By: Ma Trikisi rtd
We are few days to clocking two years under the leadership of His Excellency Lazarus Chakwera. In a couple of weeks, Tonse Alliance will be in its third year with two more years to go before they are booted out of power.
Yes! You heard me right, President Chakwera will be kicked out of power if he continues blaming former President Arthur Peter Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for his incompetence instead of delivering on his campaign promises. The promises, President Chakwera made voluntarily to Malawians and former President Mutharika and his DPP cronies were not part of his plan if what if analysis is to be factored in.
Malawians voted him into power because he offered to them a mouthwatering strategic plan than that of President Mutharika and his DPP to turn around things and bring them heaven on earth even in turbulence times and unfavorable economic conditions.
Forget about Covid 19, the war between Russian/Ukraine and global economic crisis. As a strategic leader with a reasonable foresight, Chakwera’s forecast must have already factored in a disaster recovery plan in case of any eventualities to enable him deliver his promises between June 28, 2020 to the next election day in 2025.
He has no moral ground to put a blame on anyone else. The ball is in his court yard. He has to play it his own way and make sure that Malawians are given what they were promised.
Just to remind President Chakwera and his close associates, we are already in the third economic year and the Tonse Alliance is only remaining with one budget year, the 2023/2024 fiscal year to turn around things and if nothing tangible happens between now and then, the President must start packing his belongings at plot number 1 on his way to enjoy his retirement package as 6th Malawian President, for Malawians will not renew his mandate if he does not offer them what he promised. Malawians will not sympathize with him if he does not deliver and attribute that to former President Mutharika and his DPP as reasons he has failed to deliver.
Big shots neighboring our state President should remind him that time is running out fast at a supersonic speed and he should never bank on the 2024/2025 fiscal year to deliver. In that year, he will have campaign fever and no time to run this government or implement projects. At the same time, Malawians will give him more pressure demanding what they were promised and he will be knocked for six that these same people who voted him into power have turned against him.
These Malawians President Chakwera is dealing with today are not silly; they are the same Malawians who kicked the very same MCP, President Chakwera is representing today out of power having ruled Malawi for 30 years. They are the same Malawians who kicked the Third Powerful Tonse Alliance Partner Peoples Party of Joyce Banda out of State House. The very same Malawians our reverend President is playing with today kicked our beloved Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika and DPP out of power.
Malawians are unpredictable people when you take them for granted. They will not have mercy for Chakwera and put the blame that His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika and DPP are the reasons his administration under Tonse Alliance did not offer Malawi youths the promised 1 million jobs.
Malawians will not forgive Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance if they are told that he did not offer them universal fertilizer at MK 5,000 a bag and instead his government sold them the same at MK 60,000/bag because Arthur Peter Mutharika and his DPP were the problems to his leadership.
The elderly people are still waiting for the MK 15,000 upkeep allowance per month and Chakwera will have no time to blame his predecessor Arthur Peter Mutharika and DPP if this is not fulfilled.
Those people Chakwera and his alliance partners promised a passport at MK 14,000 are waiting. If he does not deliver this. It will not be Mutharika and DPP who will pay the prize. It is President Chakwera and him alone whose presidency will be in jeopardy.
In case some of you have forgotten, when former President Mutharika took power in 2014 from Joyce Banda, he found a broken economy which was affected by cash gate, by 2016 when he had clocked two years in power. The same economy was doing well. Malawians saw the fruits of good economic policies under the leadership of Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika.
There is a legacy which His Excellency Prof. Arthur Mutharika and his DPP being blamed by Chakwera’s regime when he fails to deliver his promises today left and from the look of things, Chakwera’s government has messed our economy which was doing fine by the time he rose to power.
Records are showing that presently. Annual inflation rate picked up to 15.7 percent in April 2022 from 14.1%. A clear indication that the MCP government has poor economic policies but when President Lazarus Chakwera’s predecessor APM left power in June 2020, the same was at 8.64%. That was a good starting point economically for MCP regime to take over. Blaming someone with such a remarkable success in the economic affairs of Malawi is not only illogical but also suicidal to Chakwera’s political career.
As of now, food inflation has reached 14.2 percent from 13.6% as of January 2022 and this is largely due to an increase in maize prices under the Tonse Alliance. This is the same maize which is grown locally and billions of Malawi Kwachas were pumped in for the AIP. This we cannot pin point to have been caused by the former President Arthur Peter Mutharika and his DPP regime.
Non-food inflation edged up to 9.6 percent, driven mainly by rising global commodities and the upward adjustment in domestic fuel pump prices but this is where a leader comes in with sounding economic decisions to cushion the situation with sound economic reforms.
Under President Chakwera, the MWK-USD exchange rate has drastically depreciated by about 6 percent from January 2021 to January 2022. This we all know that is happening two years later after President Chakwera took power, the economic policies in place and poor leadership decisions are the reasons the country is in this financial mess. We cannot be justifiable to put the blame on someone who is in retirement and has not been active politically past two years.
Under former President Mutharika, gross foreign reserves were pegged at 4 months when he left power, presently they have declined to 1.6 months import cover as of January 2022 and net reserves have been negative since February 2021. There has been a drastic decrease of the forex reserve over the past two years and if Chakwera and his team at the hub of Malawi economy are failing to deliver, they need not to point fingers at Former President Mutharika and his DPP.
There is a lot of fiscal pressure with the MCP led government not because of the rising of goods and services globally, covid 19 or the Russia-Ukraine war but also government’s implementation of unsounding economic policies which includes the unsustainable Affordable Input Program (AIP).
As it stands, the government of Malawi will pump in about MK 109 billion to AIP with a deficit of over MK 30 billion for the project to be implemented successfully. High placed sources say parliament will meet to discuss on halting some of the projects in the 2022/2023 fiscal year to meet the demand of the deficit.
Much as we need affordable fertilizer for our farmers, if there will be need for relief in an event that rains have damaged crops or dry spell. The government will move in to spend other billions on the same beneficiaries of AIP and that will create even more pressure on our economy and at the end it will be a poor Malawian who will suffer and the President will shift the blame to former President Mutharika’s regime.
Having reached this far, should Chakwera continue blaming former President Arthur Peter Mutharika and his DPP for his incompetence?