Eyes on Lazarus Chakwera’s speech in Parliament Thursday

Sameer Suleman

As President Lazarus Chakwera prepares his speech for the opening of the 50th session of Parliament next week, commentators want a spell-out of practical solutions to Malawi’s many woes

President Lazarus Chakwera will deliver his third State of the Nation Address on Thursday when he opens the 50th session of Parliament.

That speech comes on the back of mounting challenges facing his administration: a cholera outbreak like no other in the history of cholera in the country, sky-high cost of living in a generally sick economy, stagnation in development and, of course, corruption.

That speech should provide practical answers to this raft of challenges, commentators say.


Speaking in separate interviews, chairperson for the National Anti-Corruption Alliance, Moses Mkandawire, outspoken chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Sameer Suleman, and economics commentator, Betchani Tchereni, said it is time the President gave real hope to Malawians on these issues.

“We have talked a lot about corruption fight but there is little action on the ground. Can he talk about what steps the government is going to take and what political commitment is there to fight the vice? Because the rhetoric is enough; we have had enough of it,” Mkandawire said.

He also wants Chakwera to talk about how his government will ensure the management of resources, particularly in light of Malawi’s huge debts which he said are affecting the economic growth of the country.


“He needs to inspire the public trust and confidence in government,” he said.

Suleman said it will be amiss if the President does not acknowledge the mess that has characterised the 2022-23 Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).

He further said the President should make bold decisions to iron out issues at the Ministry of Agriculture, citing the closure of the Agricultural Development and Marketing and Corporation (Admarc) as one major issue that Malawians need to know about.

“There is so much happening in the Ministry of Agriculture which is one of the crucial ministries.

“What we are expecting is the President telling the nation what direction he is taking with the grain trader. The issues at NFRA also need to be resolved, we also need to know what is happening,” he said.

On the economy aspect, Tchereni said the President should talk about the country’s plan for industrialisation and the promise on job creation.

“My strongest expectations that the President is going to courageously talk about our decision on industrialisation, the issue of mega farms and other economic transformation agendas on the table. I am expecting that he is going to tackle the issue of job creation because I think many people are looking forward to this,” he said.

Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda, who is also the Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture, said Malawians have the right to have expectations from the President.

Last year on February 3, 2022 Chakwera delivered his address titled ‘Fixing the systems to deliver long-term priorities and diffuse short-term pressures’.

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