Malawi: Yes, President Laz's Speech Was Uplifting, Now Walk the Talk!

If an inaugural speech were a person, his name would, without doubt, be Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera.

President Chakwera's inaugural speech on Monday was a stuff of legends.

He chose his words carefully, delivered them proficiently and, eventually, left the nation energized, brimming with renewed hope and rekindled faith.

Ideally, inaugural address isn't about a leader articulating policy positions his/her government will take--that is an enclave for the State of Nation Address (SONA).

Inaugural address is, fundamentally, a tool for uniting a nation, putting them in the same bus after a season of divisive political campaign, and beginning a long journey towards nation-building and development.

But having an inaugural address on 6 July, the same day Malawians pause to reflect their independence journey, the stakes comes in multiples.

Interestingly, President Chakwera balanced the two--inaugural and Independence; and weaved a narrative so compelling, so refreshing and, yes, a stuff of legends.

He took the nation on a 56 year journey since Malawi was born; saw through the political struggles and, intelligently, located his presidency as a matter of political renewal.

A speech isn't just a patchwork of spoken and written words; a speech is a spirit defined, a blueprint that holds the truth of the nation to be self-evident of where they are coming from and, of course, where they are going.

In Chakwera's well measured and proficiently delivered inaugural address, it won't be too late to argue that Malawi has entered a new chapter--a perfect goodbye to careless political statements that defined the bygone years.

But as Malawi begins a new journey, one defined by collective and shared destinies, it is imperative to remind all and sundry against burying heads in the sand, thinking politicians will be different.

They will not.

It's only the spirit of holding our leaders accountable that will save Malawi.

Chakwera has reiterated his terms of reference in tones and words so clear and audible.

Clearly, we hold his truths today and we are self-evident that, at no given point in time, would he anoint himself as a political god, lording over Malawians--just as the days of yesteryears.

Malawians know what they want and, from Chakwera, they will squeeze every moment to ensure that this country belongs to us all. That, in itself, is a call for Chakwera to move beyond the spirit of a great speech and, without fail or excuse, walk the talk.

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