Political gurus differ on 2019



SEEKING JUSTICE—Chakwera (left) and Chilima at the court

Political leaders and commentators have expressed mixed views on the year 2019 which came to an end Tuesday.

While others have described the year as a success, some quarters have said 2019 was a bad year.


Speaking through Presidential Press Officer, Mgeme Kalilani, President Peter Mutharika, has described the year 2019 as memorable, saying it is a year in which his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had a successful election.

“It is the year we had the most overwhelming donor support including resumption of budgetary support. This is the year we saved Malawi from being destroyed by some unpatriotic people.

“We are now looking forward to a year [in which] we continue serious development projects including plans to construct a new airport and a possible city in Mangochi. We look forward to a year of rebuilding Malawi,” Mutharika said.


Malawi Congress Party President, Lazarus Chakwera, Tuesday described the year 2019 as a year of pain.

He said many Malawians will look back at 2019 as one year that brought them more misery and losses.

“Perhaps you have suffered the pain of losing friends over politics because the 2019 campaign was so divisive; or the pain of losing a child to a curable disease because our public hospitals continue to be robbed of medical supplies through pilferage; or the pain of losing a friend in a car accident because our public roads are death traps due to the substandard work done by those who built them.

“[Malawians have also suffered the pain of] losing a business opportunity or enterprise due to an economy that favours the rich, shrinks the middle class, and crushes the poor; or the pain of losing your income due to the unfriendly business environment that is forcing companies to cut costs by cutting jobs; or the pain of losing your land or crops due to government policies that leave rural farmers and their crops unprotected against foreign and urban predators,” Chakwera said.

He indicated that many Malawians are entering the New Year with unhealed wounds and injustice.

“If you feel that you are sailing into 2020 in a ship of injury and injustice, then I offer myself in service as your captain, because as you know, I am no stranger to unhealed injuries and unresolved injustices,” Chakwera said.

He expressed hope that justice would prevail in the presidential case in which him, alongside UTM President Saulos Chilima, are challenging the results of the May 21 presidential election.

“Though it is for the judges to decide the merits of our case, as a petitioner, I am hopeful and confident that justice will prevail. If the ruling of the court nullifies the 2019 presidential election, as I hope, then I want you to know that I am more ready than ever to serve you, to give you a government that delivers change, to be a president that unites Malawians across regions, tribes and parties, and to make 2020 the year in which our nation’s transformation truly began,” Chakwera said.

On his part, Chilima described 2019 as a wasted year in which Malawians lost an opportunity to redeem themselves from various forms of captivity.

He was, however, quick to note that he expects 2020 to be a year of hope.

Chancellor College-based political analyst, Ernest Thindwa, said 2019 has been a year of positives and negatives in political terms.

According to Thindwa, the May 21 elections campaign period and the voting process were largely peaceful.

He said more than 65 percent of eligible voters voted, a development he said is significant in the consolidation of democracy as democratic governance is, in a large measure, dependent on citizen support through voting.

“The fact that citizens expressed their dissatisfaction through sustained demonstrations and judiciary accepting to pay attention to electoral grievances by opposition parties in spite of attempts by government to thwart the same epitomised democracy’s triumph over authoritarian inclinations.

“These have been significant democratic gains and one can justifiably claim Malawi will never be the same in terms of electoral process management,” Thindwa said.

He, however, said the seemingly incompetent management of the electoral process and the outcome of the same, was a huge dent in the countrys collective quest for democratic maturity.

Thindwa added that the misuse of the police service and increasingly turning it into a ruling party tool was another serious setback in 2019.

He also faulted the failure by Parliament to address the electoral reform question which, he said, has far reaching repercussions for the peace and development of the country.

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