Malawi: Analysts Tip New Malawi Govt On Utilising Public Good Will

Analysts and political commentators have urged President Lazarus Chakwera and his deputy Saulos Chilima to get down to business to ensure they deliver their developmental aspiration.

Chakwera was sworn in as the country's new president on Sunday after beating the incumbent Peter Mutharika in an historic rerun vote.

Social and governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that just like it was in 2009 with Bingu wa Mutharika, the advantage Chakwera has is a strengthened legitimacy to govern following his 58 percent win as he garnered 2.6 million of the 4.4 million votes cast, against Mutharika's 1.7 million votes, or about 39 percent, according to final official results declared bu Malawi's Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale.

"This means that his government already has wider public acceptance or good will a factor which is partly conducive to enable a leader deliver their developmental aspiration," said Munthali.

However, the governance expert said it is up to Chakwera and his second-in-command Chilima to utilize the current public good will in spearheading an inclusive developmental agenda or waste it just as Bingu did by pursuing narrow selfish political interests.

"The game is in their court. Malawians have huge expectations in the new leadership and it would be prudent enough for them to learn from the mistakes of DPP and hit the ground right away," Munthali said.

" There is no time for honeymoon. Malawians are tired of politics of poverty and aspire a government that can deliver their aspirations," he added.

In his speech during Sunday's swearing-in ceremony attended by thousands in the capital, Lilongwe, Chakwera said: "With your help, we will restore the nation's faith in the possibility of a government that serves. Not a government that rules. A government that inspires, not a government that infuriates. A government that listens, not a government that shouts. A government that fights for you and not against you."

Reacting to Chakwera's acceptance speech, Joseph Chunga, a political science lecturer at University of Malawi's Chancellor College, said the new President generally struck the right chords towards national unity.

He said Chakwera "acknowledged the need to build a nation that is currently divided. He underlined that what Malawians need is change that translates in improvement of their lives."

Henry Chingaipe, another prominent political and governance analyst, said the speech was "a good start and inspires hope".

"It recognises that the authority to govern comes from the people. A great acknowledgement of stewardship and leadership over rulership.

"It's a pledge for responsive and accountable governance and pledges inclusive governance and building national unity," Chingaipe said in quotes reported by The Nation.

Political commentator Humphrey Mvula concurs and urges the new government to deliver on its promises.

"They have won on a good manifesto, cheap universal fertilisers, jobs, Malawi for everyone plus all other good progammes. If this government wants to win to retain the trust of Malawians, it must indeed look at every Malawian as a Malawian, no tribal politics, no politics of relatives, no politics of employing only those party cadres, they'll need to change and start all over again and include everyone," said Mvula.

Chakwera will be inaugurated as President "tentatively" on July 6, the country's Independence Day, at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, according to MCP spokesperson the Reverend Maurice Munthali.

Chilima will be serving a second term as Vice-President and is also now Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms.

In 2014, he partnered Mutharika who plucked him from the private sector where he worked as the first Malawian managing director of multinational Airtel Malawi plc before falling out midway and formed his UTM Party.

More From: Nyasa Times

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