Chakwera Vs Magufuli; A contrast of a realist and a talk-talk

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Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera (L) has described the death of the President of Tanzania late John Magufuli (r)as "an incalculable loss to the continent"

FREE EXPRESSION (MalawiTalk) – Malawi leader President Dr Lazarus Chakwera and departed Tanzania leader John Magufuli are two geniuses in their own world.

When they last met, it wasn’t easy to capture their difference as they were still meshed in the valley of their presidency.

But in Magufuli’s death, the contrast of the two has become apparent.

As he is to be interred, the world is bearing testimony that there lived a great man, a leader whose development works spoke for their own.

Interestingly, a man who put Magufuli’s development work in perspective was Chakwera whose eulogy moved nations, as it was well tailored and carefully delivered to hearts and mind.

In his country, Malawi, Chakwera continues to inspire many whenever he opens his mouth to dust off his well tailored addresses. He speaks with a tone of a civil rights activist standing on a mountain top and seeing the dream land.

But running a country, yes, begins with great speeches to inspire. It begins with rallying hopes and wishes of a people. Yet with Chakwera, it appears speeches are a cornerstone of his leadership.

Whenever there is a problem, Chakwera always takes an aim at addressing the public because he knows he has the gift of oratory as a former preacherman. He knows he can defend a poorly constituted Cabinet because he has a tongue blessed with spews of comfort.

But that is what differentiates Chakwera with Magufuli – the finest son of Africa.

Magufuli knew that to  govern is to fulfil aspirations of his people. That, to him, is more than just flowerly speeches used to legitimise underdevelopment.

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera (L) has described the death of the President of Tanzania late John Magufuli (r)as “an incalculable loss to the continent”

In 7 years Magufuli has defined the route of Tanzania and the people now know where their country is and where it is heading. Contrary, in Malawi, Chakwera has done more is giving speeches to Malawians, always sharing his dream of a better Malawi. But nothing substantial on the ground.  Just lip service and talk, talk.

So what leadership does Africa need? Chakwera and Magufuli are best entries of future research and study.

  • Cyril Bini is Editor-at-Large of MalawiTalk. His column  is called “Free Expression”

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