President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera clocked 100 days in office on Monday. He came on the political scene as the Biblical Moses; to take Malawians ‘out of Egypt and lead them into Canaan—a land of milk and honey.’
But after 100 days it is clear, for all and sundry, that the job of leading the country is not an easy one. So far, word on the street is that there is very little the new President has done.
I disagree. Today, I can spotlight one achievement; peace. To those of us on the streets, to experience peace and political stability—with or without money in our pockets—is a huge bonus. We value peace of mind more than anything else. In 100 days Chakwera has been in power, there is peace ‘everywhere’ in this country.
We can wake up knowing we will go to the market, church, school or the office without being victimised by the so-called ‘Ana Adad—some overzealous individuals who were neither kids or related to the so called ‘dad’; Peter Mutharika.
Though not at war, there was no peace in this country for the past five years. Everywhere you were greeted with unexpected violence; economic violence, abuse of power, unfairness and political intolerance. As we celebrate Chakwera’s 100 days in office, we on the streets toast to nothing but peace!
Those name-calling Chakwera for what they term ‘failure to live up to his campaign promises’ forget one thing. Chakwera took over power from a Democratic Progressive Party cartel which plundered, looted and ‘burned’ down State institutions. Building back better will take time!
Let us not forget that this country was on fire. And if Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda was to show up—flywhisk in hand—he would give Peter Mutharika, a proper beating. Because the former president in Mangochi did not do justice to this country by leaving it on autopilot for five years and also for allowing kids—Ana Adad—to run the country on his behalf.
What is now clear is that Mutharika overrates his importance and everyone in this country and in his own party, the DPP are fed up with him. People in his own party are rising against him, including some senior members of the party—who we thought—were close to him.
The little successes Chakwera has registered in his 100 in office prove that there is so much more he can offer beyond peace and stability. However, he must remember that Malawians bought his promises—line and sinker.
If the promises are not fulfilled some of his voters will end up hanging themselves due to disappointment. You disagree. Check suicide rates in the country; they are on the rise.
Malawians are going through a tough time. They look up to Chakwera for answers. As the new leader pops some bottles at State House he must accept the fact that it is true that in 100 days, he has failed to create jobs for the youths. He has failed to even employ 3 000 government interns!
Chakwera has also failed to deliver on universal fertiliser subsidy. He has failed to make life better for Malawian who had high hopes that in 100 days, they will be eating three times a day.
It is also painfully true that there are still non-renewable drivers licences at Road Traffic and passports at Department of Immigration still require bribes for citizens to get one. But that said Rome was not built in a day and the first 100 days are always tricky for any President.