Quite a circus


Perhaps by now President Lazarus Chakwera understands what his predecessor, Peter Mutharika, meant when he said that being president is not easy.

The same words were also said by former president, Bakili Muluzi, who kept on repeating that running a government is serious business.

At the time these men made these statements, most of us laughed for we either took them for jokes or as kicks of dying horses. But as each day goes by under the reign of the Tonse Alliance, we begin to understand that there was some wisdom in this petty talk.


Since ascending to the throne, Chakwera has been jittery in his handling of matters of national interest.

At the moment, there are two hot coals in his hands which are giving him sleepless nights.

The first is to take this country out of the current economic crisis, which is worsening by the day. We have no basics like forex in our coffers and his government seems to have no clue about how to generate the money.


This is what saw us go without petrol and diesel some months ago. On the other hand, is the fight against corruption, which his government is miserably failing to win. These are the two things that may see the big man lose his seat come 2025.

We have been told by Chakwera and his team that one of the most efficient ways of improving the economy is by cutting on government expenditure.

Even during his time in opposition, Chakwera emphasised that one of the ways of doing this is by having few cabinet ministers.

He castigated Mutharika, time and again, for wasting State resources on his ministers only for him to be more wasteful than the former.

Mutharika had a maximum of 22 ministers, something which the incumbent is failing to do. Last month, Chakwera promised a lean Cabinet but he has ended up giving us another bloated one with recycled faces and redundant portfolios. This tells us that we must forget about cutting on expenditure.

The problem remains that the big man has got a very wide circle of people he wants to please. There are the alliance partners who helped him into power and there are big wigs in the Malawi Congress Party who hold the cards for his party presidency in the coming election.

Both of these have to be satisfied and that has not been easy for the big man. In the end, we keep repeating mistakes we know are not good for the economy and it is the average citizen who loses in this circus.

There is very little for ordinary Malawians and more for politicians in the recent cabinet, and we should not expect any positive changes to our economy.

On the fight against corruption, the odds seem to be against us again. The President has spoken tough on this – like he usually does – but there has been very little to show for his big talk.

There seem to be forces within his inner circle fighting him, and he is not doing anything about it. It has now become obvious that there are people we have entrusted with authority who are not happy with fighting corruption in this country.

The fight against Martha Chizuma and the Anti- Corruption Bureau is a clear indication that we are indeed corrupt and we love to be so. In this country, the most powerful are the worst enemies of the people.

The fact that some of our biggest donors have realised that we are not serious with ending corruption puts the current administration in a very compromised position.

Some would argue that it is not the place of donors to interfere in matters of sovereign States. But you can only be sovereign if you are economically independent. As long as you are being fed by someone else, that person will control you and they will demand accountability form you.

At this point, the dilemma that Chakwera has is on whom to please – donors, ordinary Malawians, or some big gurus around him who do not want to see corruption end.

Displeasing any of these has serious consequences on his hold on power, and that is the predicament he finds himself in.

In whatever way he may decide to handle the situation, it is poor Malawians who are the losers. We are yet to have a government that works for the people.

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