I was hesitant to comment on the Tonse Alliance agreement just because the main players, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and Dr. Saulos Chilima decided to keep secret about the contents of their pact . And yet they expected the electorate to vote for them. What a paradox!
As the malonda a mphaka syndrome (buying merchandise before viewing) materialised, and since the reckless voters had indeed voted them into power even without knowing the contents of their pact, we were then bamboozled to hear contradicting statements emanating from the proboscis of both leaders.
I knew that not all was well in the Tonse Alliance camp.
Just to gauge your memory a bit, at Njamba Freedom Park during the grand joint campaign, Dr. Saulos Chilima intimated that they had agreed with Chakwera that he would be the Minister of Finance if they formed government.
However, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera later appointed him as Minister of Economic Planning and Development, contrary to Chilima’s previous assertions.
This was the first sign that substantiated that the Tonse Alliance agreement was porous.
In another interview, Chilima admitted that it would depend upon President Chakwera whether to share power with him or not, simply because the Malawi Constitution is clear that the position of the Vice President is a delegated one.
And indeed President Chakwera so far has respected the Malawi Constitution by delegating some duties to his Vice President, even doing so in public. It just boggles my mind how President Chakwera can now violate our Constitution in preference to a mere secret contractual obligation.
For starters, there are trivial claims that Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera will transfer power to Dr. Saulos Chilima before 2025 by way of the President’s resignation.
That would be unconstitutional. If indeed there is any agreement that suggested that President Chakwera would resign before 2025 in an attempt to pave way for his Vice President, that would tantamount to raping the Malawi Constitution which President Chakwera and Vice President Chilima vowed to uphold.
Therefore, the video clip that is circulating in the social media in which the Vice President is threatening his President, demanding to honour what was agreed in their pact or face a recipe of disaster, is unwarranted for. In fact, in my analysis, the video clip was recorded during the campaigns. That is why I did not want to reply to such trivia.
It must be noted here that there are four circumstances in which President Chakwera can relinquish power before general elections:
1) Resignation 2) Death, God forbid 3) Incapacitation 4) Impeachment, probably not in that order.
Forcing the President to resign in order to honour Tonse Alliance agreement tantamount to a silent and bloodless coup. It is unconstitutional as President Chakwera is mandated to run the country for five years till 2025.
Impeachment is also an uphill as it requires an endorsement of two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.
The option of death of the incumbent President is worrisome. God forbid.
Worrisome in the sense that the Vice President is quoted in a leaked conversation to have five options to ascend to power
One of the options was to wish President Mutharika dead. This was in 2020 before fresh presidential elections when he was the vice president to Peter Mutharika.
It should be pointed out that the Malawi Constitution empowers the vice President to ascend to power whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the President.
As for 2025 presidential elections, President Chakwera is eligible to stand again while Vice President Chilima is barred from standing as the presidential candidate if the high court interpretation of the Constitution in the Muluzi vs Electoral Commission case is to go by. It said that the vice president who has served his maximum terms as vice president cannot stand for presidency.
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