Analyst by James Dube
President Chakwera cannot go scot free for holding such kind of “superspread” rallies amidst COVID-19 pandemic that has choked and paralyzed the socioeconomic development of the country for two years at same time killing our noble Ministers and Parliamentarians and other people in the process.
President Chakwera decided to conduct his stopover rallies in Dowa, Kasungu and Mzimba districts on his way to Mzuzu where among other things was expected to preside over the graduation ceremony of Livingstonia Synod University and relaunch of 250 secondary school project; unfortunately former President Professor Arthur Peter mutharika already launched this project some time last year.
But I will do Malawians unjust services if I don’t give President Chakwera a dosage that fits him in this kindergarten behavior he has adduced before the country. Chakwera’s behavior can be described as ‘insensitive and bizarre” to those who have lost their loved ones due to the pandemic.
In times of crisis, people look to the President for leadership that will usher the country successfully to the other side of the troubled waters. It does not matter whether the country’s curve is flattening or not, the President has no basis to conduct rallies amidst COVID-19 as situation still remains poisonous and deadly.
Look here fellow Malawians, instead of staying in office trying to fix the Kwcha which continues to tumble against major currencies thereby making poor Malawians to buy products and services at an inflated prices and that the economy is strugglingto recover following months of COVID-19 systematic lockdown and restrictions, and we are hearing that the deadly third wave is coming which has already unleashed untold miseries in an economic and healthcare advanced country like India but sadly God has given us a President who is busy with rallies as if his government has done anything to show since it came to power in the last 10 months. This President is holding rallies as poor Malawians are heading to funerals to bury their loved ones who have succumbed to COVID-19. It is heartbreaking indeed. In case the people thought the President Chakwera is sensitive and sympathetic for COVID-19 deaths, am sorry to say, he is just another “transactional leader” who cares of his political future more than providing services to the governed for their betterment of their live hood.
Does the President know that Malawians are going through tough times as some companies have closed completely while others are continuing laying off employees due to COVID-19 pandemic scourge? I have a strong doubt due to his strange behavior.
Ministry of Health statistics indicate to us that in the last 24 hours that cumulatively, Malawi has so far recorded 34,158 cases including 1,152 deaths( Case fatality Rate is at 3.37%). Out of these 2,168 are imported infections while 31,990 are locally transmitted. These numbers are terrifying to those who understand science and medicine. To politicians like our President, nothing changes in their minds. Business as usual.
But weall have to realize that this is not a challenge that is going to be resolved in the next few days, weeks or months. We must at all times presume that the peak is not yet and that Malawians will require ” executive leadership in determining” our desired goal otherwise at the rate we are cruising it is clear that the captain of the captain of the ship is sleeping on duty which is unfortunate.
I can even say that current push by Chakwera to conduct rallies the our beloved President is “murderously reckless ” given the current situation in our country where even oxygen cylinders are in shot supply, our front line workers are already feeling the heat with limited resources to save lives of many Malawians who have fallen victims to the pandemic.
We have seen the huge crowds. The President is already in 2025 campaign climate. He can not deny that aspect. But the question will be what is the basis of holding such “COVID-19 hotspot rallies”? The answer is simple: He no basis to be busy addressing rallies instead of pushing for development agenda of the country premised on his much touted manifesto. But challenge the President that people will hold him accountable for the deaths if he continue doing his rallies. His counterparts in the opposition will make as that as one “bullet message” for 2025 tripartite elections that he “aided and abetted” in the deaths of several innocent people with his uncalled for rallies.
In the same vein let President Chakwera and his government must also stop “importing virus” from India in the name expatriates. Why are we so desperate with foreigners in times of medical crisis?
But if these rallies were conducted to counter his Vice President Dr Saulos Claus Chilima as some of us are hearing on grapevine sources then is it is not only laughable but very childish to say the least. President Chakwera must know that VP’s office is a delegated one and whatever SKC is doing for his his glory as the Principal.
Having said this, am also aware that President chakwera is expected to stand again in 2025 and possibly his main challengers shall be his Vice President who is also UTM President Dr Saulos Chilima and leader of the Opposition in Parliament who is also DPP Vice President for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa while northern region is regarded as kingmaker for 2025 winner with 50+1 requirement according to media reports. But still that doesn’t mean President Chakwera must throw under the bus all his scientists advice he gets on COVID-19 pandemic at the alter for political gains. In fact it is a political loss to the President for conducting such rallies.
In a related development, it is imperative that President Chakwera releases values the importance of audit in government. I am therefore asking the President to order the Minister of Finance to release money for auditing 17.5 billion kwacha which is feared to have been plundered in a “cash -gate movie ” by his ministers, his aides and top government.