By Mphatso Nkuonera
Lilongwe, April 12, Mana:
Exactly on 8th May, 2020, news had gone viral like a Harmattan bushfire, about the nullification of the 21, May 2019 Presidential elections results.
The Supreme Court of Appeal, passed the declaration of holding immediate Fresh Presidential Elections within 150 days in’ lieu of May 2019 results.
In Africa, Malawi became second after Kenya for nullifying presidential results for being marred with irregularities.
In respect to this landmark and historical ruling, which dictated that no new party or presidential candidates should be allowed taking part in these fresh polls, political parties had started mobilizing themselves and formed alliances.
The then ruling political party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was shaken, but soon accepted the judgement and re-joined the presidential race with the United Democratic Front (UDF), thus Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika and Atupele Muluzi, as president and running-mate respectively.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM, People’s Party (PP), Umodzi Party (UP), People’s Progressive Movement (PPM), Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and the Transformation movement and some other political parties formed one political front and branded it the ‘Tonse Alliance’
Only Sinosi Mbakuwaku Kuwani led the Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) without any political coalitions.
The Tonse Alliance was a very big force to reckon with, as the major competing political parties had now became political bedfellows.
All political parties had their campaign promises, but the alliances automatically made these campaign promises a package of one solid promise.
By 23 June, 2020, the fresh polls were held and the Tonse Alliance was led by Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera as torchbearer and Dr Saulosi Klaus Chilima as running mate, had been declared victorious in the polls by the Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) Chairperson Chifundo Kachale announced saying, Chakwera had defeated Mutharika with 58.57 per cent by amassing 2.6 million votes, of the 4.4 million votes cast.
“I declare President of the Tonse Alliance, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera as the winner of the June 23, Fresh Presidential Elections,” said Kachale at National Tally center in Blantyre.
Malawians saw President Chakwera taking the swearing in ceremony at a momentous occasion that took place at BICC in Lilongwe the heart and capital city of the country.
“It’s an honor for me to stand before you today and take oath of office as the 6th President of the Republic of Malawi.
“It’s an honor for me to see Malawi bringing in a new era that we all wanted, for this to happen I owe it to you all.
“I would like to assure Malawians that all the campaign promises made during the time the Tonse Alliance was canvassing for support will turn into fruition,” he said amid a visibly happy crowd that went on singing, ‘Chakwera pa Chiwongolero’ (Chakwera on the driving seat).
The president assured those people who did not support him not to fear anything as he will not be vengeful.
“I do feel like Lazarus, I have come back from the dead,” he said referring to a biblical character of the same name.
“There is no cause for fear because I will be your president and my policy for inclusivity means we are building a new Malawi for all of us,” he assured his critics.
Since Chakwera became president he has repeatedly made publicly his stand that all promises will be fulfilled but one after the other.
“It’s a matter of time, I want to assure my fellow Malawians that whatever was told as our campaign promise will be delivered, but it requires patience, as others were for a short term while others long term.
Chakwera appointed a lean cabinet of only 31-member cabinet of 23 full ministers and nine deputies as promised during campaign, in order to save resources in the national purse, and divert the same resources to other equally important developmental projects that deserve the citizens.
Renowned Social Political Commentator, Humphreys Mvula says The Tonse Alliance has started well on its political administration the country, and adds that Chakwera should not lose track with the opposition which will try to patch holes and throw spanners to cheap political mileage.
“The DPP and UDF now the opposition wing will not speak good of the Tonse government as losing an election is something very bad especially where you are the immediate former ruling party.
“The Chakwera administration should not be derailed with such wind, because the opposition will throw spanners everywhere in order to win back the government bench in the next polls slated for 2025,” Mvula said.
“I can courageously, say that the operationalization of Access to Information Bill is a landmark accomplishment because the 12 years DPP rule it failed to take course.
“Coupled with the implementation of the Agriculture Input Programme which is pro-poor planned, where a bag of fertilizer is being bought at only K4, 495 that will see Malawi becoming Africa’s food basket again like it was during the Kamuzu Banda Era,” he said.
Mvula adds that Chakwera has a respect of the constitution by making it a habit to be appearing in parliament to answer questions from members of parliament unlike previous presidents.
Chancellor College Political Scientist, Mustapha Hussein, conquers with Mvula that the Tonse Alliance is in the rightful pace in its administration.
“We have seen the suspension of all District Commissioners for the first time in a bid to practically fight corruption in the country, and we have seen a full funded Ant-Corruption Bureau which vindicates that the president is very committed to end corruption, as they promised during campaign,” he said.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Gospel Kazako, says Malawians should take their hearts down and watch the Tonse Alliance government implementing its promises.
“It’s only nine months down the line, and one budget since the Tonse formed government, I am sure that you will all agree that no government can achieve all its promises with only one financial year budget.
“The tenure of office is five years, lets judge after a reasonable number of years of Tonse governance in Malawi, and rest be assured that time for change has come, because one of the Super HI-5 pillars is prospering together and not leaving someone behind,” he said.
Meanwhile government has upwardly adjusted tax free bracket to K100, 000 for salaried employees which has increased their disposable income to ease economic hurdles, this has seen many increasing their minimum wages as well.
Despite Covid-19 pandemic that has caused a huge havoc on the socio-economic life of many Malawians, The Tonse Alliance is delivering its campaign promises concludes Mvula.