2024-06-14

Who will win 2025 elections, DPP or MCP?

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Opinion

Traffic lights

We had an interesting discussion in a taxi on Friday 16 February 2024. The starting point was on the newly constructed non functioning traffic lights at Chipasula on my way to Petroda Tank in Lilongwe. I personally asked the taxi driver a question if the robots ahead of us were working or not as one passenger was alighting from the car. He responded saying that they were not functioning at all. That question and the response from the driver sparked an interesting debate thereafter which later branched into other issues of interest.

In my opinion, the traffic lights were a raw deal by government whereby time and resources have been wasted for nothing. The lights were installed and worked for only one month or so after which they stopped functioning.

The primary function of any traffic signal is to assign right-of-way to conflicting movements of traffic at an intersection. This is done by permitting conflicting streams of traffic to share the same intersection by means of time separation.

Main Challenges

Someone suggested that the traffic lights were not working probably because the technicians had failed to fix them.

My take on the same issue is that we got a raw deal regarding traffic lights and probably we got something fake rather substandard for traffic lights from wherever we got them from. My other thought on the same subject is that perhaps we got something which was worth it and in perfect condition for our roads to function properly but someone stole the original materials and exchanged them with fake ones. This is possible as Makati has become the breeding ground for corruption and broad daylight theft.

Leadership

The issue of poor traffic lights later spilled over to the kind of leadership we have in Malawi today is that it is weak, undecided, passive and full of corruption, lies and lacks vision.

A different person argued that although Chakwera was a weak leader but he would still win in 2025 because he was delivering and had constructed many roads within the capital city of Lilongwe from Crossroads Roundabout, 6 ways lane tarmac road from Parliament to Kamuzu Roundabout and finally the Lilongwe Bridge which is still being built. Other passengers argued against his points saying those were projects which had already been funded during Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.

According to my understanding in 2019, Malawi Government and the Republic of Japan signed a grant agreement and exchanged notes for the implementation of a detailed design of the project for the improvement of main roads in the city of Lilongwe. Speaking during the ceremony Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamveka said the design would cover expansion of M1 Road between Lilongwe Hotel and Lubani junctions from 2 to 4 lanes, replacement of old town bridge and installation of traffic signals among others. Mwanamveka said the construction project was expected to start after six months of developing the design. Therefore Tonse Alliance has not brought anything new to the people of Malawi as they had painted the picture during campaign.

However, the construction of the same road project is taking long, almost three years since 2021 when it commenced, and it is disappointing because the road construction is incomplete and has stalled due to lack of funds from government to the contractors yet the project was already fully funded.

Another potential outcome is that the unfinished work could lead to a decreased quality of the final product. Additionally, the delay in completing the project could mean that deadlines for other projects are missed, which could also lead to negative consequences.

One more thing on the same debate is that Malawi’s economic outlook remains highly uncertain. In 2024-25 the economy will remain saddled with still-high inflation (albeit declining), and exchange-rate instability (following a large currency devaluation of 44% in late 2023).

While the same economy of Malawi was $7.522 billion by gross domestic product as of 2019, and was predominantly agricultural, with about 80% of the population living in rural areas.

2025 election winning formula for MCP or DPP

Someone else suggested that despite all the weaknesses that were exposed by President Reverend Lazarus Chakwera in his government, he would still win elections come 2025 because of his development projects.

My take on the same discussion is that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is poised to win the 2025 elections because of its sound economic policies that were in place during their term of office which both the learned and illiterate are able to compare today. You could budget essential commodities and services during the previous government because the kwacha was stable, prices were affordable throughout the years unlike today when everything has come to a standstill. That is the main reason people would wish to bring back DPP just like they brought back Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in 2020.

Weak opposition

Another person pointed out that Malawi has a weak opposition in Parliament today which would help Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have a walk over in 2025 general election.

