That’s too extreme Mr. President!

By Francis Botha

President Chakwera: Criticized for recalling retirees

It is 10:15 on a Monday morning and Masuzgo Simkolombwe, a graduate of the University of Malawi (UNIMA) is basking in the sun contemplating on where to get his next meal. Simkolombwe relocated from his elder brother’s luxurious house at Area 43 in Lilongwe to a neighbouring suburb, Kauma where he lives with his friend, Amidu the barber man. He says he was tired of ‘being raised’ by his sister in-law who is almost his age. Five years after graduation Simkolombwe has failed to secure any job, but his faith in God had kept him stronger.

But the 5 August 2022 news broadcast about new presidential appointments into the public service put his faith and hope to test. He could not believe his ears. The news bulletin read: “President Lazarus Chakwera has appointed Brigadier General Charles Kalumo (retired) to head the department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.” Simkolo- mbwe had known Kalumo as a brigadier general who retired from the army some 28 years ago, before his conception.

Chakwera shocked the youth further with his appointment of Alfred Mwenefumbo recalling him from retirement, to be controller of agriculture and extension services. 

“What the hell is this?” Simkolombwe screamed. Still in a state of shock, he rushed to a nearby video show room to further validate the shocking news. 

“In exercise of powers vested upon him under section 89 of the Constitution of Malawi, President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, has appointed Brigadier General Kalumo as Chief Immigration Officer replacing Elvis Thodi who was arrested on suspected fraud charges,” read the news anchor. 

The following morning government’s spokesperson and Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako justified the appointment as a strategic means of instilling discipline in the public service. Simkolombwe shed tears. He remembered the presidential promise of creating jobs for the youth. 

“Betrayal! Lier!” He loudly screamed. Simkolombwe is not alone. There are many other qualified Malawian youths failing to secure jobs. 

Recently, the National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM), tired with concerns of its 3,000 unemployed nurses, struck a deal to migrate 2,000 nurses to Saudi Arabia. 

Kajoloweka: Let there be youth empowerment

But government shot it down saying the union does not have the mandate to migrate labour. 

The startled Simkolombwe feels the president has reservations over entrusting youths with managerial positions in the public service. Have the youth failed him? Perhaps he does not appreciate a blend of both the young and the old in fulfilling his development agenda. Is it that he doubts the…

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