27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”–Genesis 32:27-28
When you argue with God, things happen. And they happen big!
Since taking power as Malawi’s sixth President on Sunday, June 28 2020, Lazarus Chakwera has made brief speeches that indicate that things are not going to be the same as they have been in the past 26 years.
We are witnessing a new beginning in Malawi, moving from dreaming to actually living the dream. This shows that with the right leaders, Malawi can do good all by itself. And Chakwera, the man who argued with God, is forging ahead to take Malawi to that greater good, for all Malawians.
The President’s acceptance speech on Sunday had less than 10 pages. He has exhibited that he is a man of few but focused words. He has also started providing briefings to the nation of his day in office. This is something very new and transparent.
An important aspect of Chakwera’s presidency is that of bringing into his Cabinet people that are important, not just members of Parliament (MPs). In the past, presidents have mainly appointed MPs as a way of increasing votes in parliamentary decisions. This has proved problematic as some presidents have failed to get ministers to live up to their mettle.
The appointment of highly qualified persons that are outside Parliament, is a brilliant move that will entail Cabinet operating effectively, and that the President will not be held hostage to keep ineffective or redundant ministers just because they are in Parliament.
Chakwera’s Cabinet is expected to be result-oriented, especially since his new Finance Minister Felix Mlusu presented an amendment budget calling for release of money for fertiliser subsidy.
Another big concern and reason for celebration is Chakwera’s pledge that 40 percent of the Cabinet will be women. If the Cabinet has 10 ministers, four of them will be women. If the Chakwera Cabinet has 30 ministers, 12 will be women. How awesome is that! It is a great and mighty change for Malawi.
As a gender advocate and champion of women’s rights and equality in Malawi, I salute President Chakwera, and celebrate in advance with the new Cabinet members!
To Modecai Msisha, your appointment was absolutely awesome. And I always salute you for your help at The Independent. Congratulations bwana SC.
A new and brilliant indicator is that of allotting a steady flow of work to the Vice-President as head of a ministry. The ministerial designation means the VP has a job that will keep him busy; he’s a young and energetic fellow and will boldly animate the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development. If there are some people who have any doubts they should re-watch the Tonse Alliance campaign trail.
However, I have perceived a more potent ingredient that makes the Tonse Alliance different. Five of the party leaders are in inter-regional marriages. A grand result of this is that there can be no question of tribalism or regionalism from this band of leaders.
It is hard to be regionalistic or tribalistic when half of your family comes from another region. Malawians have another thing to thank God for: the family lineup of the Tonse Alliance leaders.
Chakwera comes from Lilongwe, the First Lady Madame Monica Chakwera comes from Rumphi; VP Chilima comes from Ntcheu, Madame Mary Chilima comes from Mzimba; former president Joyce Banda comes from Zomba, former Chief Justice Richard Banda (Rrd.) comes from Nkhata Bay; Mark Katsonga comes from Neno and Madame Agnes Katsonga comes from Nkhata Bay; and Petra’s Kamuzu Chibambo comes from Mzimba, Madame Kate Chibambo comes from Zomba.
This is 2020, Malawi has raced fast-forward to embrace its dream of being a God-fearing country. Things have changed, Malawians buttressed themselves to pray demanding change seeking and using the judiciary to effect change in government.
President Chakwera, you have surely STARTED STRONG and we pray you will FINISH STRONG!