‘Dzukani a Malawi’ Chakwera keeps House awake, replies to Mutharika’s Sona: No sleeping while sink is shipping

Mphatso Nkhoma –Nyasa Times

Leader of the opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Dr Lazarus Chakwera has criticised President President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation address (Sona) on Monday, saying he missed an opportunity to restore the confidence of many Malawians and  has called on all citizens to wake up and fight for good leadership and development from their elected leaders.

Chakwera, in his SONA reply in parliament, challenged Malawians lawmakers to declare that time for “bed-time stories” like Muthairka’s boring speech is over.

Chakwera: Put it bluntly, Mutharika administration has failed

Chakwera: Put it bluntly, Mutharika administration has failed

He said lawmakers are not in parliament to sleep   to warm the chairs,  to fight for their political agendas,  to accumulate allowances or for the cameras.

“We are not here to be thoughtless hand-clappers. And yes, Mr. Speaker Sir, I dare say that even if we feel that the President’s speech before this honourable house was no better than a make-believe and uninspiring bed-time story, we are not here to sleep,” said Chakwera in apparent dig to Leader of House George Chaponda who was caught on camera sleeping and reportedly snoring.

Other MPs were also seen sleeping while Mutharika delivered his speech.

Unlike the Head of State, the opposition leader kept the august House awake when he made his epic speech.

Chakwera trashed Mutharika’s speech titled ‘towards recovery and development’,  saying the President has made it clear that he is satisfied to keep Malawians waiting for the recovery and development of the country, saying the people of Malawi do not want any leader to tell them to keep waiting.

“ The people of Malawi do not want to be told that their recovery is still in the future. The people of Malawi want, need, and demand results now,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera said Mutharika’s speech did not depict a true state of the nation, saying the real picture out there is that Malawians are desperate.

“They feel that their country has literally fallen apart. The headlines in our daily papers range from stories about theft of drugs in hospitals to long winding queues at ADMARC depots, water rationing, electricity load shedding, the ongoing plunder of public resources in government and in embassies, high inflation, and the rising cost of living and albino killings.

“ So even though the President claims that the economy is stabilizing, I am here to tell him that the only place where that claim is true in real terms is in the State House he occupies, where all his bills and living expenses are paid for by Malawian tax-payers. But for our people, who pay their own bills and living expenses, there is nothing stable about this economy,” said Chakwera.

He stressed: “People are suffering in this country. The Kwacha continues to slide downwards despite all our efforts to manipulate the exchange rate. The recent trends show that while the Kwacha was artificially made to gain on the United States Dollar from about K765 to K693 to the Dollar, the short lived artificial relief did not last and therefore the Kwacha has gone back to more than K715 to one United States Dollar. If we want a truly strong currency, we must base it on a truly strong economy.

“No amount of manipulation and band-aid tactics will change the fact that the economic fundamentals of this country are not right or that the task of fixing them is firmly in the wrong hands.”

Chakwera in his address was blunt: “The Mutharika administration is a failed government! “

He said Malawi needs a stable economy, but that cannot be achieved if government is failing to stimuate the economic activities of ordinary Malawians, “ and you can’t stimulate those activities without ending the unaffordable and unrealistic interest rate policy of the Reserve Bank, which seems to base its rate on the price of maize, as if everybody borrows money just to buy maize for eating. “

Added Chakwera: “You can’t claim that you want to get Malawians out of poverty when the money they need to start business can only be borrowed at interest rates above 20%. As a result, the levels of default are very high and Malawians are losing their homes to find relief from the shackles of debt by which their own government is enslaving them. This is criminal.”

Chakwera also bemoaned that unemployment is on the increase as companies close down due to high inflation, interest and taxation rates.

“Of particular concern is the reported retrenchment that is happening at the Malawi Savings Bank (MSB). In 2015 the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), civil society organisations and people of good will vehemently opposed the reasons and manner in which Government went on to sale the Malawi Savings Bank (MSB). One of the reasons was to safeguard the jobs of the Malawians who work there. But as we speak, a massive retrenchment has taken place at the MBS. This will add to the already swelling numbers of unemployed citizens.

“This is happening despite strong recommendations that there should be no retrenchment arising from the merger within the first two years. We have noted that the new owner has gone ahead to effect the retrenchment before the 2 year period is over, thus breaking faith with Malawians”

The opposition chiefs urged Malawians and MPs of to resolve that “ the time for tolerating bed-time stories and the time for sleeping while our ship is sinking is over. “

After his address, Chaponda, who did not sleep this time around, protested on Chakwera’s lively speech, saying he was “making an impression that nothing has happened in the last two years.”

