onourable folks, a few weeks ago, one of the most prominent political analysts said Malawi has a serious deficit in term of leadership. The analyst, a political scientist at Chancellor College said there are few individuals in this ‘political class’ capable of governing with integrity and with the people’s interests at heart.
And after listening to APM’s press statement last week when he outlined the measures government has put in place to deal with the economic fallout and threat to livelihoods posed by coronavirus, my conviction could not have been stronger.
Finally, APM was showing signs that he could be the leader Malawi desperately needs as we wade through this health crisis. Alas! I was wrong. It did not even take one week before APM reverted to type and went into his usual unfounded tirades against the opposition.
The President on Tuesday alleged that political rival and MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera was responsible for the violence and “bloodsucking” in the country. The President, without offering a single shred of evidence accused Chakwera of inciting his followers to violence in the Central Region.
Naturally, Chakwera’s team did not take it lying down and duly fired back at APM, accusing him of smearing his rivals to gain political mileage. While one may be inclined to sympathise with MCP and its leadership, our leader missed an incredible opportunity to showcase that they are capable of governing better than the DPP.
Instead of engaging in his pointless verbal scuffle with APM, Chakwera could have risen up and used his influence in the region to assure people there of their safety. Reducing panic would be the first step to ending the murders. People do crazy things when they feel threatened.
A simple message from him, urging his supporters to exercise tolerance for people with divergent political views could also end the political violence. The people in the Central Region would have listened to his counsel. Probably, much more than they would APM, but unfortunately, for APM and Chakwera, their tussle for political power is more important than the people who are dying from lynching and mob justice.
While APM and Chakwera were busy trading verbal jibes, Vice-President and UTM leader Saulos Chilima was addressing the people on the proposals to contain coronavirus.
Folks, SKC’s proposals sound very good on paper. However, it was so short on implementation. The Vice-President laid blame on the government for doing so little to contain the pandemic but did not offer any practical solutions. Can SKC, for once, give us more solution and less exposition?
SKC has an uncanny masterly of eloquent abstractionism that usually masks his failure to offer practical solutions. The Veep urged Capitol Hill to make sure that people have electricity and to remove some taxes to cushion people from coronavirus. These are very good proposals. But a junior secondary school teacher would tell you this is what Malawians need. What Malawians would need from a Vice-President with extensive knowledge of economics and experience in business management is a clear action and implementation plan, not abstract proposals.
Folks, what we, in the backbenches and our constituents would rather hear is how government, which is currently running on a shoe-string budget after donors withdrew budget support, will ensure effective and competent public service delivery once it implements those tax breaks.
What is needed is a detailed action plan outlining how the losses in government revenue due to tax breaks would be offset to ensure that our cash-strapped government still has enough to provide medicine in the hospitals.
SKC, who has held the second most powerful office for more than five years, should know by now that Malawi already has brilliant proposals and what is needed now are implementation plans.
Unfortunately, it seems SKC and his estranged boss, APM are incapable of providing strategic crisis management. They seem more interested in bickering than governing.