Honourable Folks, so many things have happened in the country since the court-sanctioned June 21 2020 Fresh Presidential Election.
This is the election that catapulted President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to State House, replacing his predecessor and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Peter Mutharika who lost in the polls.
But it is the speed at which things are unfolding in Malawi currently which makes life more interesting for many backbenchers at least. Think about all the drama in politics, the scandals, multiple issues in the courts, interdiction of some police officers, panic buying of fuel amid reports of a looming shortage or hike partly attributed to the strike by track drivers earlier this week.
All this is indeed proof that a day―not even a week―is truly a lifetime in politics and so far Chakwera’s New Malawi under the Tonse alliance stewardship has ultimately become a case of you ‘snooze, you lose’ even in a blink of an eye.
This week last year, Chakwera and Vice-President Saulos Chilima led Malawians in celebrating Tonse Alliance’s first 100 days in office at a colourful ceremony that took place at State House in Lilongwe.
The two leaders said after 100 days in office they were still putting together a solid foundation to redeem Malawi from “a gang of thieves” (DPP) keep it from sinking in the ‘flooding waters’ stimulated by widespread corruption and financial negligence during the DPP era.
Chakwera and Chilima went on to appeal to all the citizens to remain patient and hopeful as they continued to fix the country by uprooting the seeds of public theft, hatred, nepotism, scepticism, suspicion and vengeance that were rampant in previous administrations.
During that event, the president also reviewed the performance of his administration acknowledging that he knew Malawians had a lot of expectations from Tonse government from its key campaign promises such as creation of one million jobs, cheap fertilisers.
Today, 468 days later from the voting day, some people are concerned about many things and they are using different avenues to express their profound disillusionment with the manner the Tonse Alliance administration is running the country.
These people are concerned about numerous things such as their immediate needs, their need to support their families and to bring food on their tables and the rate at which prices of basic commodities are going up almost each day does not inspire any confidence at all in the future. It is full of uncertainties.
They say change hardly occurs overnight because it occurs as a process and not as an event. In this regard, I would say the president is justified to demand more time to work things out just as it is with those disillusioned with the slow pace of development at the moment.
Hon. Folks, today’s talking point is on the speed at which things are shaping up in this country under Chakwera’s New Malawi which is equally facing problems some equivalent to those Chakwera described as ‘flooding waters’ during DPP rule. I must indicate that I will not tackle the entire topic this week and we will continue the debate next week
I will start with ruling party youths who seem to be slowly, but surely, repositioning themselves in the shoes of previous party cadres that we saw being sponsored by ruling parties since 1994 and earlier.
I say this because lately I have noted that presidential events are nowadays being frequented by some youths or is it foot soldiers clad in military-like party regalia and I am yet to understand their business at presidential events.
For more than 25 years, even the police feared such party militia groups that started on a low key before eventually developing into fortified thugs brandishing machetes and all sorts of weapons on rival political camps, civil society leader and the media.
However, I must hasten to say that so far we have not seen anything scary from these youth and we hope that the ruling party will strive to keep its youth wing in check so it does not derail from whatever its objectives are to start glorifying violence and like other groups in the past.
The last time I checked, these MCP youths were captured on camera running hard next to the president’s convoy, but I quickly concluded that all those young men were doing was simply interfering with the security of the first citizen and the work of those professionally trained to protect him.