A statement presented by MCP President and Leader of Opposition Dr Lazarus Chakwera on Thursday at his party headquarters continue to attract substantial interest from varying sectors for different reasons.
Packaged in adopted eloquence and good presentation was a speech that fell short of penetration into the main fabric of what needs to be done to move the country forward at a time the nation is taking a paradigm shift towards long-termism.
Fine, his statement labored to single out what he thinks is wrong in this country but it never said what needs to be done on top of what is already right to achieve what is collectively desirable to all Malawians.
For instance, him attacking government for the price of maize cereal in Admarc depots blinds him from seeing that the country has enough stock to cater for everyone regardless of whether they have money to purchase the commodity or not.
Any well-wishing and insightful leader would first ask whether the food is available for everyone before worrying about the price in only one distribution line of the commodity.
Currently, Malawians are buying maize be it from Admarc or alternative markets. Millions are also receiving relief food as part of government’s plan to avert hunger between now and the next harvest.
So, the prime worry should be whether the country has enough food for all than focusing on Admarc which already operates at a loss just to serve Malawians in times of dire need.
Another aspect that dismantles Chakwera’s reasoning is when he questions State House expenditure after he and his fellow legislators already gave a nod in Parliament.
Look, if the Leader of Opposition saw no problem in giving State House let’s say K100 Million, why should it be of his concern if that money buys new cups or door mats at the palace?
Shouldn’t logic have it that he and his colleagues should first curtail expenditure to any cost centre when okaying financial estimates in the August House than trying to control purchases at shop counters?
Such unstrategic, kick-and-rush, short-term approach to issues by Chakwera points to one thing. He does not have adequate grasp of how government systems operate and is not willing to learn.
He must learn to provide solutions not reminding people of what Malawi has failed to so in the past 52 years, 30 of which were under the reign of his own MCP.
Providing solutions to many of the country’s problems is what President Mutharika did in his State of the Nation address a couple of weeks ago. As such the nation expects anyone who poses to offer solutions to build on the President’s momentum not the opposite.
Time and again State President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has explained how his government is inclusively redefining Malawi’s development agenda to one which focuses on reorganization of key institutions in a bid to attain efficiency in service delivery.
Malawians would have loved to see the President’s vision tallying with the mindset of the Leader of Opposition considering that the Executive and Legislature hold direction to all policy matters that affect the populace.
When the two institutions collide on vision then we have a problem. Chakwera must make sure he operates on the same wavelength with the Presidency for him to weigh in wisely in any discourse championed by the Executive.
Time has come for the Leader of Opposition to differentiates a political platform and a legislative mandate he carries and gets paid for, handsomely for that matter.
All that Chakwera issued in his Parliamentary statement was more of a political speeh befitting a political rally that one that aims at giving alternative direction to government to achieve a common goal.
It is never too late for him to learn the terms of reference for his job.