Opinion: Of MCP distancing itself ‘Life Presidency

President Lazarus Chakwera called upon all politicians who want to join the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to do so, saying the party’s door is open and everyone will be accommodated.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on Thursday 30th of May 2024 moved swiftly to distance itself from its Mapuyu South legislator Esther Kathumba who said she would move Parliament to enact a law making President Lazarus Chakwera ‘Life President’ for demonstrating transformational leadership.

Speaking during the launch of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) financed Transport and Land Compact at Mzonde ground in her constituency in Lilongwe, she suggested an amendment to the Constitution to allow for a limitless presidency for Chakwera.

There are four factors to transformational leadership, also known as the “four I’s”: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration. 

Esther Cecilia Kathumba
Kathumba suggested the move.

A transformational leadership style inspires people to strive beyond required expectations to work toward a shared vision, whereas transactional leadership focuses more on extrinsic motivation for the performance of specific job tasks. Learning to balance these styles can help leaders reach their full potential.

Idealized influence describes elitist who are exemplary role models for associates. Leaders with idealized influence can be trusted and respected by citizens to make good decisions for the country. Inspirational motivation describes leaders who motivate everyone to commit to the vision of the nation.

Inspirational Motivation is the degree to which a leader articulates an appealing vision that inspires and motivates others to perform beyond expectations. Leaders who use inspirational motivation have high standards and expectation for their followers.

In the context of leadership, the idea of intellectual stimulation entails motivating and stretching people to think critically, creatively, and independently. Leaders who engage in intellectual stimulation develop a culture that values and encourages original thought, curiosity, and lifelong learning.

Individual consideration involves keeping lines of communication open, attending to the individual needs of employees, mentoring them and recognizing each person’s unique contributions. You can often identify a transformational leader by the trust, respect and admiration others feel for them.

President for life is a title assumed by or granted to some presidents to extend their tenure up until their death. The title sometimes confers on the holder the right to nominate or appoint a successor.

The recurrent attempts by African leaders to prolong their stay in office have become one of the defining features of the African continent. The frequency of these incidents creates the impression that such a practice is an African invention.

Even though Malawi congress Party has rebuked the suggestion from its lawmaker on the reintroduction of Life presidency this remains an issue to be closely scrutinized whether it has come by accident or design. Malawians can choose to believe the lawmaker or the political party at large as the old adage says there is no smoke without fire or should we say there is fire without smoke?

Changing old habits takes time and effort, and setbacks are inevitable. But instead of viewing setbacks as failures, see them as opportunities for learning and growth. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and remember that every step forward brings you closer to becoming the best version of yourself.

It is difficult to change an old habit. It’s usually hard to change a habit because the behavior has become easy and automatic. The opposite is true, too: New behaviors can be hard because your brain’s basal ganglia, the “autopilot” part, hasn’t taken over this behavior yet. Simplifying new behaviors helps you integrate them into your autopilot routines.


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