CDEDI pens Chilima over unfulfilled promises, students’ welfare


The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has requested an explanation from Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima over unfulfilled campaign promises which include the welfare of public university students as well as public sector reforms.

CDEDI in a letter to Chilima highlighted one unique promise that touched millions of the youth which was to do with the pledge that no single university student would drop out of college due to lack of fees.

“Sadly, almost two years down the line, over a thousand needy students are at the verge of withdrawing from the public universities due to lack fees hundreds have already withdrawn from college, while scores of others have had their examination results withheld, and in worst case scenarios, some have been denied to sit for their final examinations due to outstanding balances,” reads the letter signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.

Since what is happening is contrary to what Chilima promised, CDEDI feels it is a mockery to start thinking of agenda 2063 when today only the elite and the rich have access to tertiary education.

“We at CDEDI would like to believe that whatever you promised prior to the court sanctioned June 23, 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections (FPE), was in a way a social contract with Malawians, therefore, it is only fair and proper to report back whether you have changed tune or not,” reads part of the letter.

The organisation added that Malawians are equally shocked with the sudden silence on the fight against corruption, whereby previously Chilima took the lead as a whistleblower in exposing all the malpractices during the immediate past Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.

“Malawians have been waiting with baited  breath, to hear and see you zeroing in on the serious allegations made by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) former Member of Parliament (MP) for Kasungu, Alex Major, to the effect that top government and State House officials, including some cabinet ministers, have become instant billionaires. You may wish to know that you raised a lot of hopes in Malawians, as someone who was poised to eradicate corruption in the country,” reads part of the letter.

According to CDEDI, Chilima’s sudden silence has vindicated his critics, some of whom are claiming that he has joined the bandwagon of celebrating the alleged plunder of public resources under the Tonse Alliance government, in which he is the second in command.

CDEDI has also challenged Chilima to make public the contents of the pact between him and Dr. Chakwera which was signed publicly at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in April 2020.

The organization also noted that President Lazarus Chakwera commissioned a high-powered team, with Chilima, as it’s team leader, to undertake a public sector review, whose results up to now only the two know about despite the fact that taxpayers’ money was involved in the course of the review and that such a decision was made publicly.

“It is taking Malawians for granted to keep such findings under wraps. If you are the very same energetic and vibrant leader Malawians voted for as their Vice President in the previous two elections, sir, then CDEDI is very optimistic that Malawians will hear from you on the issues we have raised, in the shortest practical period,” reads part of the letter.

Apart from Vice Presidency, Chilima also doubles as the minister responsible for Economic Planning and Development. His decision to join mainstream politics brought high hopes among the youth and other sectors of the society, who had given up on the political leadership in Malawi.