Do not run away, you are the driver — Nankhumwa tells Chakwera


Leader of Opposition in Malawi Kondwani Nankhumwa says the country might continue being in bad shape economically because President Lazarus Chakwera does not understand his job description.

This follows president Chakwera’s remarks which he made during the official opening of a two-day conference on separation of powers which was held at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) on Monday and Tuesday.

Speaking at the national event, the Malawi leader accused Malawians of distorting his job description saying his job is not to run the government.

Chakwera said president’s functions as described in the Constitution is something closer to a traffic officer, who controls the flow of traffic but has no control over the machines on the road or the individuals who control them.

“In everyday discourse, people expect ‘kuyendetsa Boma, which has a connotation or metaphor of a driver who has an absolute control of a machine. But the reality is that the function of a President is similar to that of a traffic police officer who controls the flow of machines but does not have absolute or full control of the machines,” said president Chakwera.

The remarks have irked Nankhumwa who is also DPP vice president for the south who says Chakwera should not run away from the responsibility of running the country.

In a press statement, Nankhumwa says it is frightening that the President understands his job as that of not steering the nation, but standing by as it steers itself forward which he said means the nation is heading towards a precipice.

Nankhumwa wondered why Chakwera is saying this today when in 2021 during the official launch of the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU), described himself as driver of a minibus, his Vice, Saulos Chilima, as a mechanic, whereas ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as conductors of the minibus.

“The President is the Chief Executive Officer of Malawi. He is the Head of State and Head of Government of Malawi, and Commander-in-Chief of the Malawi Defence Forces. He is the First Citizen responsible for running the affairs of this country. He is the driver.

“The President’s line of reasoning is therefore deeply flawed, to say the least. It is also my considered opinion that President Chakwera has no clue about what it means to be a leader of 20 million Malawians,” said Nankhumwa in the statement.

The Leader of Opposition further explained that president Chakwera must instil hope and confidence in Malawians that he is in control of the country’s social and economic systems.

He added that Malawians expect their President to have a clear governance vision; to know which direction they are heading to. He argued that it is not surprising that the country is in its worst economic shape as the president does not know his duties and responsibilities.

“It is no wonder that inflation is going through the roof, forex is at its lowest in ten (10) years, and Malawians will probably experience one of the worst hunger situations in recent memory.

“No wonder a contract of hundreds of billions of Kwacha for fertilizer has been awarded to a pharmaceutical company in Romania. No wonder we have a shortage of drugs in hospitals, and schools lack teachers and desks and school blocks,” added Nankhumwa.

Nankhumwa further said it is an insult to Malawians who gave Chakwera the job to govern them, to now be lectured that they got the President’s job description wrong.

He then tipped the Malawi president that Malawians want him to run the government and not to change his job description in the middle of the journey.

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