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Mixed views as Tonse government clocks one year

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Ernest Thindwa

On 23 June 2020, Malawians made their voices heard about who they wanted to see making decisions that will affect their lives in the next five years.

After a battle of power between alliances formed by camps that once had separate political interests, the Tonse Alliance assumed control of the presidency – with Malawi Congress Party’s Lazarus Chakwera and UTM’s Saulos Chilima coming in as President and Vice president of the country respectively.

Results of the fresh polls brought high expectations to most Malawians, as nearly 60 percent of the country’s voters booted out the Democratic Progressive Party, after the nullified 2019 elections in which they triumphed.

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A year on, The Daily Times spoke to the voters across the country, to hear whether they are satisfied this far.

In Blantyre, Japhet Mungomo, a 28-year-old resident from Soche Hill, believes the Tonse Alliance has not delivered in its promise to create one million jobs.

“I am a good example of how failure to fulfil that promise affected Malawians. I have the papers, but I am still unemployed,” he said.

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While pointing out the failure to fulfil the promises made by the Tonse Alliance, a businesswoman from Ndirande, Joyce Jumbe, nonetheless hailed some of the efforts made by the Tonse Alliance since they were voted into power a year ago.

“The government is close to fulfilling the duty-free week. If that happens, I will be a little bit happy with my vote,” she said.

Another business person also from Ndirande, Samson Jasi, bemoaned the increase in the price of cooking oil under the Tonse administration.

Interestingly, some residents refused to comment – saying they were too busy going about their business to talk about the government; claiming whether they speak or not, things will not change.

In Lilongwe, residents have given different views with some of them expressing optimism while some say the government has a long way to go.

Most of the residents have hailed the government for introducing policies to help the country have a bumper maize harvest.

Some, however, have expressed reservations over the government’s failure to fulfil some of the campaign promises.

“There are many things that this administration has to address. Life has become harder,” said Matthews Mponda.

He said the price of fertiliser in shops has gone up and that there is a high unemployment rate.

Another resident, Welcome Pengapenga, expressed satisfaction with the current administration, mentioning bumper harvest as one of the achievements.

Political analyst Ernest Thindwa is of the view that the Tonse Alliance has not brought a change in Public Service Delivery particularly in the education and health sector among others.

He, however, upholds Tonse’s political administration compared to its predecessor, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

“The Tonse Alliance has brought political stability. The Tonse Administration is much better than the DPP for a number of reasons. There is less regional tension, which characterised the DPP reign. The rule of law is another area where the Tonse government has done well,” he said.

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