President Lazarus Chakwera is shooting on all fours. If you listened to his weekly radio address last Saturday, you could not help but admire the leadership skills in him.
Not only was the speech delivered with verve, but it contained what Malawians want to hear at this time when they have lost hope in politicians, and are tired with looting and corruption.
Chakwera is a likeable guy and can be infectious with the way he presents facts and articulates how he wants to deal with the nauseating level of corruption. But someone must be at the ready to stand up to him and hold him accountable for his words, before we all fall victim to his charm.
In his 30 days in power, the new leader, with his deputy, Saulos Chilima, has so far, performed highly.
Chakwera’s emphasis on State institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Financial Intelligence Authority, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Judiciary, among others, to be empowered to be key players in the fight against corruption is welcome.
In the past, governance and oversight institutions such as the ACB, the National Audit Office, Directorate of Public Prosecutions and Financial Intelligence Authority were systematically crippled through reduced funding, among others; the situation rendered them ineffective.
Chakwera has also indicated that he has reduced presidential motorcade by almost a third to a maximum of 10 vehicles to save resources. Music to the ears right! But should all us on the streets, be his hand clappers?
Which brings me to Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) juvenile effort on Tuesday; the party questioned Chakwera’s philosophy and his fight on corruption.
Fronting a people’s person, Kondwani Nankhumwa, DPP tried in a desperate attempt to brand Chakwera a liar and a man who may not be ‘well conversant with the financial operations of government.’
Nankhumwa, flanked by former minister of finance Joseph Mwanamvekha, claimed recent government (corruption allegations, arrests and removal from office of some DPP sympathisers in government) is just a political propaganda to dent their image.
The two DPP figure heads (APM runs DPP) believe Chakwera’s sentiments are just meant to sway public misgivings against the unpopular Cabinet that has been put in place. What baloney!
These might as well be kicks of a dying horse because as we all know, DPP is a party that had no clue about financial operations of government for over four years.
Because, for what reason, if not financial incompetence, can one justify the K1.3 trillion (some put this figure at K3 trillion) of anomalies that are contained in the Auditor General’s report on the accounts of government for the fiscal year that ended on June 30 2019?
What kind words can one describe the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) K4.5 billion mismanagement of resources and the abuse of parastatals such as Macra, MBC, Mera and the Police?
If I am to agree with Chakwera, DPP is guilty of a crime worse than Cashgate. It has robbed Malawians of a bright future and its officials should not be let to walk free if found capable.
However, thumbs up to Nankhumwa for trying as Leader of Opposition to hold Chakwera to account on his promises on:
· Universal secondary education
· Reducing passport payment to K14 000
· Creation of a million jobs
· Cheap fertilisers at K4 900 per 50kilogramme a bag
· Duty free week every year
· Free water connections
· Free electricity connections
· Construction of 400 roads in the first eight months
Indeed, someone has to hold Chakwera to account, but for now, word on the street is that that someone, is not the DPP.
We, the people on the streets, will hold Chakwera to account!