“Malawi is worse off than we were promised,” Catholic Bishops tell President Lazarus Chakwera


Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera

  • The Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops of Malawi declares President Lazarus Chakwera failed ccompared to its regional peers.
  • The bishops say the fight against corruption is one of the biggest failures of his administration.
  • Malawi has had a smooth transfer of power over the years, but it has not been good for the economy.

The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), a group of Catholic Bishops, told President Lazarus Chakwera in a letter that compared to his regional peers, he has failed to lead the country in the face of Covid-19, the climate change and war. in Ukraine.

This year’s pastoral letter contained similar concerns to the previous one and expressed that “the much-vaunted promises of change are far from being realized.”

Chakwera has been president since June 2020, after coming to power through the Tonse Alliance, which ousted Peter Mutharika after a runoff election.

During his two years in power, calls for a change of leadership have multiplied, even from Mutharika, who plans to run in the 2025 elections.

However, the bishops, deemed apolitical, have weight.

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They say “the end result appears to be a Malawi worse than we were promised and eagerly awaited in a region where most of our neighboring countries affected by the same challenges are registering significant human and economic progress.”

In June, the World Bank warned that Malawi’s economic growth is expected to decline further in 2022 due to chronic fiscal and external imbalances, which have been aggravated by severe weather events and the war in Ukraine.

For a reversal of fortune, the bishops called on the government to be more aggressive in the fight against corruption.

One of the major cases of corruption in the history of Malawi is that of the British businessman of Malawian origin, Zuneth Sattar. Sattar is being investigated by the UK’s National Crime Agency for corruption related to three public contracts with the Malawian government.

Back in Malawi, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) believes the country’s Vice President Saulos Chilima has ties to Sattar through an allegedly illicit contract worth around $2.5 billion rands.

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If Chilima is investigated and prosecuted, it could lead to political stalemate and acrimony between Chakwera and his deputy, who is also a key player in the Tonse Alliance that brought him to the power.

As such, the Catholic Bishops have noted that there is already in-fighting within the Tonse Alliance, with partners focusing on possible paths to take in the 2025 general election.

The letter reads as follows:

Malawians voted and inaugurated a new government. Malawians have sadly observed that his way of governing is characterized by infighting, struggle for political clout, cronyism, nepotism and focus on narrow selfish political interests.

Malawi has experienced a smooth transfer of power as a democracy in Southern Africa, but this record has not yielded positive results for the economy.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced by the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained therein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.


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