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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Is Chakwera Implementing Tonse Alliance Manifesto or MCP Manifesto?

Analysis By Chimango Mhango

Chakwera, Chilima during the launch of Tonse Alliance Manifesto

Parliament or legislature is a sacred place where every word or action undertaken by any speaker holding the floor is documented in the Hansard for purposes of records.

This is why every Member of Parliament when has been granted a chance to hold the floor by the Speaker or Chairman, they are supposed to be very careful in presenting their issues otherwise, when they have realised that they have made a mistake, they quickly retract the statement using prescribed Standing Orders of the House.

According to the Constitution of Malawi, the President and Members of Parliament make, Parliament. In short, the President is also a member of that legislative body by default.

In fulfilling with his constitutional obligation which was part of Chakwera’s promise during campaign time, Chakwera has lived up to this billing and he has indeed done well to uphold the accountability aspect as his High- Five agenda. Needless to say our that our MPs need to a lot of research before sending questions to the President as most of their questions look academic and need ministerial responses. Even follow ups questions which must be used to harmer the President, look very basic. Pull up your socks, our honourable MPs.

On Wednesday, 17th March,2021, President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera availed himself once again to Parliament to answer questions from Members of Parliament. In his usual ‘sermon type of preaching responses,’ Chakwera outshined our MPs following their flat footed questions.

But one prominent and hard to break woman, DPP Member of Parliament, Martha Lunji stood up to the occasion and had guts to fire at President hard questions mainly on campaign promises.

Before, I forget, in Lunji, DPP has a firebrand lady whom today I could say, APM made a huge error to drop her from Cabinet. But may be the reason might be the same of being honest and straightforward lady as President do not like ‘opposition’ cabinet ministers but yes ‘bwana’ ones.

The President response to Martha Lunji was casual but above all reckless and annoying to all Malawians who believed that President Chakwera is fulfilling Tonse Alliance Philosophy.

To our surprise, President Chakwera shifted the manifesto promise on passport as brain child of his Vice President, Dr Saulos Claus Chilima and UTM and that it was not of his priority agenda as MCP does not originate this philosophy but Chilima of UTM.

The President went further and in his argument which lacked substance that he did not know that DPP led government had some toxic contract agreements with some contractors on issues of passports.

Let us look at how Chakwera has embarrassed his close ally in the name of Chilima in Parliament before the camera without blinking his eye.

Instead of dealing with question head on, he decided to pervert it and mention UTM as a sacrificial lamb for his failure. He is portraying to us as if UTM is separate entity in his government and yet the promises were made by both of them at the podium before the camera and under the sun. This is what we call ‘childish leadership’ coming from grown ups. Typical of transactional leaders who only depend on their aides to make sound decisions.

This was the time for the President to rise above petty politicking and show Malawians that he owns his failures and challenges ahead.

Malawians want to see the good relationship between him and his VP. Malawians want to hear that he and his VP are working very hard to fulfill their campaign promises regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit adminstration below the belt so badly and had pleaded with donor community to help in fulfilling their promises during campaign. That is what clever Presidents tell their side of stories when confronted by hostile media.

But guess what! Chakwera goes to town and throws his VP out of the bus and argues that MCP had no plans for passport promise. This is the total hypocrisy of the highest order from the President in the league of Chakwera whom most people believe that being a pastor, he could do better than his predecessors who were politicians by art.

Chakwera has started Chery picking now. The fertilizer subsidies issue was also from UTM as the MCP manifesto was busy promoting farmer’s clubs. So since the subsidies on fertilizer and other agricultural farm inputs have contributed to the bumper harvest, the President takes that as his credit but we are here to tell the President that it was Chilima who brought that idea and in fact UTM under Chilima had talked of universal subsidies of which many Malawians thought he will be implement once given the top seat for he was bold enough with his messages. But Chakwera watered it down deliberately because he didn’t want to implement UTM’s brand.

Secondly the President is deliberately cheating Malawians that he can’t implement the passport promise because he has found toxic contract agreements in the deal. The question Malawians must be asking the President is that why you were promising people things that you had no knowledge of it? Are you telling Malawians that in a such a deal there is no clause of exit if something goes wrong? By the way, when Chilima was touting about this ambitious program he was already the VP of the Nation he knew what he was talking about. Y don’t want just to fulfill such ambitious programs because of 2025 politics.

One can easily argue that since the 630 billion borrowing is under MCP Minister of Finance, it means Chilima is not part of it. This is bad for alliance spirit, Mr President. Stop this behavior now or risk losing steam soon than later.

Mr President next time do not come to Parliament to tell us of UTM or PP. We want you to address us on important issues as this is not MCP government but Tonse Alliance government of which nine parties are in.

If it’s is the strategy to frustrate Chilima and UTM in all this then, then am sorry. It’s not on to see the whole Head of State demeaning his Vice in public on matters that he himself the President is benefitting.

Heal this country from politics of divisions. That is your duty as the President, sir!

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