk about the now-viral video in which Chakwera promised to resign after the first two years in office upon failure to change things for the better, or change the way things were run during the previous administration.
But there is a big lesson from the video clip for Malawian politicians. Learn to tame your tongues because God’s plans are not man’s, and time flies.
Is there anyone who has forgotten that Chakwera and his administration would be hitting two years in office in June?
Finally, my piece of advice to Tonse leaders is that they should start matching their rhetoric with action because they only have two years to impress Malawians ahead of the next elections in 2025.