Lazarus Chakwera: Malawi’s president who ‘argued with God’.

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Lazarus Chakwera’s political fortunes had been revived by a courtroom ruling that annulled final yr’s flawed election

In the unmistakable cadence of a preacher, Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera, appealed for unity in his nation shortly after he was sworn in on Sunday.

The day of the week appeared becoming as the previous head of the Malawi Assemblies of God, one of many largest Christian denominations within the nation, handled the stage like a pulpit to encourage fervour with his phrases.

The nation is fractured after a divisive 13 months following the disputed 2019 election, the results of which was cancelled by the courts.

Speaking in a method and accent that had hints of US civil rights chief Martin Luther King, President Chakwera talked in regards to the dream “that binds us collectively [which] is for us to take pleasure in shared prosperity, not simply freedom”.

Lazarus Chakwera

Jacob Nankhonya

We all should get up as a result of this can be a time to come up from slumber and make our dream come true”

But he then he stated it was no good simply having a dream.

“The time has come for us to transcend dreaming.

“We all should get up as a result of this can be a time to come up from slumber and make our dream come true.”

Mr Chakwera is a person of God in a deeply spiritual nation.

The 65-year-old emerged as chief of the Malawi Congress Party in 2013 with out having any earlier political expertise.

Fighting with God

He got here to the job after main the Assemblies of God for 24 years, however admitted, when he was first operating for president in 2014, that making the choice to turn out to be a politician was not simple.

“I needed to argue with God over a course in life that did not appear pure to me,” he stated in a video printed by St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in California.

But after a variety of dialogue “God was saying that: ‘I’m extending your ministry so that you simply’re capable of pastor a complete nation'”.

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In one other interview, in 2017, he stated that within the conversations with God he turned to chapter three of the e book of Exodus within the Bible, through which God seems to Moses and says he ought to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

This confirmed him how a pacesetter can deal with each the non secular and the social wants of the individuals, his adviser Sean Kampondeni instructed the BBC.

But he doesn’t wish to flip Malawi right into a theocracy and neither does he wish to proselytise, he added.

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The new president stated he needed to control within the pursuits of all Malawians

“The president believes that authorities is one thing that God subscribes to in nations as a way to result in order and progress in society, for the flourishing of human beings,” Mr Kampondeni defined.

“In Malawi, he feels that the federal government establishments have been intentionally crippled during the last 25 years to not present that service and he’s there as somebody who is providing themselves to do this.”

Lazarus Chakwera


Lazarus Chakwera

President of Malawi

  • Born 5 April 1955

  • Studied theology in Malawi, South Africa and USA

  • Pastor and chief ofthe Malawi Assemblies of God church

  • Authored a number of books on faith together with Reach the Nations

  • Ran for president in 2014 and got here second

  • Became presidentin 2020 after defeating the incumbent

Source: BBC Monitoring

Standing on the apex of energy and addressing the nation on Sunday, Mr Chakwera has come a great distance from the boy who grew up in a village outdoors the capital, Lilongwe, who was, by his personal admission, crippled by shyness.

The son of a preacher and evangelist who established a number of church buildings, his profession as a pastor might have already appeared mapped out.

But at his prestigious secondary college, the place he discovered his accent by mimicking an American trainer, he initially had ambitions to be a health care provider.

He thought that by being a medic he must speak to giant numbers of individuals, he instructed journalist Joab Chakhaza in an interview in 2017.

Political v non secular management

But throughout his training he says he “met God” and “started to redirect my life in the direction of ministry”.

The father of 4 now needs to take that power and imaginative and prescient and put it into operating a rustic.

To these who assume that there’s a large distinction between the lofty goals of non secular management and the customarily low skulduggery of politics, Mr Chakwera’s adviser stated the president was effectively conscious of be political.

“Anybody who understands the political course of and the journey to the presidency – the politics doesn’t start while you enter workplace,” Mr Kampondeni instructed the BBC.

“You must do a variety of politics even simply to enter public workplace.”

But, he stated, the president’s strategy shall be completely different and he is not going to deal with it like a grimy recreation.

He will now have to make use of his ability to carry the nation collectively.

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The new president’s adviser stated getting elected taught Mr Chakwera about be political

Addressing the nation and never simply the crowds of jubilant supporters in Lilongwe, Mr Chakwera stated that these who didn’t vote for him might view his presidency with “worry and grief”.

But he tried to reassure them.

“This new Malawi is a house for you too and as long as I’m its president, it will likely be a house through which you too will prosper.”

The president’s defeat of the incumbent, Peter Mutharika, was so overwhelming, with 59% of the vote, that originally many shall be ready to provide him the advantage of the doubt, journalist Chakhaza instructed the BBC.

Transcending tribalism

“But he is received an enormous activity because the previous regime was so overtly tribalistic in its appointments of individuals and folks felt sidelined, particularly from the central and northern areas,” he added.

There shall be stress to try to rebalance the previous and folks “shall be eager to see if he can transcend that”.

The president’s supporters consider he can and he’ll supply a brand new type of management impressed by God and pushed by the wants of Malawians.

Inevitably, although, robust selections will have to be made, not solely in relation to the rapid problem of coronavirus, but additionally sort out corruption and foster financial progress. These might start to check his recognition.

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