If it was not for President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s efforts to reach out to the Tonse Alliance partners, the Alliance could have collapsed. As they say that great leaders emerge out of a crisis. In the recent past we have seen President diffusing some of the rising tension which could have disintegrated the Alliance.
On two separate occasions President Chakwera, who is also the President of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and leader of Tonse Alliance demonstrated the cool headedness required in resolving conflicts when he rose to the occasions to deal with the emerging problems before they became out of hand.
President Chakwera’s Zero tolerance on corruption has been the cause of friction in the alliance as some people thought that their closeness to the President will shield them from corruption and other related offenses but it was never to be as President Chakwera has consistently said that he will not shield anyone from prosecution.
So, it all started when President Chakwera acted on the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Zunneth Sattar’s corruption allegation which implicated some of the powerful people in his administration including the Vice President Saulos Chilima and the Inspector General of Police George Kainja. His decisive actions led to the Vice President being stripped off his delegated duties and the sacking of the Police Chief respectively.
This development did not amuse the Vice President who resorted to the verbal attack against the State President. He went as far as insinuating that his bribery allegations were designed to bring him down politically. Ironically, this was said as he was heading to Kamuzu Palace for Tonse Alliance meeting which was attended by all the nine leaders in the Alliance.
Because of the events that preceded the meeting everyone was looking forward to the outcome of the meeting. It transpired that among other things the leaders in the Tonse Alliance agreed to continue working together in order to fulfil the campaign promises.
The statement issued after the meeting reads: “The Alliance partners met on Friday, 24th June 2022, at Kamuzu Palace at the behest of the state President, His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, in his capacity as the leader of the Alliance. All 9 alliance partners were present and fully participated in the discussions. Among other things the Alliance Partners agreed to uphold and abide by the Alliance and continue to work together for the good of Malawian people.”
Barely a few weeks after this meeting, the Tonse Alliance was rocked by another controversy but this time around it was the Vice President’s national address which among others instigated a call for an early election in case of the breaking-down of the Tonse Alliance. The Vice President insinuated that he has been victimized and maligned by some forces in the Alliance.
When everyone thought the relationship had reached a breaking point, President Chakwera invited the Vice President for roundtable discussion to address concerns he raised during his national address. Consistent with what they agreed with other Allince partners, President Chakwera and his deputy Chilima who were meeting in their capacity as leaders of MCP and UTM respectively agreed to continue working together in order to effectively serve Malawians.
Coming from the past where Heads of State have been regarding themselves so powerful to sit down with people who were not their equal, Chakwera demonstrated humility. Again, in the face of deliberate provocation from his Vice President, the President chose dialogue instead of exchanging words.
In the aftermath of the meeting we have seen harmony prevailing between MCP and UTM supporters. It has been a while since followers of the two parties interacted with each other at a state function like they did on Tuesday at the ground-breaking ceremony for the M1 Road project in Dowa where MCP, UTM and PP members were seen sitting and dancing together. This would not have been possible had President Chakwera not initiated those two meetings.