Saulos Chilima and Lazarus CHakwera, When MCP needed UTM

By Idriss Nassar

Betrayal is when those that came to power through a revolution suddenly embrace and become comfortable in what they (seemingly) vehemently opposed not too long ago—grand theft, corruption, looting, cronyism, love of power for power’s sake, unexplained sudden wealth, primitive accumulation, hostility and intolerance toward opposing views, state capture by a coterie of dubious characters, hero worshipping, sponsored mobs of zigoba.

Yet the revolution that brought about the Tonse Alliance government into power was not all about party or tribal identity. It was propelled by a broad effort—church, civil society, the student movement—because it was about rescuing the country for the sake of our collective survival.

The hope was that we were putting in power principled adults like Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima, who would be a major improvement over the mess of the last regime. And circumstances were ripe for a brand-new kosher way of doing things. Upon taking power, they could have pushed for aggressive policies that immediately redressed the deficits and injustices of the Democratic Progressive Party – DPP era and set the tone for good and for better governance.

But Alas

Every chance was fumbled because, in their view, it was now their time to eat, and they could not be bothered with trying to be different from what they said they opposed. The trappings of power have lulled them into betraying the very ideals that brought them into power. When we speak about corruption and maladministration, they become very irritated, willfully oblivious of the fact that they are inflicting economic catastrophe to the country for generations to come.

Seeing how things are quickly unravelling, somewhere in Mangochi, a relieved Peter Mutharika must be enjoying his whiskey, chuckling: “I told you so.”

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