On June 23 2020, Malawians braved some chilly weather to cast their vote in the fresh presidential election. Expectations were high. Talking to many people that defied the June cold, their expectations from the new government were quite clear and straightforward. They wanted to see development, an end to corruption, tribalism, nepotism; and wanted a Malawi that is safe and secure, just to mention a few.
Malawians were tired of leaders that had little regard for their welfare. They wanted to do away with self-saving leaders who only think about lining their pockets at the expense of Malawians.
The June drizzles had nothing on Malawians who were determined to elect a leader that would, for once, walk the talk and not say one thing and do the opposite of what they said. And, the promises the leaders made during their campaign—one million jobs, for instance—were too enticing to be ignored.
It was not surprising then that many likened the election to the biblical movement of Israelites from Egypt to Canaan—a land of milk and honey.
One year on, what the Tonse Alliance has achieved is giving Malawians flowery speeches, devoid of action. It has become a routine that what the President says on a podium is not exactly what happens on the ground. I do not need to go into details, but just a few examples will suffice.
When the President said heads would roll in the K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds, people clapped hands and expected action right away. But what has become of that?
When he took office, the President promised that the current Cabinet will be given a five-month probation, after which non-performers will be chucked out and new ministers appointed in their places. He promised to periodically assess his Cabinet, to ensure that those positions are held by performers. To this day, does anyone know what happened to the assessments or seen any scores? Your guess is as good as mine.
One year on, indecision and inaction continue to characterise the Tonse Alliance administration. This administration is slow to respond to critical issues. It has been months since we lost two ministers—the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Local Government. Government has not even bothered to update the nation as to why the President has not appointed new ministers for Transport and Local Government.
The corruption that Malawians detest a lot, continues to flourish and thrive with impunity under the Tonse Alliance administration and so, too, is nepotism. Just like the previous regimes, embassies have become a reserve for political party hand-clappers, not professionals.
One year on, hopes of turning Malawi into a land of milk and honey, are quickly dashing. I hope the President is able to read the national mood, Malawians are becoming disillusioned with the way this Tonse Alliance administration is running the affairs of government.
It is not too late to turn around and do the right thing. When Malawians constantly remind you about the promises you made, they are not doing so to mock you, but they do not want you to lose sight of what is expected from you, Mr. President, and the entire government.