Political experts in Malawi have predicted a threat to state legitimacy and prospects of the country’s democracy consolidation following a decline in public trust in key governance institutions.
The two experts, Joseph Chunga and Happy Kayuni through their chapter in a book; Beyond Impunity-New Directions for Governance in Malawi that has been published this year, the country has witnessed a decline in citizen trust in public institutions which affects good governance.
Commenting on the chapter during the Book Review Event of the book held at the Catholic University of Malawi on Tuesday last week, Kayuni said authorities have mishandled several issues in the country leading to a lowering of public trust.
“Malawians prioritize food security, if the government has mishandled the issue of food security it affects trust, there is also the way government has managed the economy, and also the issue of corruption, so these are the three key indicators that if mishandled by the government, they affect citizens trust,” said Kayuni.
“And we have seen that, in democracy; the moment when the government has mishandled these indicators, the trust in democratic processes go down in other ways the trust to elect leaders to go down” added Kayuni.
The co-written chapter has disclosed that support for and satisfaction with democracy on presidents has declined from 50 percent in 1999 to 43 percent in 2019 while Parliamentarian, satisfaction has declined from 38 percent to 35 percent in the same period.
On obeying the law and on courts making binding decisions; the chapter has disclosed that the trust in police has declined from 64 percent in 2003 to 53 percent in 2017 while trust in courts has declined from 61 percent to 59 percent in the same period.
One of the reviewers from the department of political leadership at the Catholic University of Malawi who is also lecturer Sainala Kalebe said the chapter has presented a true reflection of trends in Malawi hence urging the authorities to act as a way of promoting long-term stability of the political system.
Over the years, Malawians have been experiencing food shortages despite politicians riding on campaign promises of ending hunger. The citizenry has witnessed a rise in cases of corruption in the democratic era and the economy being in bad share resulting in the rise of the cost of living.