A week ago, one of the Tonse Alliance partners, Kamuzu Chibambo, who is also president of the People’s Transformation Party (Petra), hit hard at the government for failing to curb corruption and failing to adhere to the austerity measures that the government announced. He did not stop there; he called on corruption prosecuting agencies to resign if the heat is too much for them. Chibambo bemoaned the government’s wastage of public resources through unnecessary public events.
When President Lazarus Chakwera, then in his capacity as president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), and Vice-President Saulos Chilima also leaders of the UTM, signed a Memorandum of Understanding which bore the Tonse Alliance, many Malawians were excited and there was a lot of goodwill. The excitement was in two-folds; their coming together signaled political maturity because then it was clear that no party would amass the required 50%+1 votes unless parties formed electoral alliances. Secondly, the campaign messages they relay were too good such that there were so many Malawians who were willing to help the Tonse Alliance realise its goals because these were goals that Malawians felt were going to transform lives and the country as a whole.
Two years down the line, the story is different. Malawians’ hopes that the Tonse Alliance could deliver on its promises have been dashed. The fight against corruption remains a farfetched dream. Corruption cases have unnecessarily stalled and there is no logical conclusion to so many corruption cases. The general feeling is that government is unwilling to wage a full war against corruption.
When President Chakwera announced the austerity measures, he rekindled the little hope that was fading. This time around, it looked like a government that is listening and also understands what Malawians are going through and was ready to suffer with them. But, alas! It was a smokescreen. Wastage of public resources still go unchecked.
Currently, many Malawians are spending many hours queuing for fuel. Instead of creating jobs as promised, Malawians have witnessed the closure of companies such as Admarc and many others that have closed due to the poor economy. This means that the Tonse Alliance will now have to update itself—instead of the one million jobs, it is now more than a million jobs that need to be created to absorb those who have recently been laid off.
The Tonse Alliance government came into power with so much hope and goodwill from Malawians. Unfortunately, Tonse Alliance is in self-destruct mode. The goodwill is gone. The complacency from the leadership makes it even worse for one to hope for the better. The flip-flopping and indecision by the leadership is another cause for the loss of trust among Malawians. Tonse Alliance better wake up and smell the coffee, 2025 is not far from today.