By Grace Dzuwa
The year 2018 was a year of ups and downs, especially when it comes to national development stories. As the elections draw near, there are events occurring the different politics party presidents.
President Professor Peter Mutharika,
DPP President In 2018, current President Peter Muthalika, did the following:
*He commissioned 55 megawatts of power supply in order to end power outages, that Spurs poverty in the country;
*He also opened 60 megawatts solar plant construction at Kazimbe in Salima;
*He launched the 2018/2019 tree planting season; 60 million trees are expected to be planted across the world;
*Under his leadership, there was construction of 180 metres the Chapananga Bridge in Chikwawa;
*He performed the official opening of the Mzuzu to Nkhatabay Road, which has been named the APM Highway;
*On 13 September, 2018, he officially opened the Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College.
President Mutharika also promised the construction of Ntcheu Stadium, which is currently in progress;
*Mutharika, accompanied by the Vice President Saulos Chilima (before parted ways), opened the 2018 tobacco auction that has been reduced by 14%.
Mutharika was also appointed as a board chairperson for Economic and Trade Commission of Africa.
Besides that President;
*He removed Chilima, Kachikho, and Mukumbwa out of his cabinet when the three showed to defer with him and they established a political group called United Transformation Movement (UTM).
Dr. Saulos Chilima, Vice President, UTM President
*Chilima remained calm throughout the first half of 2018, attending official functions with the President, and deputizing the Malawi leader when he was out of the country;
*Half way through 2018, Chilima wedged out of the DPP (the party that brought him to the office if the Vice President), ceded to his followers’ call for him to speak out, formed the United Transformation Movement (UTM) party, and parted ways with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP);
The UTM leader had tough time to register the UTM as party and was only able to do so after engaging in a number of court battles. He finally rolled out the party and embarked on a Nation-wide introductory tour of his party, with the promise bringing sanity to Malawi’s social and economic development.
The UTM party held a convention where some key figures did not get any posts, including Masangwi, Usi, Msowoya, Lucius Banda, and among others.
Chilima assured Malawians that the UTM is ready to sponsor aspiring MPs, Councilors in the road to 2019 victory.
Chilima has categorically refused to resign as the country’s Vice President and said that if people are telling him to resign it will not be his movement resigning; he further promised that if people vote for him and UTM candidates, he will make sure that poverty ends in Malawi.
Dr. Joyce Banda, People’s Party President
The nation saw the arrival of Malawi former leader Joyce Banda from her four-year self-imposed exile after losing her presidential bid in the 2014 general elections. Thus was after both Interpol and Malawi ACB cleared her if complicity in the billion Kwacha cashgate scandal.
Upon arrival, JB intensified her second come-back in Malawi politics promising to once again introduce the universal fertilizer subsidy once voted to power in 2019.
She reminded the nation of her two-year rule that constructed houses for the poor and the needy following the PP housing project.
The former leader, who is the President of People’s Party (PP), bemoaned the continued electricity power outrages in the country. She furthermore promised setting up a MK10 billion revolving fund for loans targeting small and medium enterprises to improve people’s livelihood in the country.
Like Chilima, Banda has also embarked in a nation-wide tour of the country, re-endearing herself to Malawians.
Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President
Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the country’s leading opposition party in Parliament, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), had the daunting task in the year with repeated internal party tensions, most of which ended in costly courts encounters. Chakwera held the Party’s convention, in which Sidik Mia were elected Vice Presidents of the Party.
During 2017, the MCP lost key figures due to lack of confidence in the leadership; those leaving include Richard Msowoya (Speaker of Parliament) and Dr. Jessie Kabwira.
Chakwera however, launched his High-5 agenda ahead of the 2019 general elections and named Mia as his running mate in the general elections.
The MCP leader was criticized for shunning Mallc, a project to ending poverty in Malawi; it was launched by the State President.