It has been said that a democratic republic such as ours is a do-it-yourself enterprise. People change the course of this country through conversation, debate and, eventually, consensus. As next months elections near, these debates, particularly the presidential and vice presidential debates, have taken center stage.
In light of what has been a long and tumultuous political season, here is my strongest argument against Dr. Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to explain to my fellow Malawians why he does not deserve a single term at plot number 1.
Prior to 2018, a DC – that’s what we nicknamed him, was arguably the cleanest politician Malawi had ever produced. He had spent all his adulthood serving God in various positions at the Assemblies of God Church, this alone meant that he is (or at least was) a man of integrity with strong morals. He is educated up to PhD level and he came in to represent MCP from outside and was free from any scandal and didn’t have any cases hovering above his head. Here was our very own Messiah ready to save Malawi. I gave Chakwera my vote in 2014 and was ready to vote for him again next month but what’s been happening over the last several months has made me to believe that he’s no longer the man I used to admire. Why am I saying this? Just look around the caliber of people surrounding him and you shall have your answer
Not long ago when United Transformation Movement announced that it was in alliance with Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP) MCP went to town and had all guns blazing talking about how JB was the cashgate mastermind and a thief. A few weeks later they’ve changed tune and all of a sudden JB saved Malawi? What do these politicians really take us for? To me, this is the last straw on the camels back. It’s an insult to the voters intelligence and I am deeply offended.
It’s on open secret that MCP is broke and it was ‘sold’ to the highest bidder (Sidick Mia) and now that Mia’s taps are also dry they’ve taken Joyce Banda on board. They so much want to win that they’ve thrown all morals to the dogs. You see, People don’t give their money away for nothing. There is an understanding (rarely made explicit) that large campaign donations buy political access and favourable consideration in policy development, legislation, business contracts and of course immunity from prosecution.
Former President Joyce Banda is what’s called an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Cashgate scandal, meaning she committed the crime but has not (yet) been charged. So here’s a man who used to preach against corruption and theft of public money yet he’s ready to accept the same dirty money to finance his campaign. Is this someone we want to put in charge of our public purse?
This is a complex and dirty game dominated by political donations, vested interests, personal ambition, class and power. Voters are a part of the game but representing their interests may not be Chakwera’s top priority anymore. If elected, it’s obvious that Chakwera would only act on behalf of voters if no wealthy or powerful ally (JB and Mia) objects.
I’m sorry but, you’re not getting my vote, reverend.