Malawi Elects A Practising Clergy Rev Dr. Lazarus Chakwera As President

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Unofficial results for the fresh presidential election show that Malawi’s opposition party, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwera, is claiming victory in the re-run of last year’s presidential election – which was held again after allegations of widespread rigging.

Official results for Tuesday’s poll have not yet been declared by Malawi’s electoral commission, but state broadcaster MBC says opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera is leading with 59% of the vote.

President Peter Mutharika, who wants a second term, has 38%, it says.

Chakwera, 65, together with his running mate Saulos Chilima of UTM are expected to form the next government. He becomes Malawi’s 6th president.

Rev Dr Chakwera, as per unofficial results, defeated the incumbent President Peter Mutharika who represented Democratic Progressive Party-United Democratic Front (DPP-UDF) Alliance in a poll that was ordered by the High Court on February 3, 2020, in a landmark ruling that nullified the May 2019 presidential election results because the election was marred by what it called widespread and systematic irregularities.

Chakwera’s supporters are already celebrating what they believe is a historic victory – in what would be the first time in sub-Saharan Africa that a flawed election result has been overturned, and the opposition has gone on to win power democratically. Congratulatory messages have already started going out to the Pentecostal Reverend.

“New life to Malawi!,” said Zimbabwean opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa. “The Lord has given Malawi a Godly man,” he added referring to Mr Chakwera’s past in the clergy.

“My friend, brother and leader has just won the Malawian elections. I just got off the phone with him and celebrate his achievement,” tweeted the former leader of South Africa’s DA opposition party Mmusi Maimane.

Malawi Breaks Record, Elects A Practising Clergy Rev Dr. Lazarus Chakwera As President
the Daily Times headline on June 25

Rev. Dr Chakwera is, definitely, at his political best. For a political figure with a history of being a religious leader, the cleric exudes a figure of moral uprightness and integrity in the dirty game of politics.

It’s quite an intrigue to note how he rose from the gallows to win the leadership of Malawi Congress Party and, in the past 8 years, led the party to the heights it is right now.

If a word is told about Chakwera, tongues always stop at decorating him as a political god, a well-measured in speech, tolerant and, to cap it all, a good man leading a dirty game of politics.

But is Rev. Chakwera – the Red card man – really, this righteous, or he is just a political genius good at masking his worse?

What’s known for a fact is that he had a twenty-year stint as the president of Malawi Assemblies of God.

What is interesting, though, is that he left the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), joined Malawi Assemblies of God Church and, then, led the church for two decades. How did he manage to do that?

As MCP leader, Rev. Chakwera – again a political outlier in his own right – took over leadership of the country’s oldest party and arguably, led it so well to the height where it is right now.

In the years he has been on the helm, the world has seen his tussle with some party’s key leaders and, in all these, he never came out bruised—still as smart and righteous as he’s always been seen.

Thus, the question for many Malawians is in Rev. Dr Chakwera, are they really getting what they see about him or it’s just a facade of some sort?

Time will tell.


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ImChris Charamba

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller at Enthuse Afrika. Balances literary writing with pop culture experience. Captivates raw, authentic sights, moments, feelings and conversations. Follow me on Twitter @ImChrisCharamba

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