Malawi: Chakwera or Mutharika? the Choice Between Experience and Rawness for Malawi

Voters queueing in Thyolo district in fresh presidential elections.

Tuesday's June 23 elections could be a fulfillment of a development prophecy told in 1998 through the Vision 2020 development plan.

Peter Mutharika, left, of the Democratic Progressive Party, and Lazarus Chakwera, leader of the Malawi Congress Party

In that development plan--endorsed both by then leader President Bakili Muluzi and opposition leader Gwamba Chakuamba--there was a prophecy, a vision, of what Malawi, development wise, will be in year 2020.

The prophecy was:

"By the year 2020, Malawi as a God-fearing nation will be secure, democratically mature, environmentally sustainable, self-reliant with equal opportunities for and active participation by all, having social services, vibrant cultural and religious values and being a technologically driven middle-income economy."

The key word, in the 1998 development policy, was that by the year 2020, the year we are in today, Malawi will be a 'technologically driven middle-income economy'.

By definition, middle-income economy are those with $1,026 to $12,475 in per capita and, currently, countries such as Brazil, China, Russia, India and China fall in this category.

Evidently, by any definition, Malawi has missed the 1998 prophecy. As such, we need another prophecy.

What is interesting, however, is that Malawi is searching for a new development prophecy through a 2019 election being repeated, prophetically, in 2020.

To mean, the June 23 elections next week Tuesday is a perfect accident, prophetically put in place to usher in leadership that will rewrite the new 'Vision 2020' for Malawi.

The question, then, is: at this critical prophetic year of 2020, with June 23 elections in mind, who, between Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) and UDF alliance, is well placed to take Malawi on a new journey to take up and fulfill the botched 1998 prophecy?

Having been in government for years including being a president, Mutharika is riding on the promise of his experience as bait to woo voters.

In Mutharika, Malawians bore the witness and they are self-evident of what a leader he is, because they have experienced his leadership. Tired and tested.

In other words, it's not what Mutharika has said on the campaign trail that will earn him re-election; rather, it's what Malawians know regarding what he can do, given power, that will keep him in power.

The question for Mutharika then, is: Is there anything, in President Mutharika's leadership experience, that Malawi needs at this critical period to take up and fulfill the botched Vision 2020?

Chakwera represents the rawness in state craft as somebody who has never been in any government position.

In his rawness, he is making a case of renewed leadership, one that is corrupt free, adheres to the rule of law, enhances national unity and meets the needs of the less fortunate.

Definitely, as Malawians go to the polls this Tuesday, the driving question will stop at choosing either experience which Mutharika personifies or rawness which Chakwera symbolizes.

The choice is yours.

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