A party manifesto can best be described as a catalogue of intentions for a particular political party. Such intentions are extensively highlighted during the election campaign as a way of selling parties and their candidates to the voters. After the elections, the manifesto that continues to be talked about is that of the winning party in power such as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
In fact, all political party manifestos are basically the same as they talk about similar ideas being imagined to bring development into the country. Meanwhile, it is a misconception to believe that DPP has a better manifesto which made the party win the elections. Some of the great political scholars in Africa believe that in most African countries, Malawi included, elections are mostly done along ethnic lines. Therefore, these scholars define elections as ethnic censors. This is the reason in Malawi most people in positions of power have nothing to do with their capabilities, but ethnic background. Hence they fail to come up with a meaningful agenda to develop the country. Instead they hide behind the manifesto. At every moment, DPP leaders want people to believe that their party manifesto has delivered or is delivering.
Due to the suffering that the majority of Malawians are experiencing, it becomes rather difficult to see if the government, through its manifesto, is delivering. Experience has shown that for Malawi to progress or Malawians to get out of abject poverty they need much more than just a mere ruling party manifesto. Instead there is dire need for leadership with a clean agenda for the country.
First and foremost, Malawians need basic things such as food and clean water, medicines in hospitals, schools and jobs. If the Mutharika government has any agenda for running the country, they would by now have sorted out the low power generation in order for local and foreign investors to open up for factories to offer jobs to so many jobless Malawians roaming the streets, some people might argue that government has come up with community colleges as a way of sorting out joblessness. Youths from these colleges are supposed to be self-employed. The government might promise to give them start-up capitals. While this sounds attractive it might end up just being lip service. The question is, as the economy continues to dwindle, where will the government get money to lend to the community college graduates? In fact, most of these colleges do not even have adequate machinery and equipment to run properly.
Another clear indication of lack of agenda by government is the Shire/Zambezi Waterway and Nsanje Inland Port. President Peter Mutharika promised to continue the project from where the late Bingu wa Mutharika left. Despite a lot of money already wasted on it, this is now a white elephant and vandalism is the only activity taking place there.
It can also be said that the proliferation of corruption in the country can be blamed on government for having no agenda to control it. With all due respect, the anti-corruption agencies in the country seem to be just for window dressing purposes.
Lastly, the Mutharika government should strive for a clear agenda and move away from politics of ethnicity. Malawi is blessed with many educated and capable people. Therefore, they should be allowed to participate in government and move the country forward regardless of their ethnic background. Malawi is for all Malawians.