Malawi leader admits abandoning campaign promises

President Lazarus Chakwera has admitted that he has abandoned his campaign promises, saying the promises were made in conditions that no longer hold.

Chakwera made the admission in his national address on Sunday following a rise in Coronavirus cases.

The Malawi leader claimed that the scale of the Coronavirus pandemic demands a change of priorities.

“This is important to say because there are some who are still obsessed with politics, some who are still obsessed with cabinet appointments and reshuffles, and some who are still obsessed with campaign promises that were made on assumptions and in conditions that no longer hold. When a ship is at sea and it comes across unexpected rapids and is hit by an expected storm, only a foolish captain would insist on maintaining the same course,” said Chakwera.

In the run up to the June 23 Fresh Presidential Elections, Chakwera promised removal of water and electricity connection fees, reduction in passport fees to K14,000, loans for youth and women and construction of secondary schools as well as other infrastructure projects.

After he appointed his cabinet last year, Chakwera promised to reshuffle the cabinet in January this year saying the one he has now is a transitional cabinet.

Meanwhile, Malawians have accused Chakwera of using the pandemic as an excuse for his failure to implement what he promised.

“Many failed states across the world have used the pandemic as an excuse to inflict restrictions on democracy and curtail calls for accountability and transparency. If Malawians wanted a danger-warning sign, Chakwera just flagged one today when he veered off his Covid-19 address to attack his critics, especially those he perceives to be obsessed with promises he is trying too hard not to keep on the pretext of the pandemic which was already raging when he made them. No Mr President, a promise is a credit. The making of a dictator could be well underway,” said Journalist James Chavula in a Facebook post.

“This is a dangerous statement he made and a threat to our democracy,” said a commenter on Chavula’s post.