The smoke is finally in the air. The battle for supremacy ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections has begun and the debate on the street is now shaping towards who will be the next president.
The recent declaration by Vice-President Saulos Chilima to contest in May next year as president has only amplified the impetus and created additional divisions in the electorate.
Drawing from past experiences and recent developments, chances are high that the voters will have to choose a president from over 10 candidates. This is the power of democracy. It gives the voters options to choose from.
The debate around factors that determine a voter’s decision is not exhausted and evidence shows that they vary from individual to individual and country to country. However, with all in one basket, voters want leaders who can transform the country and improve their welfare. Leaders who perform poorly in this risk their legitimacy.
This week, we on the streets believe each of the contestants fighting for the State House has a reason for that. This is basic, but the way most leaders behave when in power leaves the electorate wondering if indeed some of them know why they are in the office.
Of course, we are not experts to analyse with depth performance of leaders, but if we cast our eyes beyond the borders, precisely in Rwanda and Tanzania, we are able to see how political leaders picked the pieces of their countries and give the citizenry a new hope. The lesson here is that leadership with a purpose can transform any country and its citizens.
In Tanzania, President John Magufuli from a scratch restored the country’s hope. Tanzania is reported to have registered enormous progress in various sectors of the economy and the future is promising. The story about Rwanda is also one that has exposed many African leaders to shame. It has shown that there is no excuse for countries like Malawi to develop.
Rwanda has been in war and after graduation; it went around countries trying to adopt development strategies. Malawi was one destiny that feeds into the Rwanda’s success story. Malawi’s Vision 20-20 strategy has performed miracles there.
Even Zimbabwe which has been in serious economic turmoil for about two decades is still better than Malawi. Soon, it will be much developed than Malawi. The same with Zambia. The country is on the move. Of course, some of these countries have resources, but we on the streets argue that Malawi can also do it with what it has. Bingu Wa Mutharika’s first term is an example that testifies to this.
Next year’s elections are an opportunity for Malawi to rethink its destiny and entrust its leadership with an individual who can restore Malawi’s hope for a developed nation. We on the streets will not be influenced by political campaigns characterised by insults, attacks, violence, emotions and lies. We will vote in a candidate who lives for our interests.
We want a visionary leader who can put the country on a path of serious accountability, transparency, hard work and vision. Malawians need leaders who think lasting solutions and implement projects that stand out. They want more of the Bingu National Stadiums and Malawi University of Science and Technology type of structures and four-way lanes roads in cities and corruption free administrations among others.