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Jelbin Makamo
Guest
Jelbin Makamo
4 months 1 day ago
This is one of the best speeches i have ever read not that of a thieving president who stole our money and hide it in USA and lie that it was his pension money. Chakwera is a very candid leader of opposition we have ever had and Musowoya is the best speaker ever. Because if it was Chimunthu Banda he could not allow such a free flow of speeches in the August house. I remember in the last seating of parliament when the then leader of government in the house wanted to stiffle debate on federalism the speaker kindly reminded… Read more »
Patriots
Guest
Patriots
4 months 1 day ago

Around of applause Hon Chakwera for your fearless stance and a timely rebuke. Dzuka Malawi stop thoughtless hand claps and a time for paradigm shift. Enough of passive leaders ripping Malawians to feed their greedy bellies! Decisive, servant leadership needed#

Kalindikake
Guest
Kalindikake
4 months 1 day ago

Big-up achikulire a Chakwera. Ena amaba boma koma nzeru zoyendetsera alibe lero zawanyera anthu mavuto okha okha. 2019 Chakwera lead us out of this malaise please

Zamadura
Guest
Zamadura
4 months 1 day ago

Mr Chakwera that’s a very impressive speech, well done and keep it up. The proof is in government business leader himself listening attentively throughout this time without needing duvet covers!

Issa
Guest
Issa
4 months 1 day ago

Chaponda is very right, in the past two years things have move a lot. In the past two years Albino killings has gone up, in the past two years he has been captured sleeping, in the past two years msb was sold, in the past two years employees of msb have lost their jobs, in the past two years there has been maize surplus, in the past two years there has been looting in our embassies and in the past two years the president suspended the law on gays, eeee nadtopa kulemba but the list goes on

Elder Sage III
Guest
Elder Sage III
4 months 1 day ago

Bwana Issa, there has not been any maize surplus the past two years. Are you really in Malawi?
God allows some of these things to prove a point beyond any doubt or dispute. In 2009, some people said Bingu was the best leader that ever could be in Malawi and gave him a landslide majority. In just one and half years down the line, he proved to be one of the worst tyrants ever to ride the face of the earth.
These DPP guys stole the vote, and God allowed it….. just wait and see.

masa masina
Guest
masa masina
4 months 1 day ago

Chakwera is a sharper cookie than president Peter Mutharika who speaks as if he has hot potato in his mouth.

International Observer
Guest
International Observer
4 months 1 day ago
Much as the so called SONA is criticised, buggered left, right and centre; Uladi and Chakwera’s critique falls short of any tangible alternative solutions befitting a responsible and mature opposition. Once again we go back to same blame game whereby nobody wants to shoulder responsibilities. Actually the onus of leading and running government businesses falls in the terrain of DPP but when it comes to seeing that the welfare of Malawians is above average is the responsibility of DPP, the opposition parties with numbers in parliament and the Malawians as principle stakeholders. Nobody shoulder run away from the patriotism song… Read more »
Nkula
Guest
Nkula
4 months 1 day ago

Wapakaliyala saimba belu achimwene. Ngati boma likuwalephera ndi okha. The opposition can not execute a policy. The ooposition has no numbers in parliament as it is only MCP and PP that can agree as the others are independents who are easily bought by DPP and have no allegiance to MCP/PP for execution of policy. malawi is not a parliamentary state that’s why MSB Bank was sold anyway despite views by the opposition to the contrary. The DPP says they had their manifesto and this is the result. So do not think MCP/PP can also be ruling now.. Wise up man!

Charlie Hebdo
Guest
Charlie Hebdo
4 months 1 day ago
If I tell you not to do a bad thing, is it not advice enough? Am I not indirectly telling you to do something better instead? If I advise you not to kill albinos or engage in corruption, should I give alternatives to killing albinos or engaging in corruption? Really? In my understanding, alternatives only apply for matters that are beneficial or related in some way but falls short of expectations or have side effects and not undesirable elements. For example, irrigation is an alternative to rain fed agriculture but you can’t get an alternative to corruption. You have to… Read more »
Zamadura
Guest
Zamadura
4 months 1 day ago

Chakwera and Uladi have provided the solution, achimwene. And the solution is is clear, that there has to be a change of government, period. Inu mmafuna solution yanji?

Aubrey Monjeza
Guest
Aubrey Monjeza
4 months 1 day ago

Chakwera/Uladi have mentioned their areas of concern and if Bingu and mates were clever could already be preparing to contact them on wht they think shld be done to avert problems affecting Malawians. Boma shld show interest in accommodating opposition views otherwisee advice will be wasted on deaf ears.

Dengulanga
Guest
4 months 1 day ago
Our country can only start moving forward if we start being truthful. It is the truth that shall help us find truthful solutions to our issues. This is what Chakwera and Uladi Mussa have done. I just find it absurd that people criticize them and yet they are suffering and probably they are not but their relatives and friends are suffering owing to open stupid policies this government has pursued. It is also important to mention that this country lowered its standards in 1994 when it chose a proven thief to be in state house. Whoever comes to power is… Read more »
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