President Chakwera’s Super Hi5 Agenda steadily pushing Malawi towards “Vision 2063”

By Chikumbutso Mtumodzi

That President Lazarus Chakwera wishes Malawians well is incontestable. Slightly over a year in office, President Chakwera has already demonstrated, through speech and action, his burning desire to ensure that the interests and aspirations of the people of Malawi, especially the ultra-poor, are at the centre of all business of the Malawi
Congress Party (MCP) government.

President Chakwera is a servant leader whose main focus is on growth of the economy and well-being of Malawians. The President has encouraged Malawians to reject the notion Malawi is a poor country, arguing that with
US$85 million in gold exported to the Middle East every year, “surely my country is not poor”. Malawi, with a freshwater lake and multiple rivers capable of generating US$100 million a year in revenue, cannot be a poor
country, the President further contends.
Malawi poverty is “man-made”, says the Malawi leader, and that Malawi is a country stripped of its God-given wealth and potential by syndicates of people in the public sector who have exploited decades of bad government policies and practices to enrich themselves at the expense of Malawians. President Chakwera’s solemn pledge is that this ‘man-made’ poverty is going to be “unmad

Since coming to power, the President and his administration have gone full-throttle, implementing social and economic programmes that are primarily aimed at achieving a better life for all Malawians. Agriculture, the
mainstay of the economy, which accounts for a third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), significantly contributes to employment, economic growth, export earnings, poverty reduction, food security, and
nutrition in Malawi.
In that regard, the Chakwera administration has initiated radical reforms in the agriculture sector, especially in pursuit of transforming the ‘traditional’ farming for food into agribusiness, which will encompass food production, marketing and management of agricultural commodities like grains, vegetables, fruits and livestock.
But most importantly, in order to achieve household and national food security, in the short and medium term, the Chakwera administration successfully implemented the Agriculture Input Program (AIP) during the last farming season, which has resulted in an unprecedented harvest, with a huge surplus. Most Malawian households are now food security. Under the AIP, 4.3 million smallholder farmers received subsidized seeds and
fertilizers. This has been one of the most success stories of the one-year
old administration.

President Chakwera

Super Hi5 in Motion

The Super Hi5 agenda will indeed help his administration build a New Malawi that would be enjoyed by all Malawians in all corners of the country through the guided implementation of social and economic reforms. President Chakwera has initiated reforms in various sectors, including the three arms of government, namely the Executive, Judiciary, and
Legislature, all aimed at improving service delivery for the benefit of Malawians.

On reforming the EXECUTIVE, the Chakwera administration initiated a full-scale orientation of the public sector to the President’s Super Hi5 agenda pillars, which are Servant Leadership, Uniting Malawi, Prospering
Together, Ending Corruption, and Rule of Law.
This programme is already in motion. It began with Controlling Officers, to promote and inculcate the public sector reforms necessary for mind-set change and structural reform as a catalyst for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To fast track this process, the President has already put in place the key performance indicators for ensuring that he and cabinet ministers embody the Super Hi5 pillars by their example.
In fulfilment of an accountable and transparent government, the President has appeared before Parliament several times to respond to questions from Members of Parliament (MPs) as required by the Malawi Constitution, which never happened with the previous Presidents.
Additionally, the State House has been holding regular media briefs to update Malawians on government’s engagements and those of the President, and provide them with other information of public importance.
Furthermore, to ensure that Malawians prosper together, President Chakwera appointed a cabinet with the highest representation of women and young people in history.

As a demonstration of his commitment to ending corruption, President Chakwera has made the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) fully independent and resourced to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.


On the JUDICIARY, the President has pledged his full support of the Judiciary’s reform agenda. President Chakwera he has keenly followed and supported the innovative approaches to justice that the Judiciary has been undertaking. Below the Supreme Court, which now sits as a full bench of not less than seven (7) Justices of Appeal, specialized divisions
of the High Court have been created, including the Criminal Division, Civil Division, Commercial Division, and Revenue Division and plans have been at an advanced stage to establish the Probate and Family Division, as well as the Financial Crimes Division to fast track the disposal of corruption cases.

This has increased the number of Judges of the High Court to support the new divisions, clear a backlog of cases, and ensure a fair distribution of work across the justice system. It has also meant improving both the number and distribution of courts across the country, with the goal of having Senior Resident Magistrates in all 28 Districts by the end of 2022. 50 Non-Professional Magistrates have been recruited and deployed to satellite courts throughout the country, and a functional review of the proposed reforms is about to be completed.

Considering the crucial role that the Judiciary plays in the upholding of democracy, human rights and rule of law, President Chakwera has said it is unacceptable that the entire Judiciary be allocated less than one (1) percent of the National Budget.The Head of State has since asked Parliament to support his administration’s measures to correct this and ring-fence the Judiciary’s funding. It is not right that the Judiciary should be at the mercy of the Executive for its finances, nor to operate without proper infrastructure, courtrooms, or offices, the President has said.
To address the challenge of improper infrastructure, the government is in the process of constructing a state-of-the-art Judicial Complex opposite Parliament Building in Lilongwe which will comprise the Court House, the
Sherriff’s Warehouse, and official residence of the Chief Justice. The government has also introduced a Customs Procedures Code (CPC) to cater for duty free importation of motor vehicles by the Justices of Appeal
and High Court Judges, among other public officers.

President Chakwera believes that there can be no ‘New Malawi’ until the courts are able to administer justice without hindrance and that all Malawians are equal under the law, so justice must never be the preserve
of the rich or powerful. President Chakwera has emphasized that the LEGISLATURE has a critical role to play in consolidating democracy and that being a house of representatives, it gives citizens the chance to participate in the
governance process. It is for that reason, that President Chakwera’s administration is supporting the implementation of the development of the 2020-2025 Parliament of Malawi Strategic Plan to guide implementation
of activities; and the automation of both the Hansard Transcription System and Chamber Voting System to address delays.

The government will also construct Constituency Offices to serve as permanent points of access for Malawians to reach their MPs and also construct new office blocks to increase Committee Rooms and offices for
MPs and parliamentary staff, among others.

Conclusion

President Chakwera’s administration officially launched the Malawi Vision 2063, which is national development blueprint developed through a consultative process by the government, through National Planning
Commission. The Malawi Vision 2063 core objective is that Malawi becomes an inclusively self-reliant middle-income economy by the set year. All what President Chakwera and his government plan and implement in the short, medium and long term, is and will be aligned to the 2063 vision.

In his ‘Foreword’ contained in the Vision 2063 development blueprint, President Chakwera observes that while some commendable development strides have been made over the years of political independence, Malawi is far from attaining economic independence. The President says time has come for Malawians to create wealth in an
inclusive manner and be self-reliant.
“As a country, we are endowed with abundant natural, human and cultural resources. We now have a youth-centric Vision that shall take us from the basics for attaining economic freedom to our children living dignified lives and forever walking tall on the face of the Earth.

“You can count on me as your leader in laying the foundations for attaining this much desired Vision. Know this, however, fellow Malawians, beyond me and any future leader giving you the much-needed leadership, you too
are leaders, although without the given leadership titles,” the President says.
It is in that spirit that Malawians, regardless of politics, religion, tribe, region, race or creed, should support the President’s agenda of taking Malawi to another social and economic development level. It is possible!

***Views expressed are those of the Author.****