Although the historic election of the new Malawian president, Lazarus Chakwera, can be described as a victory for democracy in Africa, he still has to prove that he is worthy of office.
So says prof. Lesiba Teffo, a political analyst at Unisa’s Institute for African Renaissance Studies, after Chakwera was inaugurated on Sunday.
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa, as chairman of the African Union (AU), had already praised Malawi in a statement on Sunday for the way in which the issue surrounding Chakwera was handled.
Although Peter Mutharika was re-elected president in May 2019, the country’s appeals court in February declared the results invalid because of fraud allegations.
Malawians returned to the polls in June and Chakwera, who formed a coalition with opposition parties, was able to unite almost 59% of the vote on him.
Teffo says in just one other African country, Kenya, the court has previously reversed the election results.
The BBC However, in Kenya’s case, the opposition could not prevail, which is why the recent Malawi election is an unprecedented event on the continent.
“Chakwera’s election confirmed the independence of Malawi’s election commission, as well as its courts. It is also a victory for democracy because too often political leaders in Africa remain clinging to it, ”says Teffo.
Teffo says because Chakwera, a former priest, has not been in politics for too long, he may be able to institute innovative policies.
“However, he still has to show if he is a president who will put the people first. Malawi, measured by other countries in its vicinity, is an average country with a fairly good education system. Chakwera’s challenge will be to use the few resources effectively to stimulate economic development, ”says Teffo.
Ramaphosa said in his statement that the AU wants to work more closely with Malawi in the future to promote economic development in the country.
Nyasa Times Meanwhile, Chakwera, who in his inaugural speech to run the country well, began to systematically appoint his cabinet members on Monday.