Ahead of the long-awaited fresh presidential election, which has turned out to be a two-horse race, the contenders are leaving no stone unturned in their campaign promises.
Come election day, the electorates’ choice will be among hopefuls Lazarus Chakwera of the Tonse Alliance, Peter Mutharika of the DPP-UDF alliance and independent candidate Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD).
Nation on Sunday picks and analyses five key promises from the presidential hopefuls, which a political scientist has said they can achieve only by remaining focused to their manifesto when in government.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance says it has matchless five key promises, according to DPP national director of elections, Ben Phiri.
According to Phiri, DPP/UDF alliances five key promises are promotion of rule of law and human rights, youth empowerment, ecomonic growth, foreign direct investiment and infrastructur development.
On his part, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) campaign director Moses Kunkuyu said Tonse Alliance’s flagship promises are reduction of fertiser price to K4 495 per bag, one million jobs for the youth at K50 000 minimum wage, one million women to access capital, markets and banks; one million rural houses to have iron sheets, electricity and tap water; and one million primary/secondary school learners to have desks and computers.
Whereas Kuwani said his MMD campaign promises are industrialisation, constructing fashion industry centres to promote tailoring, fighting high level corruption, an agricultural booster programme and post-Covid-19 sports development.
Phiri, in an interview on Friday, urged Malawians to believe in the party that has already laid ground
infrastructure development for the wellbeing of Malawians, arguing that it is highly suicidal to experiment in the running of government.
On his part, Kunkuyu challenged in an interview, yesterday that their alliance has what it takes to govern Malawi, and based on their combined five key promises, they see a Malawi, free of corruption. Kuwani, on the other hand, said it is only his presidency that can bring real change to Malawi.
Political and administrative studies lecturer at Chancellor College, Mustafa Hussein, said campaign promises being made now are the same the political parties used in the previous campaign.
He said changes may come where alliances choose to reconcile some promises, but there is not going to be major departure from what Malawians were sold last time.
But Hussein said campaign promises would not matter most this time around considering that this is only a fresh election, explaining that from the look of things, people are ready to vote based on personalities.
“The focus is now on leadership, who has partnered who, that is what voters will be looking at,” said Huissen.
He, however, said he expected the political parties/candidates, nevertheless, to pick and sale their key promises in agriculture, health, education and economy, which are paramount.
He said the campaign promises are only achievable if the winners will use their manifesto as a blueprint to manage affairs of government.
“They [leaders] will have to remain focused and ensure their dreams and that of the voters are being realised through continued reference to what they are promising now,” he said.