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Friday, June 18, 2021

Anti-Tonse demos loom

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President Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse administration risks facing national wide protests barely ten months in power over maladministration and delayed fulfilment of campaign promises.

There are growing frustrations among some citizens who think the current regime is being too slow and lacking a clear roadmap on a bulk of promises made prior to the court sanctioned fresh presidential poll on June 23, 2020.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition-HRDC, which made thought was “systematically” roped into the Tonse administration, has now taken a strong stance against government; claiming Chakwera is not too angry enough and transformative to drain the swamp he pledged.

In a strong worded statement, HRDC Chairperson, Gift Trapence further demanded state of the nine-party Tonse Alliance while calling on Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima to jointly address the nation in reference to their consolidated manifestos.

“The Alliance campaigned and won based on a merged blueprint that consolidated some of the promises from the manifestos of all the partners. However, eight months down the line HRDC and Malawians are saddened that little effort is being made to implement most of the merged campaign promises,” said Trapence.

Among others, the Tonse-led government pledged to create one million jobs for the youth in the first year, ensure free water and electricity connection, reduction of passport fees, fighting corruption and introduction of mega farms in all the regions of the country.

But Presidential Press Secretary, Brian Banda maintains Chakwera has a five-year-mandate and will fulfil all the campaign promises.

Argued Banda: “Don’t forget that the President has a five-year term. Again, the second wave of COVID-19 has also affected some plans. But he will surely do as he promised.”

However, seasoned political analyst Humphrey Mvula fears the Tonse administration may end up losing people’s confidence and trust with prolonged delays in fulfilling critical campaign promises.

In its 2020 assessment of state of affairs, the Public Affairs Committee observed that the Tonse administration had survived on public sympathy but was too slow in undertaking crucial public reforms.

Nine parties in Tonse Alliance led by Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party sent packing former President and Democratic Progressive Party leader, Peter Mutharika at the height of concerns of careless public plunder and corruption.

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