Analysts describe Usi’s appointment as a unifying factor for Tonse Alliance government

Governance and political commentators Undule Mwakasungula, Ernest Thindwa and George Chaima have hailed President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for appointing Dr. Michael Bizwick Usi as the new Vice President replacing the late Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima who died in a tragic plane crash on June 10, 2024.

In separate interviews with Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) a few minutes after Usi’s appointment was announced, Mwakasungula, Thindwa, who is also lecturer of political science at the University of Malawi (UNIMA), and Chaima, a governance commentator, said Usi’s appointment will help in cementing the relationship among partners in the Tonse Alliance government.

Dr. Michael Bizwick Usi is set to be sworn in as Malawi's new Vice President at 3pm today
Dr. Michael Bizwick Usi is set to be sworn in as Malawi’s new Vice President at 3pm today

Prior to the new VP appointment, Thindwa, an expert in electoral and identity politics, noted that the choice of the VP would not be the easiest of political decisions by Presidewnt Chakwera as it would likely come under heavy public scrutiny.

He, however, asked the President consider to appoint someone from the UTM Party to ensure continuity.

“Any appointment other than from UTM Party will be extremely challenging to politically justify to the extent that the mandate to govern was won through a joint electoral ticket,” said Thindwa then.

And reacting to the Usi’s appointment on Thursday evening, Thindwa and Chaima said there was no any other better choice President Chakwera could have made than Usi.

They commended Chakwera for heeding the call.

“Usi was a natural choice because even the late Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima chose him to be his running mate in the 2019 tripartite elections,” said Thindwa.

On his part, Governance and Human Rights Advocate Undule Mwakasungula said Usi’s appointment demonstrates President Chakwera’s commitment to the rule of law and the principles of our democratic governance as it was carried out within the constitutional period of seven days.

Mwakasungula therefore commended the President for this decisive and timely action, ensuring that our nation continues to operate with stability and adherence to constitutional mandates.

“The new Vice President Rt Hon Dr Michael Bizwick Usi steps into office at a very trying time, bearing the weight of great expectations from the Malawians. This appointment is not merely a ceremonial transition but a call to address the pressing needs and aspirations of our citizens. The tasks ahead are formidable and will require a blend of visionary leadership, dedication, and a deep understanding of the challenges that face our nation,” he said.

Mwakasungula stated that the new Vice President must be tasked with facilitating national healing, unity, and peace following the tragic passing of the late Vice President Right Hon. Dr. Saulos Chilima.

He observed that the late Vice President was a figure of unity and progress, whose contributions to national development and governance will always be remembered for generations.

“His legacy is a mark to his commitment to the well-being of Malawi and Malawians.  It is now upon the incumbent the new Vice President to carry forward this legacy, in promoting an environment of reconciliation and solidarity. In addition to promoting national unity, the new Vice President must address the economic and social challenges that continue to affect our country. Malawians are looking for a strong Vice President who can work hand in hand with the President to drive the country towards economic recovery and progress,” he said.

Meanwhile, Usi is expected to take his oath of office at 3pm today.

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