Bringing a difference to politics of national development
A Bruised reed will not break and shouldering he will not snuff out. In All faithfulness he will bring forth justice on earth; he will not falter or discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hopes – 42:114
June 21 marks exactly two years since Lazurus Chakwera became the state President. Chakwera may not be the promised Messiah but he is the leader Malawians desperately wanted to deliver them out of manipulative regime.
Everything about this man from Malembo the far corner of Kasiya in Lilongwe sounds biblical, from his name to his deeds everything about him is scripturally inclined. Perhaps one of his policy direction President Chakwera has acted upon in the past 24 months will help to put the biblical narrative into context.
For far too long the country has regressed in terms of development not because we don’t have what it takes to bail ourselves out of poverty but we used to settle for leaders whose interest was to enrich their families and cronies. This is the reason our leaders before the current President had no sense of shame abandoning government projects because it was initiated by their predecessors.
In one way, this was a move to ensure that they accrue all personal benefits from such projects knowing that there will be no direct personal benefits from projects negotiated and started before them.
However, there has been a remarkable shift on how government funded projects are treated. Chakwera has been saying in many occasions that he will not abandon any project initiated by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the name of fulfilling campaign promises.
Speaking at the development rally at Mitundu in Lilongwe on 7 May this year after opening new infrastructures at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) Bunda Campus, President Chakwera said he will not be pressured to abandon projects that were started by his predecessor. He reiterated his commitment to see to it that there is a continuity of government projects that will benefit Malawians.
He said: “I have publicly said that i will not abandon projects that were initiated by the previous administration. But it has become a habit by some people pressurizing me to commit to new projects. While their concerns are genuine, I will not rush into starting the new projects before the current projects are concluded.
“As you have seen we have finished the project at the college we inherited from the previous government. Recently I was in the northern region and as we were heading to Bolero in Rumphi I used the Livingstonia-Njakwa road to appreciate the progress of that road project. I instructed that the road which was abandoned because the funds were misappropriated by the previous administration be completed before we embark on other projects.”
In the past, there were thriving projects which were benefiting Malawians but once new government was ushered in, the projects were abandoned or they were let to live for a while only to die natural death due to lack of funding.
One wonders where Malawi could have been if projects like the One Village One Product (OVOP) continued to exist. One can only imagine how rural communities could have benefited from such self-empowerment initiatives. One wonders where projects like the Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) could have achieved if it was fully funded and supported post-Muluzi era. These initiatives and many others collapsed when President Bingu Wa Mutharika abandoned the UDF, formed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which he later turned into a ruling Party.
This is the more reason the DPP tried to claim ownership of the rehabilitation project of the road from Kamuzu International Airport roundabout passing through Kasungu boma, Jenda Turn off, Mzimba boma to Chiweta. They started making noise when news broke out that the European Investment Bank has sanctioned the release of €117 million to finance the project whose launch will take place on 5 July this year by President Lazarus Chakwera.
The party took to the social media trying to claim the ownership of the project that it was during under DPP leadership that discussions about the 300 km project started. Ideally, the aim was to discredit President Chakwera’s milestone for getting the funds approved.
Writing on its Facebook page the party said: “Chakwera will launch the M1 road rehabilitation project which was initiated and secured by DPP led government under Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika with EURO 95.5m from European Investment Bank in 2019. Malawi to contribute the balance of it.”
Instead of soliciting the unwarranted sympathy from Malawians, President Chakwera was the one who received all the credits for continuing the project.
Reacting to the news of the project road project one of the Social media influencers Kondwani Nga’ambi wrote: “When you air these stories remember also that to tell them wholesale, tell the people why European Investment Bank pressed foot down to release funds for this road during DPP era. The current administration has been negotiating with the bank for the release of the funds up until this year when we have seen that financiers have been convinced and the project will commence. This project was delayed because of kuba ma meter.”
Another influencer Charles Ulaya wrote: “After driving to Karonga last week this is a big relief. The road is very bad. Let’s ensure that the contractors implement the project on time.”
It is safe now to conclude that President Chakwera is the leader Malawians have been longing for.