Donors hail APM’s ‘short and sweet’ SONA: ‘ Focused on challenged facing Malawi’

President Peter Mutharika received praise from Malawi’s major donors for his shortest 25-minute State of the Nation Address (Sona) which he delivered Friday morning during the opening of the 46 Session of Parliament  demanding resilience amid economic crisis .

Palmer: Short and sweet

Palmer: Short and sweet

The speech — themed as Building Resilience for Sustainable Development — saw Mutharika warn that hard times should teach Malawians hard lessons for lasting solutions.

“The tougher the times, the tougher we must be. And we can turn our challenges into stepping stones for building a resilient economy,” Mutharika said.

Donors in quotes attributed to them in The Nation, said Mutharika made a frank and sincere assessment of the country’s situation.

US Ambassador Virginia Palmer who described the speech as “short and sweet’ but also frank, said she expects Mutharika’s administration to do” three basic things; the reform of the FISP, sticking with IMF targets and full implementation of the public sector reforms that are prerequisite to the IMF programme and the resumption of the EU budget support and the coming in on board of the World Bank.”

British High Commissioner Michael Nevin said the speech presented “a realistic picture of the situation in the country” which he said is good for Malawi.

On Mutharika’s stipulated goal of economic independence , Nevin said the donor community in Malawi, are still giving over 1 billon dollars to Capital Hill, but stated that so cooperating partners “want to move to a position where that amount is reducing because Malawi is able to stand on its own feet.”

The British diplomat said to do that “you have to create the right environment for trade and investments. He also explained about much better control of expenditure, clamp down on fraud, the path is correct but let’s walk that path.”

Germany ambassador Peter Woeste said congratulated Mutharika “for making definitely probably the shortest speech I have ever been able to witness.”

The Germany diplomat noted that Mutharika mentioned that the government will table two important bills, the Access to Information and Land Bill “ which is a great way forward. “

Woeste noted that the Malawi leader “gave a great analysis of the current situation in the country but did not provide much of a way forward but give me much time to analyse the speech.”

World Bank Country Representative Laura Kullenberg, said Mutharika’s SONA was “frank” which was “focused on the challenges facing the country,” citing reforms, public financial management and emphasis of prudence as crucial areas.

Kullenberg said one statement resonated very strongly: “on the fifty year mark, our children will never forgive us, if we continue wasting time.”

EU ambassador Marchel German commented on Mutharika’s call for economic independence, saying : “The reality is that in Malawi there will still be the need for quite a bit of assistance but over time Malawi needs to graduate and move to trade and investment agenda but what is important is to have the right policies are being implemented.”

IMF representative Geoffrey Oestreicher is quoted saying Mutharika’s speech acknowledged there is some “catch up to do” for the IMF programme to get back on track and indicated Mutharika understands what needs to be done.

“ It was positive that he made reference to the need to regain fiscal discipline, keep the monetary policy at the appropriate stance and move forcefully with reforms to safeguard public resources, I am emboldened by what I have heard,” said Oestreicher as quoted by The Nation.

In his speech, Mutharika said “Malawians must understand the changing times we live in. We must work and endure our painful path to economic sovereignty. And we must do what it takes to end the suffering of our people.”

Malawi, which has a population of over 16 million, has seen inflation standing at 24.1 percent, 2.8 million people facing hunger and the local currency ceding more than 30 percent of its value to the dollar in the second and third quarters this year.

On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) raised the cost of borrowing (base lending rate) to 27 from 25. Current economic projections — real GDP growth — were revised downward by the bank this week from 5 to 3 percent for 2015, and 4.5 percent for 2016.

Malawi’s International Monetary Fund programme is also currently off-track due to massive corruption in government where about $100 million was lost in a scandal dubbed “Cashgate”.

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32 thoughts on “Donors hail APM’s ‘short and sweet’ SONA: ‘ Focused on challenged facing Malawi’”

  1. Therere says:

    we need critical thinkers if the nation is to develop, we should not do things the same way we have been doing, thinking outside the box,

  2. Big Dance says:

    Please bear with Chakwera. He is not a politician. he was taken by surprise to comment. So what else do you think he could say before consulting think tanks like Njovuyalema? If he was given time, he would have asked his boys to decipher the speech and come up with a sensible remark. Ubusatu si ndale ndiye chonde mkhululukireni Chakwera.

