President Peter Mutharika's conciliatory victory speech and conceding of defeat by the incumbent, Joyce Banda, demonstrated political maturity. The president takes the leadership of the 17 million-people strong country in the backdrop of dependency on foreign aid; high level mega scandals; high commodity prices and the winner takes its all culture. Mutharika acknowledges that things may not have been done well in Malawi, but lessons had been learnt. He promises to promote government accountability, promote rule of law; adopt a bottom up approach to development; listen to the citizenry; make the country food sufficient; nip corruption in the bud; make his government inclusive, and work with all development partners.
The new government has made grand promises. The people of Malawi must keep it under check to deliver on these promises. Spending much time, energy and resources on witch-hunting instead of spurring productivity and improved living standards amongst Malawians will not help the country. Malawians, on the other hand, must not expect overnight changes. They must give the government time to deliver and brace for tough economic times, as delivering on these promises might entail digging deeper into their pockets. This should not be a false dawn for Malawi. Africa wishes the new government well.