Malawi: His Excellency the New President of Malawi - Chakwera!

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi, Rev. Dr Lazarus McCathy Chakwera, Commander-in-chief of Malawi Defence Force (MDF), the man who has spent much of his life doing the work of God as a theologian now to lead the impoverished southern African nation.

The Malawi Election Commission declared him the victor on Saturday with a dominant 58.57% of the vote ahead of incumbent President Peter Mutharika.

The 65-year-old Chakwera was born to poor rural family in a tiny village outside of the capital, Lilongwe. He is a philosopher, theologian and clergyman by training, who studied in Malawi, South Africa and the United States.

Chakwera has been a presence in Malawian politics since 2013 as a leader of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) the party that led Malawi's fight for emancipation from British rule in the early 1960s. On that party's platform, he ran for president in 2014 and 2019, placing second both times.

After each election, Chakwera, a former pastor, has preached peace and urged Malawians to accept election results.

Chakwera leads the Tonse Alliance, a group of nine opposition parties that he and his running mate Saulos Chilima forged to defeat Mutharika.

Alliances this year have been more important than ever after the Constitutional Court in February ruled that the victor must gain more than 50 percent of the vote, instead of the first-past-the post system used previously.

Chakwera has campaigned on a ticket to transform Malawi into a middle income economy by building a capable democratic developmental state.

Five core pillars underpin his approach to governance: he values servant leadership; uniting Malawians; prospering together; ending corruption; judicial independence and rule of law.

Chakwera has outlined several key initiatives, including a universal fertilizer subsidy to guarantee food security for every household, and has promised to create 1 million jobs by revamping industries that would add value to the crops of Malawian farmers.

Much like his biblical name implies, Lazarus Chakwera has made a comeback in Malawian politics, and in a big way.

Under his leadership, Chakwera wants to propel his country forward and turn it into "a New Malawi" for all.

More From: Nyasa Times

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