News

Malawi citizens protest newly-elected president amid corruption

On May 21, Peter Mutharika was reelected as president of Malawi. There has been speculation around the legitimacy of his
party’s majority vote. This has been a recurring element in the Malawi Parliament, and many Malawians are tired of dealing with
corruption and government scandals.
Malawi is located in the southeastern half of Africa. According to the United Nations, it is one of the world’s least
developed countries. Malawi gained independence from Britain in 1964. As with many African nations, Malawi and other
neighboring countries have dealt with their fair share of lackluster leaders and corruption. HanGyul (HG) Park, an
intercultural studies major, spent the majority of his life in Zambia. Zambia and Malawi share more than just a border: Park
described Zambia’s current governmental state as unreliable, but not as corrupt as other African nations. There has been a
call in Malawi for better, more ethical government practices that would grow Malawi as a society and improve the lives of its
citizens.
Currently unfolding in Malawian parliament is a court case to determine the legitimacy of the May election. Pastor Sean
Kampondeni, the son-in-law of second-place candidate Lazarus Chakwera, spoke briefly about the current proceedings in
Malawi. Kampondeni is a prominent leader in Malawi’s capital of Lilongwe.
He is familiar with the social well-being of the people and the insecure politics of Malawi. Explaining that people are
waiting anxiously for the court’s verdict and that there is “widespread skepticism” among the people as to the legitimacy of
the election.
Kampondeni said that, for the most part, everything in the capital city Lilongwe is normal, but that periodic disruptions
like protests make it hard to maintain a rhythm of life. Until a decision is made regarding the credibility of the election, the
Malawians can do nothing but wait.
“If the court rules that they were credible, then Malawi continues for another five years with the same policies it has been
governed for the last 10 years,” Kampondeni said. “If the court rules that the elections were not credible and are thus
nullified, then there will likely be another presidential election.” No matter the court opinion, there will most likely continue to
be protests due to the polarized opinions among voters.