Malawi: Re-Elected Mutharika Has His Work Cut Out for Him

President Peter Mutharika voting at Goliati, in Thyolo.

President Peter Mutharika, who narrowly won re-election with 38% of the votes in last week's Malawi presidential polls, his victory bequeaths on him and his party the immense task of post-election socioeconomic management and governance.

Victory: Mutharika waves to supporters during

Mutharika's victory in the sixth general election after the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in 1993 smean his last five years in office his administration should develop a concrete agenda to steer Malawi forward.

Commentators say rallying supporters and opponents in the post-election period is a necessary task for the victorious president.

Mutharika is expected rise to the occasion and move the country in the right direction.

Malawians who spoke to Nyasa Times after the results were announced, said they hope Mutharika will build a team of selfless political, technocratic and civic leaders to steer Malawi for the next five years.

Newspaper columnist Ephraim Munthali in his 'Cut the chaff' wrote that the President-elect has a lot of work to do to reunite a country deeply polarized by bitter partisanship.

He called for a healing process, stating that "in our efforts, sometimes overzealously, to promote our candidate and party of choice, we hurt each other so badly that the polls have left deep wounds, but which must be healed if we are to move forward as a country."

The columnist points out that Malawi has a lot of problems that need returning to quickly.

"We have the menace that is corruption that must be destroyed before it destroys this beautiful country. We have an economy that is impoverishing the masses instead of improving their lives.

"We have health and education systems that are keeping the rich more comfortable while leaving the poor in deep pangs of ill-health and poverty. We have water and energy crises that are literally sucking the life out of Malawi," he wrote.

The columnist continued: "Yet, not all is doom and gloom. There are opportunities that have been created over the past five years that we must capitalize on. The stable macroeconomic environment makes it easier for any government to build on and grow the economy to more than the seven percent needed to reduce human suffering."

In his column, Munthali noted that there has been "a decent attempt" to expand and improve the infrastructure of this country in various sectors, including transport, sports, health and education that can be the foundation for a more broad-based growth and development.

"As a country, we have initiated reforms aimed at improving the way the public sector delivers services that bring economic efficiency necessary to attract investors and help citizens to be more productive and contribute to the economy.

"But for all these to happen, we need whoever emerges as President to quickly return things to normalcy and mobilize the country towards executing the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy because in the end this country, these citizens, must do what is good for the country and thus for everyone," he wrote.

In the parliamentary elections, Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won 63 seats in the legislative body, while Lazarus Chakwera's Malawi Congress Party (MCP) got 55 seats and 52 independent candidates were elected.

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