That President Lazarus Chakwera, the Malawian President and Tonse Alliance leader spoke with tenacity and well bound reasoning at the United Nations General Assembly on the 22nd September 2022. The former Reverend and Christian Preacher knows how to use words. That’s why he went from being an opposition leader to the Head of State. Therefore, no one should be in awe that he spoke like he did.
“We must choose for our children a future of solidarity, hospitality, and generosity that transcend borders and national identities in times of global crisis; or a future of greed that hoards life-saving technologies, medicines, and vaccines in one hemisphere while the other hemisphere is robbed of its raw materials and left perishing. We must choose for our children a future of peace fostered by equitable sustainable development between north and south and between east and west; or a future of conflicts triggered by the widening economic inequality between rich and poor, men and women, young and old” (Chakwera, 22.09.2022).
The Malawian President spoke the truth here, universal truths and what everyone should stand for. This is the right values, but does his government live up these words? Does the government of Blantyre and Lilongwe really stand by this rhetoric?
We know the current regime is in the middle of a state capture. There is knowledge of grand scandals, lack of forex, inflation and trouble of imports. The current government isn’t handling crisis well and isn’t living for choices of the children, but living by the motto: “Our turn to eat”.
In the same regard: “But in a world where the virus keeps mutating and spreading, the measures we have employed to achieve all this are not sustainable. The most effective weapon we need is the vaccine. As such, you can imagine our disappointment to be at an assembly like this, rubbing shoulders with nations that are now administering booster shots while most of our people have yet to get their first one. This form of vaccine nationalism is wrong. It is insensitive. And it must end. Release the Vaccines” (Chakwera, 22.09.2022).
The President is speaking the truth here. The West and the rich nations hoarded the vaccines. They paid a huge price for it and blocked the options for others to get vaccines. Many countries only got surplus or the types that the nations didn’t even want to use. That’s why the vaccine nationalism is dangerous and COVID-19 world-governance proves that.
What is striking however in this regard, that the nations themselves should try to have stocks and ability to have vaccines as well. They shouldn’t have the need for goodwill or charity from others, which is what Chakwera in the end is asking. A sovereign and a nation should be able to get into the race of buying and the capacity needed too. Not only hope that WHO operated services will cover the needs of the nation. No, that’s where Chakwera and other leaders are at fault. They didn’t fulfil their own responsibilities.
He also said: “The need to work together on SDGs is why I am looking forward to meeting other LDCs for the fifth Summit of our grouping in Doha this coming January. Let’s work together, because even though my country has a ten-year implementation plan for achieving Agenda 2030 on SDGs, much of that plan cannot be done in isolation. The bottom line is, if one nation among us fails or succeeds to achieve sustainable development, so do the rest” (Chakwera, 22.09.2022).
The ideals here are positive and righteous. If the SDGs matters, than everyone have to try to fulfil them. That is pledges to make a difference and make the world sustainable. However, there will be nations failing and nations not willing to do so. They will do some, but not do the things that challenges their industries or financial markets. That’s why the ideals are there, but we know they wouldn’t achieve what is needed. This would burden to much of the big economies and the leaders couldn’t ensure damage or insecurity in this fashion.
That’s why Chakwera is speaking well and eloquent here on the subject. His saying the right things, as a skilled politician. The whole speech to UNGA was filled with it. While not reflecting on the troubles at home. Neither accepting the issues or the realities on the ground. The President didn’t reflect or mirror the challenges, which he has at home. Instead, pinning the others and asking for more help. That someone else has to come in and be the saviour. While not being held to account for the failures and lack of preparations. The COVID-19 didn’t only show Vaccine-Nationalism, but it also showed who was prepared and who wasn’t. The pandemic showed the true character of the governments and what they are willing to do.
President Chakwera proves he can speak and make a wholesome speech. He can have a coherent vision and be intelligent about it. Still, it doesn’t show what is needed to be said and be direct about the true state of affairs. Yes, if he had done that… it would have been brave and been sincere. Instead, his trying to look good and asking for so much. Yes, there is a need for global solidarity and work together. We all need that, but as a Head of State and a President. You yourself and your government have to work and show progress on your own too. Not only expect others to support or give funding for you to do something. Than your not a custodian, but instead a tenant with a fancy title. I hope Chakwera is more than that and not only beholden to the donors or the International Community.
So, please, Chakwera… you said all the right things, but you didn’t show the truth. Unless, you wanted to conceal the truth, which is shady. But… that’s just what I am seeing and another brother might see something else. Peace.