Well, I wouldn’t call Chakwera’s speech at UNGA empty. Also, let us give credit to him, he did not tell lies like he always does.
I watched him twice.
The first time was just for me to admire the English accent as well as the stage and speech mannerism. On this, I agree with most of his hand clappers that he makes people from Kasiya proud. The hand clappers have noticed that he was not using notes as APM would at such gathering. He just stood there spoke and spoke.
On this, I saw the Chakwera that I know. A very good thrust of thought but at the end you wonder, “what are the people going to do with that information and thoughts?”
Chakwera’s hand clappers are right to compare him with APM. These two individuals are different as seen in their presentations.
Yes, APM relies on his script and is factual and pragmatic. He shares with the gathering what Malawi, under his leadership is actually doing, the gains we are making and the challenges we are encountering. He then makes proposals on how the UN must reform or approach issues for maximum benefit of countries like Malawi.
On Chakwera, I think he is too theoretical and quixotic. He says good stuff that can’t be used or followed even by himself. From what he said, the only thing that we should expect for him to actually do is the trip to Doha in March 2023. The rest was English and speech showmanship.
He themed his speech around the Universal Values
Principle Two: Leave No One Behind, a transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Basically, what he said is that Malawi, the country that he leads doesn’t feel included in this agenda, it however feels like Malawi has been left further and further behind. He gave issues like climate change, Covid-19 travel restrictions etc as areas that he feels Malawi has been left behind about.
He later said that Malawi will catch up if someone would help especially with debt forgiveness.
Personally, as a Malawian, I did not feel like Chakwera was speaking for me. I was not proud that our president was talking about us as sitting ducks waiting for other nations of the United Nations to do things for our sake. He made me understand why he just talks when at home launching this conference and that, borrowing money, taking pictures etc without doing anything tangible. He expects miracles or things to just react to him.
If you look at the Universal value, Leave no one behind, it says, it represents an unequivocal commitment of all UN Member States to eradicate poverty in all its forms, end discrimination and exclusion, and reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind and undermine the potential of individuals and of humanity as a whole.
Look at the words, ALL UN MEMBER STATES.
That commitment is about us here in Malawi. That is where Chakwera’s leadership is expected to show up. When we go to UNGA, we would want Chakwera to report what we are doing in Malawi under his presidency to make sure that no one is left behind. The “no one” that the value is about are people, like in human beings, not a country. There’s a huge difference.
The countries that he is blaming can’t be expected to just be throwing their people’s tax money into Malawi to sustain or service his appetite for borrowing to run around the country taking pictures, giving motivational speeches and launching vision 2063 so many times.
In summary, yes, speech mannerism and showmanship, brilliant stuff. People from Kasiya must be proud. Speech content and meaning, honestly speaking, we have a long way to go. Too quixotic and idealistic to say people can take home anything.