  3. The speach was not bad but is the speach going to makea difference? What Chakwela meant president did not say how he is going to do about it? He did not mention his exepediture which one of the donors mention in their comment. Peter just mentioned how the situation is not how the government is going to do about. I agree with the person who said Peter want donors to feel pity on him, but the truth Muzungu has a smile once he/she turns the back she/he says stupid blacks. Peter has learnt from US how to speak but this time, he can not get donors to change thier mind. He has not changed. He spends without thinking of people he is begging for. Cash Gate issues are still un solved. He does not want to punish those who are in DDP, but free them from Cash Gate. Remember what Germany ambassador said we can not continue pulling our money in a hole which is not sealed. Muntharikas are known to use others. Once he get money from donors he will be rude and insult them. That is what his brother did and he is not different. He was his advise. Azungu are not in Malawi to rule, but to reprsent their interests. Their money tax payers money in Europe which we get 1%. Azungu work very hard and pay tax. We blacks beg. We are used to beg. Face the truth. Even within families are beggers. We are lazy that is why we steal. I am saying this because I have experienced my workers stealling no matter how I treat them they steal. Start good then they steal from me. I employed a foreigner black he was not sealing. Why? Why can we not be honest? This why so many young male Malawians ar without jobs. When I was we had maid male and they were good. To day one can not employma male maid. WHY. U are born poor and die poor. Whom fault????????

  4. nkhakamila says:

    thats why ife anthu okuda timasiyana ndi azungu mzochita.

  5. chefourpence says:

    shame on Chakwera! APM was delvering a speech not preaching.

  6. petro ntchito says:

    stupid chakwera making stupid comment on the state of national address.why always castigating the president?

  7. ADE says:

    ANYONE CAN GIVE A SPEECH AND THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME PETER HAS GIVEN A SPEECH. BUT WHAT IS THE REALITY ON THE GROUND. THE SPEECH WAS AIMED AT PLEASING DONORS AND THEY ARE PLEASED AND THEY HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED IT WAS A GOOD SPEECH. SO WHAT?

  8. ADE says:

    DONORS HAD OTHER THINGS TO DO AND THEY WOULDN’T WANT THEIR TIE BE WASTED BY INCOHERENT MUTHARIKA.

  9. KARU UNITED says:

    At times western diplomats don’t mean what they say, particularly in public. They @ times don’t say the truth. Remember, “Smiling faces, sometimes, don’t tell the truth.”

  10. mapwevupwevu says:

    A Chakwera mumafuna ayankhule 1 hour for what?

  11. nabanda says:

    as a man of God, though retired, I think its good to appreciate when someone has done good, being in opposition doesn’t mean u shuld make sensless accusation just because of hatred, no.abusa achakwera apa mwaonekeratu kuti nkhani ya chikondi ndi nsanje mukuthamangitsana nazo. inu abusa kodi dimunawerenge zomwe bible linanena za signs of the end times? nanga kodi izi mesa zimafunika zichitike ndithu kukwaniritsa malemba.
    mwiniwache Yehova ndiamene adzasove mavutowa.

  12. LessChildrenPlease says:

    Will never see sustainable economic recovery without sustainable population growth.

  13. dadaboma says:

    The donors are really not ‘praising’ APM’s speech. Only myopic DPP zealots think that way. Referring to the speech as “short and sweet” is a cynical derogatory remark that only fools will take positively. Look at the broader remarks by other donor representatives to understand the context in which the “short and sweet” remark was applied. Also consider the broader economic malaise in Malawi and understand what diplomacy entails when you’re asked to talk about a stupid tyrannical leader. The following facts can be deciphered from the SONA:
    1. Malawi is the poorest country in the world and has no inherent capacity to develop without external aid.
    2. With aid, which is used properly, Malawi can graduate to less aid-dependence after some time. How long a time depends on leadership.
    3. Malawi is still receiving 1 bn kwacha yearly in donor aid, including that from China, but the leadership is less transparent and less acknowledging of this aid. Most of it is used to finance DPP underhand activities. Donors must stop giving this money as long as parliament is not involved because such money would be entrenching tyranny.
    4. Donors have made it very clear what Malawi needs to do to regain aid and donor confidence. But because APM and his DPP are not ready to do what the donors want, APM says “time for donor aid is gone”. If Greece still wants donor aid, how more Malawi? Frankly, it is “time for DPP and APM that is gone” to rule Malawi. It is “time for Chakwera” to take over the mantle of leadership and restore dignity to Malawi.
    5. APM’s speech highlighted the problems facing Malawi but offered no practical solutions. This is why his speech had no substance, it is also why APM is wasting our time.

