Getting down to reality


Just like everybody else, this past Monday I was also glued to the television, anticipating to hear the highlights of the Tonse Alliance-led administration’s first 100 days. You can imagine the suspense as this was no ordinary press briefing.

It was a bit of this and a bit of that; President Lazarus Chakwera outlining what he believes are the 35 key points worth the mention in as far as the first 100 days of his government are concerned. At the end of it all, I felt the same and could not help but agree with the Malawi leader that, indeed, this 100 days benchmarking exercise is, simply put, highly overrated because there was nothing that I have not heard already.

My expectation was that the President was now going to give us a clear outlay of what the next gear he is going to engage will entail. In that regard, there was a fair attempt when he touched on the aspect of the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) because we did get the impression that we are good to go since we were told that the President himself was to inspect some warehouses where the fertiliser that has already been procured is being kept, immediately after the media engagement.


The other area I feel President Chakwera and his lieutenants have really earned the marks is that of reform. From the word go, Vice- President Saulos Chilima has been criss-crossing the country preaching reforms through meetings with heads of parastatals and other government agencies and, on this one, the President was right to wax lyrical.

So far so good; at least we all got to see the consignment stocked in those warehouses and can be assured that 4.5 million farmers will access the input, though they are not 100 percent in.

I believe Malawians had moved on the Cabinet list issue and therefore it was better for the first citizen to let sleeping dogs lie than fester a healing wound.


Right now, having done away with ‘vultures’ that did nothing but plunder the hard-earned taxpayers’ money while in office, what Malawians expect to see is meaningful development and that means less talk and more action! Like President Chakwera said, it cannot all be done within 100 days but certainly Malawians eagerly anticipate to see something substantive happening at the soonest and the sooner the Tonse Alliance-led government accepts that, the better.

Make no mistake; a majority of us are all rooting for this government to put in a sparkling performance since it was chosen at the ballot by the majority but that does not mean that it will get a free pass if ever Malawians notice that things are moving at a pace which is much slower than that of a paralysed chameleon. If we are all indeed to feel that we have arrived at ‘the promised land of Canaan’, then certainly we must by all means start munching three-meals-a-day now, while waiting to cultivate more once we have accessed the AIP.

I was happy that the President was bold enough to tell all and sundry that in as far as creating one million jobs is concerned, his administration remains steadfast but that does not mean that only the civil service is going to absorb that number. I am sure a number of people felt disenfranchised by what President Chakwera had said on this subject as they anticipated Capital Hill handing out jobs on a silver platter. Let us all face the reality; yes, government has some room but that does not mean it would be the sole employer. Capital Hill can simply throw some incentives, as the President alluded to, so that the private sector and individuals can equally have a hand in creating employment. And no, the government is not trying to run away from its promise of creating one million jobs because as the State House emphasised the other day; they will go all the way to ensure that they meet that goal.

Over and above that, Malawians unanimously agree that now is the time to walk the talk and that should, going forward, always be at the back of the President’s mind. Now is the time to get down to reality.

Feedback on ‘let us house vendors properly’

I received this text from an avid follower of the column following the piece on street vendors:

I assume you would have attacked Blantyre City Council for selling the land belonging to Limbe Market to Asians, below it where petrol pumps are. In Blantyre, they can buy the land opposite the mart. Lack of planning.

Many thanks for the above feedback. I am not sure how far true the issue of ‘selling of land belonging to Limbe Market’ is, perhaps someone from the council will enlighten us one day.

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