The past week has been super election fever busy days for Malawians as political parties have published their manifestos and made promises. This is spiced with the presidential and vice presidential debates, and the political rallies.
Phew! What a hectic time for Malawians and their lone pair of ears!
About the manifestos, Malawi’s constitution mandates Parliament to pass legislation (also known as laws); this is not the job for political parties. On the other hand it is government that governs, not political parties.
The promises of political parties in manifestos in this democratic era, are empty because they do not have the power or the authority to pass the legislation or to promote the policies they promise through governing. Such is the realm of the roles of parliament and executive branches of the government.
But, this will be a topic of another article; for today the concentration is on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF); all in one breath.
Traditionally, manifestos have been regarded as a contract between political parties and its voters; a mandate or blueprint of what the party aims to achieve once in government. When one looks at the background of the two parties (UDF and DPP), their fundamental purposes have ceased to be relevant.
Both, DPP and UDF unveiled their manifestos last week (Sunday), but with their checkered backgrounds, which include failure to abide to their promises marred by widespread corrupt practices up and down the ruling grid, questions abound if voters are listening to the voices in the manifestos; are they genuine? Will they rob the country again? Do the have the spine to root out corruption.
DPP is current governing party with a track record of officials involvement in corruption. Although UDF leader Atupele Muluzi is said to be one of the most trusted cabinet ministers in DPP government under Peter Mutharika administration, many Malawians still recall rampant corruption under his father’s (Bakili) leadership.
In their manifestos, both parties have pledged to end corruption, improve the country’s economic, infrustructure and social policy.
During their eras of leadership, the UDF and DPP, corruption was the order of the day and the country’s economic environment was crippled, both to the point of Malawi losing assistance from traditional development partners.
Contrary to their promises, the two parties have also been characterized with lapses in security and rise in white collar thefts and armed robberies.
Yes, the DPP government managed to develop a few roads but the majority are still at the “laying the foundation stone” level. Other projects are vainglorious in that their main purpose is to elevate personal and not national development goals.
During the two parties administrations, at the stroke of the government pen, close to the entire manufacturing and commercial companies, downsized, sold to foreigners, or shutdown altogether. The ones that remain open have been struggling to perform or stay afloat.
Despite failing to fulfill the promises in their manifestos, the two parties still have energy to draft, launch brand new manifestos with more promises, all bent on persuading Malawians to vote for them.
Yes, it is their constitutional rights, but the questions remain: do they think Malawians are children? Where will be Malawi land in five year’s time under their rule of unrelenting plunder if public moneys?
It is the profound belief of the writer of this analysis, to give UDF and DPP my vote of no confidence in this election.