  14. Concerned Citizen says:

    As a nation, let us get it correct, they are diplomats, not donors.

    We should stop this beggar mentality, and ask ourselves why we feel entitled to another country’s tax payers hard earned money?

    ALSO, SPEND MY HARD EARNED TAX MONEY WISELY.

  15. Mbwiye says:

    A PASTOR APA NDIYE MWAPEPELA. CHOCHO NDIYE MUNGAKHALE PRESIDENT? KUMAGONA MPARLIAMENT OSAMVESELA SPEECH BWINO BWINO. KOMA DZIKO LA MALAWI SILIZATHEKA. NDIYE BOLANSO PETER MUTHARIKA YEMWEYO. NANGA TIZIYEMBEKEZELA MA DONORS KUTI AZITIUZA MOMWE SPEECH INALILI POMWE A OPPOSITION AKUGONA MPARLIAMENT Kkkkkkkkkkkk!

  16. Winford Saka says:

    Good speech even appreciated by donors.But bad to Chakwera .

  17. Winford Saka says:

    The Speech Was Short But Had Substance although Chakwe Said It Lacked Substance.That Was Said Out Of Frustration.Your time is coming in2092.

  18. ben says:

    Donors please lets have some aid and budget support as well, dont leave us on the street. Your countries are blessed with riches have some some moral obligations and help poor Malawis we cannot survive

  19. Big T says:

    Surprisingly a pastor Chakwera pulls the whole thing the opposite direction, saying the speech lacks substance. Worse still, he failed to explain how! Abusa athu amenewo. Kikkkkkk! More training needed sooner for the pastor to begin to understand these things.

  20. Masharubu says:

    Is “Short and sweet” diplomatic language, or bedroom talk?

  21. Charter says:

    1bn dollars??? We shouldn’t be suffering like this if this is what donors are giving us! Fact-chek please.

  22. DOBO says:

    I can agree that the President Speech is good but donors have to read Malawians especially our politicians. They are very good at talking but doing the talk is where the problem is. It is always the opposite to the talk.We make plans but never implement them accordingly. No wonder our time is not the same as European time. Our 12:00 can be 14:00. Our freedom of speech is abusive empty noises.

  23. Funzo says:

    . . . if we continue wasting MONEY, is surely what APM meant!

  24. Mafikizolo says:

    The tendency by Malawian journalists to say “Donors” instead of “Diplomats” or “International Organisations” is not only strange, but also a cause for national embarrassment . It is symptomatic of our “beggar” mentality as a country .

  25. lusungu says:

    ndiye a Chakwera iwo ati amafuna a long 2 hour speech. its not about a long speech mr retired man of gold but substance and contents. thats why the donors are praising the President’s speech

  26. Allan says:

    Being opposition doesn’t mean to oppose everything,,,,,, aw,,,,,, bwato limaphweka akamapalasa wina,,,,,,, aChakwera mukafunse aTembo/Chakuwamba,,, kkkkkkk

  27. Phaghlani Vwavwa says:

    It does not matter what the leadership of this country and the donors say, Malawi will never develop for as long as there is no unity in the country, for as long as the leadership causes a section of this society to hate their own country, for as long as the main qualification to be appointed to critical positions is where someone comes from or how his or her surname sounds like, for as long as we hate merit or using it selectively we can forget about development. It is in the DNA of a black person. We love our friends more than the country, we love our relatives more than the country, we love our tribesmen more than the country, forgetting that all these people will go but Malawi will still be there.

  28. Mbwiye says:

    THE LEADER OF OPPOSITION DID NOT SEE ANY SUBSTANCE IN THE SPEECH BECAUSE HE WAS SLEEPING. THE DONORS WERE NOT SLEEPING HENCE THE PRAISE

  29. kapy says:

    Mmalawi iye akuti izi nzopanda pake. wayamba kale ku nyoza mmamedia

  30. Clement says:

    Am surprised with chakwera, donors are praising the president’s short speech but very loud and someone saying the speech lack substance, are you serious chakwera?? When will you accept that you belong to opposition?

  31. dzeus says:

    Is this the same speech which Dr Lazarus Chakwera, the MCP President and Leader of Opposition in Parliament is calling empty and lacks substance? I will wait for his speech and hope it will also be short and sweet.

  32. Tchaka says:

    So its only chakwera who doesn’t see any substance in SONA? This pastor cum president?

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