President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, has promised to make a full declaration of his assets each year and to go to Parliament to be questioned by the People about his handling of state affairs.
The Malawi leader made the promises during his inauguration ceremony at Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe.
Chakwera said he will give Malawi his best and set a good example of submitting himself to the constitutional processes, provisions, and institutions that are designed to ensure that the President and Vice President are always at their best.
“I will propose legislation to reduce the powers of the presidency and empower institutions to operate independently, including Parliament and the Anti-Corruption Bureau; I will meet with the Leader of Opposition personally every three months to listen to alternative ways of running government affairs; and I will operationalize the Access to Information Act in order to end the era of government secrecy and usher in the dawn of government accountability,” said Chakwera.
He then challenged the leadership of the Judiciary to do more to root out the culture of corruption and selective justice in the courts.
He also challenged Parliament to act professionally, put away childish ways, and repeal and replace bad laws.
“I will challenge civil society organization to maintain a culture of robust protest, not just against governance institutions, but against any entity that is on the wrong side of justice.
“I will challenge our development partners to respect our vision and plans for our own country and to partner with us in ways that respect our dignity and sovereignty, not ways that undermine it,” said Chakwera.
The new Malawi leader was elected in the June 23 Fresh Presidential Elections in which he defeated former President Peter Mutharika.
Time of rewarding hand-clappers is over
Chakwera said people in the country should work hard.
“The time of giving free handouts and rewarding noise makers and hand-clappers who are too lazy to work is past. We have a country to build and not a moment to waste. So, let’s all get to work,” He said.
He then urged Malawians to take part in the building of a new Malawi, saying no new Malawi must be built except that which is built by Malawians.
Chakwera added that the collective ownership of Malawi’s problems and collective participation in fixing them is the bedrock of the Tonse philosophy.
He said the one million jobs his government has promised do not just mean that the government will create programs to employ people, but also that it will challenge people to stop seeing themselves as job seekers and start seeing themselves as job creators.
“When we promise to ensure that every household is able to eat three meals a day, we do not just mean that we will give you cheap fertilizer to increase food production, but also that we will challenge you to work three times as hard in your fields as before.
“When we promise to increase your earnings, we do not just mean that we will increase the minimum wage and remove income taxes for those at the bottom of Malawi’s pay scale, but also that we will challenge you make yourself competitive in the workplace.
When we promise to build new homes with a solid roof, electricity, and tap water, we do not just mean that we will bring investors to make this happen, but also that we will challenge you to work towards owning that home,” said Chakwera.
Clear the rubble in order to build a new Malawi
Chakwera says Malawi is in ruins and his government’s first task in building a new Malawi is clearing the rubble of corruption, nepotism, donor dependency and laziness.
Chakwera said there is need to clear the rubble of corruption for it has left taxes in ruin, to clear the rubble of regionalism for it has left the country’s nationhood in ruin and to clear the rubble of impunity for it has left governance institutions in ruin.
“We must clear the rubble of passivism, for it has left our rights in ruins; we must clear the rubble of donor dependency, for it has left our dignity in ruins; we must clear the rubble of regionalism, for it has left our nationhood in ruins; we must clear the rubble of negativity, for it has left our resolve in ruins; we must clear the rubble of impunity, for it has left our governance institutions in ruins; and we must clear the rubble of unprofessionalism and incompetence, for it has left our services in ruins.
“The ruining of national treasures of both nature and state is a sin of my generation that I am bound by God to confess and bound by you to correct,” said Chakwera.
He, however, warned that in order to heal Malawi’s fractured nation and governance system over the next five years, Malawians must have the courage to face and endure the pain of systemic surgery as well as the courage to inflict necessary pains on the fractured attitudes and actions of people.
He added that building a new Malawi will have to be a team effort every step of the way hence the Judiciary, Parliament, Civil Society Organizations (NGOs), developmental partners as well as the citizens should take responsibility.
“The Tonse philosophy is not a campaign gimmick, but a governing philosophy that says: we either build together or crumble together,” Said Chakwera.
He then commended the media, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Human Rights Defenders Coalition and all Malawians for their courage saying their actions helped him as went on to win the 23 June, 2020 fresh presidential Elections.