Crossroads Hotel was the venue for the Malawi Congress Party’ (MCP)manifesto launch on March 9 2019.
In the welcoming remarks, MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said: “The manifesto symbolises MCP’s steadiness and readiness to govern Malawi”.
He added that MCP’s manifesto is not a political tool only to win votes, but a communication instrument and the party’s statement of intent to govern Malawi.
He added that it is a motivation to the electorates and the basis on which Malawians will monitor and evaluate the MCP government, and hold it accountable if voted into power.
The MCP manifesto was analogically described as a “diagnosis of the problems Malawians are facing and a prescription to the economic and human development ailments Malawians are going through”. In the words one would expect from a governance activist, Mkaka said, “It is a social contract between Malawians and the MCP president”.
What is in the MCP manifesto?
Sosten Gwengwe provided the philosophical underpinnings of the MCP manifesto.
Gwengwe, speaking eloquently, charged that MCP is a party with an ideology and anchored on a philosophy.
A display of five key citizens’ concerns, focusing on challenges in agriculture, especially lack of profitable agriculture enterprise for the smallholder farmers, challenges in the health sector, dwindling of the education system, collapse of human security and services, nepotism in government services and appointments, laid the foundation for MCP’s development philosophy.
Gwengwe told the gathering that MCP intends to build a new Malawi on the foundations of a democratic State powered by the Chakwera Super Hi 5.
It was Moses Kunkuyu who unpacked the contents of the manifesto. The MCP manifesto heavily draws its inspiration from Agenda 2063, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and locally the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III. The document covers aspirations for any developing country like Malawi.
If implemented, it has the potential to change the development landscape of the country. However, if history with manifestos in Malawi is anything to go by, it runs the risk of being one of those flowery documents. When parties get into government, they abandon their manifestos and start implementing political podium policies, which have no proper needs assessment as the basis.
With the vision of “a new and progressive Malawi, built on the foundation of a capable democratic developmental State for the benefit of all Malawians”, the MCP manifesto outlines five key themes of focus. They are governance and public administration, economic growth and development, social development, infrastructure development and homeland security and foreign policy. Subsector manifesto themes are a mirror of the priority areas outlined in the MGDS III. MCPs cognizance and reference to the MGDS is an indication of the party’s seriousness on addressing the the country development visions.
The climax of the launch was when Kunkuyu took a swipe at the duo MCP torchbearers—Chakwera and Mia. He reminded them that they are committing together and they need to deliver together.
Kunkuyu’s statement might have been read as a political satire in relation to Mutharika and Chilima break away, but the message he delivered does not only speak to Chakwera and Mia, but whichever pair is voted into power in May.
Chakwera made a short but succinct speech. If Chakwera meant what he said, and if his political mantra of Hi 5, is anything to go by, then Malawians would have hope. In his Hi5, Chakwera is committing prospering together, ending corruption, uphlding the rule of law, servant leadership and uniting Malawi.
MCP has a record of complaining that their votes were stolen. However, Chakwera has assured Malawians that “we will protect every vote’ in all constituencies, ward”, villages and towns, and every corner of the country.
MCP has done its part, now the electorates await eagerly to hear promises from the other parties. n