As Malawian are getting ready for the 2019 elections, it is indeed time for reckoning for the political leadership. It is time for leaders to prove that they have been listening to the people of Malawi.
Meanwhile, the political environment is indicating that the 2019 elections will be very competitive both within the parties and between parties. Taking Malawians for granted will be a big mistake. Imagine who would have even thought that the ruling DPP would have two factions of which one would supporting President Mutharika? This might be a shock to the State President who has been bragging about having a united party.
Since political leaders are elected by the people, is expected that they have to listen to the electorate. In fact the standard of lives of the people is the best barometer to measure the success of a leader. It must not be up to the leader to praise himself about his achievements. This has been the case in Malawi while people have been suffering.
It is generally believed that the progress of any country or organisation depends on the type of leaders in power. The appreciated development in Malawi during Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s era was partly due to that he used to listen to people’s demands as he had their welfare as heart. For example, the railway line extension to Mchinji, from Lilongwe, was after tobacco growers complained about the high-cost of transporting tobacco to Lilongwe Auction Floors. This railway line was, actually, taking tobacco up to the doors of the floors.
In the democratic Malawi , the Heads of State have just been claiming to have been listening to what people say by demand from their government. In reality, this has been mere window dressing. If they had been listening they would definitely come across some whistle blowers both at party level and at national level.
Meanwhile, recent events in Malawi have shown that the country and the ruling party DPP are falling apart under the leadership of President Peter Mutharika. It is common knowledge that throughout his four year rule people have been complaining about nonstop corruption, nepotism, favouritism to joblessness and other bad things. On some of the bad practices such as nepotism, he just needed to stop nepotism.
Covering them up by saying that even his predecessors were nepotistic etc does not help at all. A bad practice still remains bad even if someone else has been doing it. With such defiance of the leadership not wanting to change, Malawians are now tired and fed up and are now looking at having new leadership wherever possible. Already, in DPP, some members are opting for Vice-President Chilima as their torch-bearer in the 2019 elections.
With all due respect, President Peter Mutharika seems to have had no time to listen to people. But now, since he needs their votes, he seems to be in a panic mode in trying to prove that he has done all what Malawians wanted. Recently he feted some University students with food and beers plus each one of them was given K20 000.
This was not a solution to their countless problems such as fee hikes which the majority cannot afford as they come from poor families. At the same function the President promised that he will create 17 000 jobs. If he failed to do that in four years then what magic will he use in one year! Needless to say that the function was a campaign gimmick which might be too late. This, indeed, is time of reckoning as competition in the political arena is heating up.