In my opinion, it is true the Opposition’s main role is to question the government of the day and hold them accountable to the public. This also helps to fix the mistakes of the Ruling Party. The Opposition must aim to hold the government accountable and to present itself to the national electorate as a credible government in waiting. For example, during Question Time, Opposition spokespersons will ask questions of ministers with the aim of highlighting a weakness or embarrassing the government.

However, despite the DPP being considered weak in Parliament, which I honestly agree in the sense that the opposition has been poorly represented by one selfish man, Kondwani Nankhumwa in the recent past, but that is a different case at the grassroots level. Millions of Malawians are after the opposition DPP in the next general election, those who have political eyes can see this but others won’t see anything even if the best explanation is given to them.

Alliances partying ways

My colleague argued that even without United Transformation Movement (UTM) and Saulos Chilima, the MCP would still win the 2025 elections because MCP is in government.

I have noted for quite some time that just like DPP and UDF alliance, MCP and UTM are not walking the same step they used in the past and that is disagree with this perception that Malawi Congress Party could win the 2025 election just because they are in power. Where was DPP when they lost government in 2020? Where was Joyce Banda when DPP won the 2014 elections? Where was MCP when UDF won multiparty elections in 2004? Of course they were in government so the narrative which says government does not lose is untrue and I do not know where this concept concept comes from.

If must be understood that in 2020, some of the people who are DPP members voted for Tonse Alliance yet they are still bonafide members of the DPP. The same scenario is happening now, those who voted for Tonse Alliance are not willing to vote for Tonse again but are ready to give their vote to APM and his DPP in 2025. That’s what happens in politics, we have some people who are independent in their political mindset, they will vote for a candidate based on what they think is on merit not just on party lines. And then in the other hand, we have those who are staunch supporters and are behind the DPP all the time, you cannot question who they will vote for, it’s obviously APM.

On occasion, an electoral alliance may be formed by parties with very different policy goals, which agree to pool resources in order to stop a particular candidate or party from gaining power. Troubling political times, stock market instability, and slow economic growth cause increasing concerns and fears within any established society. Uncompromising and polarizing views create a culture of indifference. Citizens grow tired of argumentative political discussions and seemingly endless barriers to progress. The result is an unclear vision for the future that becomes a breeding ground for radical ideas, larger-than-life personalities, and grandiose, if not offensive, statements. Inequality and discrimination fuel talking points that place blame and seek retribution.

Malawians are tired of always being told to be patient and wait for a better economy as government pretends to be fixing the economy when in actual fact they are destroying the economy of Malawi.

People are happiest when they are healthy, when they can trust their government, when there is an abundance of generosity, and when people cooperate with each other in a useful and meaningful way. Malawians do not trust Tonse Alliance Government anymore and they are likely to be associated with the election results in 2025.

MCP must ensure that people are happy and healthy, can trust their government, when there is an abundance of development, no corruption, millions of jobs creation for the youth, better salaries and working conditions for those who are working in government now, rule of law and when people prosper together through their own hard work. Malawians are not after handouts as some misguided people think, they are after doing business, farming or working to earn a living for themselves but the environment must be conducive for business, farming or working.

DPP should realise that the opposition’s right and duty in Parliament, is to believe the public interest is at stake, to oppose the government’s policies and actions by every legitimate parliamentary means. In so doing, oppositions tries to convince the electorate that they should change places with the government. Not what Kondwani Nankhumwa is doing in the August House, it’s a sign of complete madness of its highest order. The people of Malawi will soon make him sit down.

Conclusion

The main Challenges of Tonse alliance government is facing today is that they are failing to implement their own manifesto and campaign promises. Government is also failing to maintain the economy of Malawi which they found before they came into power. They have no better reason to give why they cannot deliver their promises and why they cannot maintain the economy nor improve it. Malawians could have appreciated if one of the two was done unfortunately we are moving backwards at all levels. In this case, Tonse Alliance has given away government to the opposition. Several yardsticks point towards that direction of Tonse losing in 2025.

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