“We campaign in poetry, but when we are elected, we are forced to govern in prose.” – Mario M Cuomo, former New York governor
There are several very powerful groups and people that all people living in Malawi must be mindful of and keep a keen eye on them in these powerful changing dynamics of The Third Republic.
The first is President Lazarus Chakwera. The second is Vice-President Saulos Chilima, and then there are some two ministers. The fourth, fifth, and sixth groups are members of Parliament, followed by judges, the media and then the masses who form the voting bloc.
Members of these groups have to be mindful of the existence of the other groups because they exist and survive through the activities of each other, feeding on each other and gaining power from the various groups.
On Wednesday October 21 2020 during his regularised visits to Parliament, Chakwera spoke off his script and ordered a one-minute silence to be observed in honour of a slain elderly woman.
On the matter, he said: “I am really troubled in my spirit. I have been appalled and I am disgusted by certain behaviour of Malawians in this country; behaviours that are really not human at all. The recent report on the barbaric act of raping a little girl for whatever reasons and then the report of an old grandmother being stoned to death just because some people believed that this old lady was a witch are quite disgusting… I want to assure women and old people in this country that they will be protected.”
Chakwera stated in no uncertain terms that this is not characteristic of Malawi and guided the people to look to the foundation of the country, underscoring that the country must not allow “these types of things to continue to happen” nor lawlessness to persist or indeed to become king in Malawi.
He finished with his plea for the august House to “rise in honour of this old lady that was stoned to death just because certain people believe in superstitious issues. Let not such barbaric acts continue in this country. Thank you.”
While Chakwera informed the nation that he will be a servant leader, would avail himself for parliamentarians to ask him questions, he has done this and on this day the President answered the questions unmoved by the animosity and tempers of the members; reminding some that the laws they bemoan were passed by the government when he was in the opposition (and had stormed out in protest).
He then ventured to school one member on the rights of countries that are members of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU). On the latter point, Chakwera told the House that Malawi’s foreign policy, vis-a-vis Israel, was a matter of national interest and that this supersedes agreements made at the international organisations.
The President said: “Israel is a great nation and a leader in many fields of human endeavour, including science and technology, agriculture, education, and human development and indeed economic transformation.”
Malawians should watch Vice-President Dr. Saulos Chilima who heads the Public Reforms Programme. He directs the flow of development with the power and authority to reorganise government business, personnel, operations, and the like in the civil service. Chilima and Chakwera form the formidable Malawi Dynamic Duo; there is no business as usual for these servant leaders.
Hundred days into the Third Republic, two ministers are singled out as springing forth the servant leader; they are getting their jobs done with much gusto, aplomb, and a hint of “I’ll be back,” or “I’m watching you.” These are Patricia Kaliati and Nancy Tembo. Kaliati this week spoke to all men in Malawi and told them that she is ready to coach them on how to propose to women if they are failing to get women to accept them. She said that some men fail to propose to women and, therefore, rape girls. Tembo pounced on a manufacturing company, , issued a warning and promised she would be back to inspect the offending hazardous broken sewer pipes, and that they should be mended to acceptable environmental standards.