2023: A WASTED YEAR

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Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera

We, at The Leadership Institute for Transparency and Accountability (LITA) have objectively assessed the year 2023, and sincerely describe it as the most wasted year in the history of Malawi’s political governance and socio-economic development agenda under the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

We, as Malawians of good will, thank the administration for continuing some of the projects that were left by the previous administration. The Chakwera administration has also improved the fuel and electricity crisis in the country.

However, 2023 was the year Malawians had high hopes that the Lazarus Chakwera administration would solve the socio-economic problems that had marauded the citizens. At the time when Malawians expected the State President to swiftly take serious action, the man of God was either travelling locally or outside the country. In short, Malawians have had an absent President. The presidential sit had always been empty, a thing that even raised many questions as to who was in charge over national affairs. It was a wasted year.

It was the year when the President had watched over high industrialized corruption in the echelon of power. The administration tirelessly advanced public looting, money laundering and racketeering agenda. Billions of Malawi Kwachas that could have boosted the health, road, education and agricultural sectors, had been syphoned through dubious deals, yet to date, no culprit has been brought to book. This, therefore, entails that the Chakwera administration is a bunch of thieves with no agenda for transformative leadership.

It is not lost on Malawians, that during the Chakwera administration, we lamented over the dubious deaths of Lusungu Mwakhwawa, of Federalism Institute in Malawi, Allan Witika, the former Sales Manager of the Coca-Cola beverage, Agnes Katengeza, the former employee of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, among others. These deaths happened in between August and September 2023. Road accidents were on the rise due to road carnages. Suicidal deaths skyrocketed. Cases of robbery were at their toll, signifying security breakdown, among others.

The previous year was earmarked by gross human rights violations as evidenced by the detention, arbitrary arrest, threats and intimidation of human rights activists in the country. All these human rights violations were orchestrated by failed politicians from the governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

What was even more worrisome was the gross negligence of the Chakwera administration to control the economy. The Kwacha went on losing its grip with no political will to bring it into total check. The prices of basic food commodities, including maize, went up, without the administration’s effort to regulate the prices for the reach of the poorest Malawians. The series of the Kwacha devaluation have crippled the economy with no hope of recovery. Sadly, salaries in the civil service remain disproportionate to the devaluation rate.

The politicization of the Affordable farm Input Program (AIP), and loans at National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) continues to worry us. Nepotism, tribalism, cronyism, and executive arrogance, are even terribly the worst in this administration.

The division among the civil society, the opposition political parties, the numbness of Public Affairs Committee (PAC), had been the weakest link among the chain that could have provided the checks and balances. Nevertheless, we recommend the Malawi Law Society, the media, and other stake holders for their interventions to cover the gaps.

The New Year is before us. Let’s together, in solidarity, jealously safeguard our hard won multiparty democracy.

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