Empty promises can backfire

Every political party in Malawi and, probably, in other countries as well, has a manifesto which, among other things, stipulates all the party promises, especially given a chance to rule. Basically, all manifestos speak similar things about improving all sectors of development in a country. They also seem to carry a view that people reading the manifesto, are not intelligent enough to know that most of the promises stated in them are hardly achievable.

The 2014 elections in Malawi gave the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a chance to deliver on its promises after winning the elections. The rest of the parties were on the opposition side and as it were, they were the government -in-waiting.

When DPP took the mantle of leadership, most Malawians looked forward to unprecedented levels of progress as President Peter Mutharika promised. Heading the list of promises was to decisively deal with corruption, which includes Cashgate. It goes without saying that Malawi is on its knees largely because of corruption and Cashgate. Meanwhile, Mutharika and his government wanted people to believe that Cashgate was only under the leadership of Joyce Banda. Unfortunately, Cashgate in this country is going on unabated. Fraud in government ministries and departments, and not forgetting parastatals and other agencies, are being reported in Malawi newspapers almost daily. At the rate fraud is happening, it becomes difficult to say that the country has a functioning government. At the moment, it is really commendable that a lot of fraud has been excavated by the hardworking, and committed, parliamentary committees of Accounts and Agriculture. With all due respect to government, it seems the financial issues in this country are literally checked by parliamentary committees and CSOs, failing which, lots of fraud cases would just be swept under the carpet, for example, the Malawi–Zambia Maize-gate.

How does President Mutharika expect to achieve the progress that he promised to people if so many millions of kwacha just disappear into people’s pockets? Sadly, the government seems to have no clue on how to retrieve the lost money. To make it worse, the leadership seems to have no time to listen to whistle-blowers or watchdogs, let alone to the cry of suffering Malawians.

As it were, the basis of empty promises is lack of money and yet the leadership does not want to admit failure to deliver. Instead, leaders walk head high that they will soon sort out problems such as electricity black-outs, joblessness, lack of clean and portable water and many others. Sadly, they even have the audacity to think that Malawians are not intelligent to know that only one and a half years remains for Mutharika. Therefore, promising people that he will deliver all that he promised in 18 months, is cheating. Honestly speaking, it is time for Mutharika and his government to admit that they have failed, instead of trying to split hairs in an effort to prove that Malawians are having a better life than before.

By now, the government has realised that every action has a reaction. The suffering that the DPP-led government has subjected Malawians to for the past three years, could not go an answered. The answer is in the DPP loss after the recent by-elections. Unfortunately, there is likely to be no significant improvement on the DPP promises before the next general elections in 2019. DPP can be rest assured that their empty promises will hand them lost elections. n

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