Africa-Press – Malawi. The story of Lazarus Chakwera’s rise to presidency is typical of a Malawian boy, born and raised in kerosene but, against all odds, he benefited from a functional education system that catapulted him to different capitals of power.
In him you see a man who never missed a stage of life and, also, the hustles that define the label of being a Malawian. To those close to him, Chakwera can be an enigma. Seldom, they say, he smiles and when he does, it’s always conflicting for you never know he is amused or not.
His wife, Monica -the First Lady – tells of a Lazarus who never gives up, he is thoughtful and, as she winked, she adores his love as a man of his heart.
Asked of his measure, most politicians underlines that Chakwera is a that tactical guy: ruthless at planning level but strategically withdrawn at execution, always choosing to front his soldiers.
One senior politician said: “Chakwera is dangerous; never mistake his silence for nothing.” There could be, of course, a litany words and phrases do describe there an attribute of humility in the man that we can never take away from him.
Chakwera has been accepted as humble, listening, approachable kind-hearted but, of course, firm. Coming from darker yesteryears where our State House was terrorized by suspicious characters without a measure of comes from their mouth, Chakwera—with all his human weaknesses—comes with a relief of a beautiful dawn that many, already, are cherishing.
Weeks before last year’s June 23 Fresh Elections, Chakwera together chose to sit on the floor at the morgue of Luke Daeyang Hospital in Lilongwe while attending a funeral of a person related to former leader president Peter Mutharika.
It happened that chairs had delayed and Chakwera -in company of party loyalist and now marverick Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe – was said he saw no problem sitting down. It was at a funeral after all.
Well, such an instance does define the measure of Chakwera’s humility and it is only fair to ask him to let it also become a feature of his leadership.
We don’t need a weak president, one—like Everton Chimulirenji, who masks his weakness in humility. No. We need a strong leader who is available, approachable, down to earth and, above all, one who is in control, takes responsibility and is ready to govern with a touch of respect and honor.
Chakwera is not far from that. It’s my prayer he doesn’t stray from this route. Leaders must be humble and we need a generation transition and the best is what Chakwera is doing, taking the youth along – especially those morally upright and full of honesty and integrity.