Talking Blues: Chakwera’s promises and lies

“On politics, my friend, the late Dr Bonus Makanani of College of Medicine /QECH, was a staunch supporter of MCP. He has died very disappointed because what he expected from the party is not what is happening now…” – Dr Taulo speaking on Wednesday 14 July 2021 at the funeral of a patriot gone too soon, Dr Bonus Makanani.

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Make no mistake Ladies and Gentlemen, late Dr Bonus Makanani is not the only person extremely disappointed with the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

I can roughly estimate that of the 2,604,043 voters who voted for the MCP-led Tonse Alliance, were an election held today, at least a third would either vote differently or not bother to vote at all.

This, by the way, is a conservative estimate.

The question you are asking is: why this indictment? You can dig deeper and inquire if I am aware that President Lazarus Chakwera has only been in power for a year. You could even throw in the fable of the Elephant and the Dog for size.

For the sake of those who have never heard this tale, here it is. A dog and an elephant became pregnant at the same time. Three months down the line, the Dog gave birth to six puppies.

Six months later, the Dog was pregnant yet again and three months later gave birth to her second litter of puppies.

This cycle continued, and eighteen months later, the Dog and the Elephant cross paths again. The Dog approached the Elephant with the typical head tilt, as dogs often do when their curiosity is at its peak.

The confused Dog asked the Elephant,

“Are you sure you’re really pregnant? It seems as if it has been forever. We became pregnant on the same date, and I am already on my third litter of puppies!”

To which the Elephant replied,

“There is something I want you to understand. What I am carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. I only give birth to one in two years. When my baby hits the ground, the earth feels it, and when my baby crosses the road, humans stop and watch in awe. What I carry draws attention. So, what I’m carrying is mighty and great.”

Going by this Elephant and Dog fable, some could argue that the 2,604,043 Malawians who voted for Chakwera should know that Rome was not built in a day and should hold their peace. Goodies are on the way.

Guess what? Only gullible souls could buy this false equivalency. There are a million ‘reasons’ in the form of the one million jobs by the end of the first year. The underlined timeline, which has expired, is why the Elephant and Dog yarn is not applicable.

The timeline was twelve months. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Two things come to mind. First, unlike the corrupt and unsustainable AIP where the Minister of Agriculture Hon Lobin Lowe was already counting maize cobs before harvest, a simple question asking how many jobs have been created to date elicited a stammering bout from a presidential spokesperson.

“How many jobs have been created, Sir, fifty? Hundred?”

“Ho, Ha, Ho, Ha, Bwa-Bwa-Bwa!”

No straight answer.

Second, looking at State House appointments and diplomatic deployments, even the opportunities that existed pre-Tonse are not going to the million expectant youths.

Wherever and whenever a vacancy needs to be filled, nepotism is the qualification one needs.

While this was just one promise, it accounted for a significant portion of the 2,604,043 jobs. Do the maths: divide 1,000,000 million broken hearts by 2,604,043, and you get the one third I am talking about.

To say that President Chakwera was elected on a pack of lies is an understatement.

“I, therefore, appeal to you to vote for an MCP government. For nearly three decades, you have tried the rest, and their failure to govern has led us to this present crisis. To be sure, they have mastered the art of making beautiful promises that are never fulfilled as a matter of practice. As a case in point, the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has failed to fulfil the 76 promises it made in 2014… A vote for me as your next President means that MCP will hit the ground running and start delivering results from day one.”

This was President Chakwera in the MCP MANIFESTO 2019-2024, Pages 4 and 5. On Page 6, he even went to the trouble of scribbling a signature onto that pack of lies.

Who does that!

A couple of questions:

  • Who has now “mastered the art of making beautiful promises which are, as a matter of practice, never fulfilled”?
  • “MCP will hit the ground running and start delivering results from day one”? Which ground, Sir? Day one? How many of the million jobs have been created?

I have already litigated against scapegoating Covid19 because, despite the pandemic, MCP and its alliance partners never revised their promises. Voters, therefore, believed that Covid19 or no Covid19,

  • Chakwera would keep his word and not “master the art of making beautiful promises which are, as a matter of practice, never fulfilled”, and
  • That MCP would not try and hide behind the Elephant vs Dog tale but “hit the ground running and start delivering results from day one”.

Still in MCP Manifesto, Page 15:

“In developing the governance and public administration architecture fit for purpose for a capable democratic developmental state, the MCP government will prioritize the following areas: 1) public sector reforms; 2) decentralization and governance; 3) corruption and development; 4) human and civil rights; 5) law, justice and security; and 6) national governance architecture.”

What has become of the report of the Chilima Taskforce commissioned by President Chakwera on 14 February 2021 to “conduct a comprehensive review and overhaul of the three government systems of allowances, procurement, and employment contracts”?

For argument’s sake, let’s say the assumptions under which the manifesto promises were made have changed. Have the assumptions under which the Chilima Taskforce was commissioned also changed?

As you can see, it is because of:

  • Chakwera’s reneging on major Campaign Promises and
  • Spinelessness in dealing a death blow to the evils inherent in our systems of allowances, procurement and employment contracts;

Tat bona fide MCP supporters like my brother Dr Makanani are dying disappointed with MCP and why MCP should take the loss of 1,000,000 voters in the next election as a done deal.

While my brother is now resting in peace, the 1,000,000 hoodwinked jobseekers will never forget the promises and lies, and at the end of the day, MCP will return where it belongs: the opposition.

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