When the President Doesn’t Have Full Control of Government


President Chakwera does not have full control of the government. Who says so?

Chakwera made this statement on Monday, June 12, 2023, during the opening of a two-day conference on the separation of powers, held at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

“In everyday discourse, people expect the President to ‘kuyendetsa Boma,’ which connotes a driver having 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 over them,” admitted President Chakwera.

Does this statement surprise you?

Probably not for some people, as they have witnessed the lack of government control since Chakwera took office, and Malawians started experiencing a rough ride.

It is unfortunate that the State President has realized his weakness very late, while several commentators have been saying all along that Malawi is lost on a journey to nowhere.

One example highlighting the lack of leadership in the government is the explanations and responses given during the arrest of ACB Director General, Martha Chizuma.

However, I have made some interesting observations from this unfortunate statement:

First, it suggests that President Chakwera did not understand his job description from the beginning. He has struggled to learn his role properly while in office and seems to regret leading the country without adequate leadership qualities. We are all lost in the middle of the jungle.

Second, the President is facing significant challenges in running the government. Chakwera initially thought it would be an easy task, but now he realizes that leaving the church and assuming the highest office of President was a big mistake.

Third, the President has given up on leading Malawians to the promised land of Canaan because he cannot afford to do so. Currently, Chakwera is unsure whether he should return to his church or continue leading the innocent country in an unknown direction.

Fourth, this confirms that Chakwera became President by accident and had nothing to offer this nation. The church and government are two different institutions, operating in very different ways. Government is serious business; it is not for laissez-faire leaders.

Fifth, the President is openly telling the people of Malawi that he won’t lead them anywhere. Therefore, a replacement must be found now. The super Hi-5 is difficult for Chakwera to accomplish, and he doesn’t even know where to start.

Who is in control of the government?

In my opinion, control over government decisions about policy is constitutionally vested in elected officials. Elected officials are chosen in frequent and fairly conducted elections, where coercion is comparatively uncommon. Practically all adults have the right to vote in the election of officials.

Control must mean the power or authority of a government to regulate or command industry, organizations, programs, initiatives, and individuals. Unfortunately, this is the control the President is failing to demonstrate on the ground, and nobody will do it for him.

The President has the highest authority in Malawi, and the two types of control are two basic categories of internal controls – preventive and detective. However, President Chakwera cannot prevent anything bad from happening, nor can he detect the bad decisions and corruption taking place under his nose. Is the President involved in the corruption as well? His delayed action and silence against those involved are quite worrying and questionable.


As we speak, Malawi does not have a functioning government. The absence of any government control is anarchy, meaning ‘without a ruler,’ and occurs in chaotic states where the government loses the ability to maintain its authority. In this case, President Chakwera is losing authority to govern absolutely due to his own ignorance and incompetence. It is embarrassing for the President, but Malawians are equally to blame for the way they choose their leaders.