Malawi: Get Older First to Lead Malawi, Goodall Insists 'Presidency Not for Toddlers'

27 January 2019

Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development who is also Democractic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president for the northern region, Goodall Gondwe, Saturday challenged the opposition that they do not have what it takes to govern Malawi especially those led by youthful leaders especially the United Democratic Front (UDF) and UTM Party.

UDF is led by Atupele Muluzi's Minister of Health in President Peter Mutharika's Cabinet while UTM's leader is Saulos Chilima, Malawi's state vice president.

Gondwe insisted during rallies organized in the locations of Chiputula, Chibavi, Masasa and Mchenga Utuwa of Mzuzu City that the opposition have no requisite muscle" to rule.

According to Gondwe, government is a "serious business" that cannot be managed by "toddlers."

"Government needs mature people to lead, not babies," said Gondwe in his heavy Tumbuka.

He said people in the north hoodwinked by kids [meaning UDF and UTM] that they can win the forthcoming May 21 elections.

"They are infants and should wait until they get old enough," boomed Gondwe.

He added: "Some are deceiving you that DPP will not win this coming election, and that their babies will win. It is a total lie. None of them can lead this country."

Muluzi is aged 40 while Chilima is 45 . Malawi's legal age for one to vie for the office of President is 35.

Gondwe, who will clock 83 this year, parties away suggestions President Peter Mutharika, 79 should be replaced with a 'baby' during the May 21 polls because he is aging.

"I know that youths do well in other things, but concerning affairs of government, it is the old who do well," argued Gondwe.

A youth activist Charles Kajoloweka, whose orgnasition Youth and Society recently launched the Youth Decide 2019 campaign to mobilise and deepen youth's voice and action in setting and advancing youth development agenda ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections, described Gondwe's remarks as unfortunate.

"That reasoning is really worrisome. Much as we appreciate that we need seasoned and experienced people like him, everyone has an exit point. We are not just saying every young person must come in, but competent young people," he said in an interview.

"He is talking about the old, but not all of them are competent. They have done their part, no one can be a public servant for life! So let them occupy a different role of advisers while the youth, competent ones take over leadership," he said.

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