Governance expert Dr. George Chaima has saluted President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for demonstrating statesmanship and servant leadership by engaging former Heads of State in a discussion on what the country needs to do to address challenges emanating from Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
President Chakwera is apparently the first leader to consult his predecessors on national issues.
He is also the first Head of State to pay courtesy calls to retired presidents in their respective places of residence and also assigning them to represent him at national and international events.
Commenting on the gesture on Thursday, Chaima said what the President has done only confirms his resolve to promote national unity among politicians despite differing in political affiliations.
“This is very encouraging step taken by President Chakwera. You know, right from the beginning after he assumed office, Chakwera called for unity among all Malawians. He also took a tour to visit former Heads of State like Dr. Bakili Muluzi and Professor Mutharika. And that was all in the spirit of solidifying relationship for national good,” he said.
“And when he has also called for this meeting today, I think this is very commendable and it shows President Chakwera is a man who would always depend on others for participatory decision-making so that all that collective efforts can be put together for the good of the nation,” added Chaima.
But Chaima expressed disappointment with the advice Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) loyalists gave Mutharika to shun the engagement when Muluzi and Dr. Joyce Banda responded positively to the invitation.
The governance expert said he expected that any former Head of State would gladly take such an invitation as an opportunity to discuss and contribute to the matters of the nation.
“President Chakwera did not invite party followers to the meeting. He invited former Heads of State and not former heads of political parties. And Malawi is that state. I think the political party leaders of DPP are misguided by advising their president in a wrong manner,” he emphasized, further advising Mutharika to stop living in denial that he lost the election.
Earlier in the week, DPP National Governing Council member Ken Msonda also took a swipe at his fellow party following for misleading Mutharika on the matter.
Msonda said he expected that all the three former state presidents would respond positively and attend ‘this very important meeting’.
“The Think Tank would like to remind those misguided, confused, disgruntled and frustrated overzealous blind party loyalists that this call from the state president is meant for former state presidents and not political party presidents. Therefore calls from these called party members, followers, supporters sympathizers that the former state president shouldn’t attend this very important meeting is not only uncalled for but unreasonable, undemocratic, primitive line of thinking and unfortunate,” he said.
Msonda reminded his fellow DPP loyalists that Chakwera’s call for a meeting with former Heads of State is ‘a call for the national unity to work together’.