Parliament announcement of the prorogulation of the 49th session of the Malawi Parliament on 18th December also effectively means the Tonse Alliance has one full budget year to implement its manifesto.
President Lazarus Chakwera, who was sworn in June 2020, has failed to live up to his litany promises of cheap fertiliser, reduction of presidential powers, creating a million jobs, production of 1000 megawatts of energy.
Forget the comedy of Bridgin Foundation, that was a sad tale of a desperate government.
The Tonse Alliance also promised a new Rumphi-Chitipa via Nyika Road, new Mzuzu Airport and Mombera University now renamed Inkosi ya Makhosi Mmbelwa.
The budget session for 2023 is expected to start on 17th February and the next one in 2024 will essentially cover elections, making the 2023 as the one to deliver most of the promises.
The country’s economy has turned worse with foreign exchange reserves dwindling below a month’s cover, the same for fuel and electricity supply at its lowest level.
Corruption is rampant and donor confidence is at its lowest levels with IMF officials publicly saying the country is debt ladden and can’t absorb any more loans. This is the diplomatic way of saying the Tonse Alliance has bankrupted the nation.
As 2023 starts, the President has led the nation in prayers. But does God listen to sinners? Believers say if they repent their sins he does.
But can God hear Tonse Alliance prayers- when Malawians are paying for expensive maize when Admarc was looted, when 13 trucks of maize disappeared like the biblical Elijah chariot of fire, when K750 million was shared like manna and the poor can’t get fertiliser, when fuel is gold mine for a few leaving ambulances failing to save lives.
Surely which God will hear prayers from people who are praying after receiving cash and cars from Zuneth Sattar to loot national coffers or are working to defeat justice.
Unfortunately, the President and his Tonse Alliance band have only one clear year left to implement their promises, stop wanton looting of public resources and assure Malawians they are in charge.
That the President didn’t know arrest of Chizuma, about Sattar, about Fuel about anything is scary.
As the Catholic Bishops said a few weeks ago, if he doesn’t know, who is safe in Malawi.
The end of 49th Parliament session should remind the President that this is almost his last budget before campaign starts.
In 2024 and 2025 budgets, they go towards elections. He might be two years late, but he can change the tide, if he wills to do so and save his legacy.
So far, the legacy of President Chakwera is wanting.