This past week, the minibus analogy seemed to have trended, after a UTM party official was heard at a campaign rally telling the gathered that their party leader Saulos Chilima, who is State Vice President, ”has nothing to do with the recent upward adjustment” of subsidy fertiliser prices. He claimed that, just like a minibus conductor cannot be held responsible should the bus be involved in a road accident, Chilima was not the one in the driver’s seat in the Tonse Alliance.
As if striking back, albeit not with a very hot rod, President Lazarus Chakwera used the same analogy when he launched the Presidential Delivery Labs on Monday in Lilongwe to emphasise that he is on the same page with the Vice President in as far as state affairs are concerned:
“Dr Chilima, as Vice President and Minister Responsible for Public Sector Reforms, is the mechanic who travels with me to repair the parts of vehicle that need to be serviced to prevent breakdowns and accidents.”
The above just signifies how, in reality, detached the followers of Tonse Alliance (including some officials) are from the understanding that is there between the country’s President and the Vice President. Just as has been observed by most, the drawback to the alliance that has led to this constant bickering and heckling among followers and officials of this ‘partnership’ is that many do not know what was agreed between Chakwera and Chilima at the infancy of the union. Surprisingly, it is not only those within the lower ranks that appear to be fanning the confusion.
The other day, one of the political leaders, Khumbo Kachali, could be heard taking jibes at the Tonse Alliance -led administration as he addressed his supporters on the issue of subsidised fertiliser price. Surely, if all the terms and conditions of the alliance had been laid bare from the outset, none of this would be happening. Even in the bible there is a scripture that goes along the lines of “can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). We sure do know that President Chakwera and Vice President Chilima did agree, away from public eye, how they would work together and so far so good but all this good work is, time and again, put under threat when time comes for by-elections, as is the present scenario where alliance partners such as Malawi Congress Party, UTM and Freedom Party are having a go at each other as if they’re not in the same boat.
There is still a long way to go before 2025 general elections and it would be prudent for the alliance to put its house in order by addressing these bottlenecks now to ensure that this confusion on the political side does not overarch government affairs. Already, we seem to be enjoying a lot of goodwill from development partners and people are talking highly of Malawi’s good governance strides and the desire by the leadership to stimulate development. Let reason take precedence over selfish ambitions. Should we throw it all away simply to score political mileage?
On the other hand, Chakwera and Chilima should walk the talk on what they promised Malawians during the campaign trail ahead of the 2020 poll that gifted them power. Perhaps it is not out of sheer ill-will after all that the fissures are emerging within the alliance; the tough economic times on the ground and rising commodity prices could be the reason we are seeing these politicians sharing the pain that is welling inside a lot of people.
Are these anointed?
There’s a scripture, mentioned twice in fact in the good book: “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (1 Chronicles 16:22, Psalm 105:15). Since time immemorial, those who profess to be Christians, have lived by this and honoured the scripture. This is especially shown towards the men of cloth serving us in various capacities within our society. Lately, however, there are some among these “chosen” men (Did I just hear someone call them ‘profits’?) that strike one as odd and leave you wondering if indeed they are true servants of the one up above.
One of them was all over social media recently for allegedly ending the marriage of a newly-wed couple after the husband discovered some ‘revealing’ text messages during their honeymoon. The other day we heard of an altercation somewhere in Chileka, Blantyre between followers of gulewamkulu cult and congregants of a Church owned by someone calling himself ‘god’. As if that was not enough, another ‘profit’ in Thyolo is said to have been ‘harvesting’ female congregants at his church…Just what exactly is going on? Seriously, should we believe such people are anointed when they get embroiled in scandals such as these? The end days must be nigh! We need deliverance, ladies and gentlemen.
Stephen Dakalira is a seasoned Journalist who works as Times Group’s Online and Digital Executive Editor. He is also the Assistant Editor of The Sunday Times Newspaper, and author of Full Circle column which appears in Malawi News; all of these under the Times Group stable.
He has previously worked in key positions for some of Malawi’s key media institutions such as Malawi News Agency, Capital FM Radio and Star Radio (Now Timveni Radio).