From inauguration day, the world will know there is a new way of doing things in this country. I will seek consensus, but won’t let bickering stand in way of progress.
Cheap words have left this country on its knees for 53 years. So from day one it will be action.
Unlike current norms, political loyalty and proximity to power will matter less and won’t count as qualification for office.
Fidelity will be to our national flag; our cherished constitution and shared vision for a better homeland. Like the Zionists after holocaust or Rwandese after genocide, this will be an obsession—the be-it-all and end all of our administration.
Change will start from the top down. Symbolic and desperately needed reforms will roll out without delay.
We’ll be prudent and transparent in handling your taxes. We’ll signal but to Malawians they’ve a government willing to die a bit for them—with them.
We will demystify the presidency; reduce expenditure aimed at popping up symbolism of the office. We’ll abandon the tradition of mouthful salutations such as “His Excellency…” We’ll not delay business by closing roads from motorists for hours to pave way for presidential convoy.
I will trim the convoy’s size to a bare minimum.
The president’s face won’t hang on any billboard. We’ll empower women and youths, but no one’s productive time will be wasted dancing for me at rallies—which I will seldom hold, anyway.
We’ll sell or remodel into social service infrastructure such as hospitals Mtunthama, Mzuzu, Zomba, Sanjika state residences just remaining with Kamuzu Palace and Chikoko Bay in Mangochi.
We’ll crusade against corruption—the biggest vice bedevilling our country’s enormous potential.
The president and cabinet will declare all assets and liabilities, and those of my immediate family. The list will be updated annually.
We’d fire the entire current cabinet. We’ll hire professionals to fill cabinet, while recycled career politicians will hardly get a look. Goodall Gondwe— ole Goodall—in another bygone era—he would have sufficed but now he is part of the malaise. Now he is too old.
With the current blackouts in mind, we’d hire William Kammwamba, ‘the boy who harnessed the winds’ as energy minister. Together, we’ll seek new cleaner energy solutions to our woes; spend every available coin from our treasury ending the electricity challenges.
We’d negotiate a better deal with Mozambique on the interconnector as an emergency measure.
Escom will be efficient. Management hiring will be competitive while board only reserved for professionals. It will be the same criteria for every parastatal and throughout civil service where.
Additionally, a performance appraisal system will determine retention and promotion of all public servants.
We will end the charade of endless workshops and planning without implementation. The National Planning Commission (NPC) will be empowered with a stronger mandate.
Napoleon Dzombe will be Minister of Agriculture; and task him to end FISP; roll out a programme to promote commercial farmers, cooperatives and irrigation schemes.
We’ll stop the leaking of our purse, the money recouped thanks to prudence will be invested in robust education, health and public infrastructure systems and market Malawi as a tourism destination.
Then we will kiss goodbye to cronyism. To tackle nepotism, cronyism and corruption, we’ll destroy the systems that have kept them in play for over half a century.
Like Rwanda after the genocide, to kiss goodbye to nepotism, I will end all recognition of tribes by the state. Chieftainships, too, will cease existing as hereditary office but as an elected office in an egalitarian society.
For so long, the nepotism has bedevilled progress by ushering in office unfit office holders while tribal groupings have been cabals to protect interests of greedy politicians who have messed up the country.
We’ll not fear speaking to the media through regular pressers and interviews with both local and foreign media. Transparency and accountability will reign.
I will provide autonomy to governance institutions such as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Auditor General, primarily— by guarantying tenure of office –by giving away my powers to unilaterally hire and fire institution heads.
We’ll not be an enigma. We’ll be leaders and not rulers. We’ll be a government of the people. We’ll defend this flag with honour. That is, ladies and gentlemen, our vision of utopia.