Malawi: Who is Dr. Lazarus Chakwera? [Googling the President-Elect]

He is the only hope MCP and Malawi has to restore the development we have been dreaming about”John Tembo (August, 2013).

Dr. Lazarus Chakwera became the Party President of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on the 13th August 2013. He took over for the predecessor John Tembo on that day. Today on the 24th June 2020 the unofficial results are that he has won the Fresh Presidential Polls. That’s why I will look into the President-Elect. The opposition candidate who beat the incumbent President Peter Mutharika.

He has worked as an instructor at the Assemblies of God School of Theology from 1983 to 2000 where he became the Principal in 1996. He has been the co- director and a lecturer at All Nations Theological Seminary. Since 1989 to 2013 he has been at the helm of Malawi assemblies of God presidency.

Some says the Assemblies of God was run as an evangelical enterprise after model of churches in America. This means the reverend is a business-minded person and not only for the souls. There are talks that Chakwera is neo-liberal in the sense of market and business.

This he spelled out in November 2015:

No President can say in one breath that the government needs to move away from dependency on donors and at the same time sink Malawians deeper into dependency on Government subsidies. Malawi does not need a President who invents new ways to spend Malawians’ money, but create new ways for Malawians to create wealth which they can spend as they see fit. How can this president administer a cure for our economic ills if he is unable to see that dependency on subsidies is part of the sickness? How can Malawians be engaged in activities that grow the economy when he is busy deepening their sense of dependency?”

This here is his own statement in what he believes. Yes, any government should be able to find revenue and carry its own weight. That it shouldn’t be dependent on donors to finance the budget. However, it shows that he wants people out of subsidies. This means that the people have to earn and collect money other ways, as the state will not burden or help businesses to operate. That is the reality of this sort of thinking.

In similar fashion he said this during a rally in 2014: “Malawians are poor not just because of God’s will but […]due to the spirit of hand-outs which has grown roots among Malawians. No country in the world can develop through the spirit of giving its citizens Cows, Houses and any other Materials’; development required ‘teaching people to work hard” (Chakwera, May 2014).

We can see that this is s favourite way of thinking from him. This is a clear sign of what is ahead. There will be privatization and “liberal” economic thinking. Expect the markets to be less regulated and less state involvement. As he will instead take away the national bodies of trade, commerce and industry. All done to ensure that they are not subsidized, but run by own hard labour. That is how I connect these things.

I’m worried if the article of Aubrey Makina published on 28th January 2018 is true, where it states: “If Chakwera with powers of a party President can decide exile contrary voices, what would a Chakwera with the Police and Army in his pockets do to critics? That should be the question you should ask yourself before you start selling a fake idea of a rebranded MCP. A look into Chakwera as a leader: kill all who disagree with me. The dark days of the Malawi Congress Party are still with us. Our elders being the wise they have always been throughout history could never have been any right: just because a hyena changes habitats, it does not cease being a hyena. A hyena is a hyena all the same. A party founded on blood, serviced by tyranny and fuelled by dictatorship will not change simply because it is in a new dispensation. Not even new leadership will change it. It will still remain dictatorial, tyrannical and blood-thirsty as it has always been” (Aubrey Makina – ‘A look into Chakwera as a leader: kill all who disagree with me’ –, 28.01.2018).

This is here is maybe a follow up, as the sudden changes of the MCP National Executive Committee, which was changed without a conference or a convention who elected them. As the party president Chakwera just changed their titles and roles without any consultation. Also reconstituted the whole NEC and made new roles to it as well. This was all done in march 2018. When rebels to this move by the party president was called “troublemakers” and suspended by the party. That shows what sort of acts he does with power. Since he could do this with his own party, what can he do in power?

We also knows he has a way with words, as he called the incumbent President a “Prince of Thieves” and asked for a foreigner to run the Anti-Corruption Body (ACB). That is the sort of man he is. Yes, his a previous reverend, but his actions as Party President isn’t all rosy. Politics can be brutal, it isn’t a game for the faint hearted.

Chakwera might expect fanfare and be a voice of change. There are however, some warning signs. They might be scorned leaders and members of the MCP. These voices might tell something else than what the party itself would ever want to tell.

We know that a leader like Chakwera doesn’t want the dirty laundry out in the public. I know plenty people will congratulate him today. His a winner and beaten an incumbent. Nevertheless, the when getting the highest office in the land. You should expect to be looked into and see what you have said and done.

I don’t know Chakwera from Adam, but I do know he got a history and that will reflect on who he is as a person. Yes, I am not for rigging yourself into power like Mutharika did. However, I still want to know the person who will be in-charge and know what he did before he took office. Peace.

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