Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has expressed dismay with “diluted” resolutions from a major conference organised by quasi-religious grouping the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) recently where a cross-section of Malawians discussed the future of the country with is facing economic crisis.
MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila who called for President Peter Mutharika to resign at the conference, has said PAC has “diluted the resolutions” as the resignation calls have not been highlighted.
She said different contributors at the meeting marked a “fail” to the Peter Mutharika administration on having no “clear policies” on how to develop the nation which is teetering into economic turmoil.
“The people of this country spoke and we wonder why PAC has diluted the recommendations,” said Kabwila.
She said the diluted recommendations only serve to “massage the ego of the team that has failed [to govern Malawi].”
Before the conference, presidential aide on NGO and civil society Mabvuto Bamusi warned PAC on passing resolutions giving Mutharika ultimatums or calling for his resignations.
PAC chair Rev Felix Chinguta said the grouping understood the “emotional pain and frustration” expressed in the demand for President Mutharika to step down.
The influential inter-faith civil society grouping discussed the political, economic and food shortages that have virtually making Malawi fast going into a failed state.
Meanwhile, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has said government’s main agenda at PAC’s conference was “not to listen and provide answers to the current sufferings which Malawians are going through but rather to create a hostile environment during the discussions, thereby stifling debate on the future of Malawi.”
The rights campaigners have also condiment government’s mobilization of some traditional leaders and civil society groupings – using tax payers money – to hold news conferences which were eventually beamed on the tax payers-run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation to attack PAC, delegates, or opposition leaders prior to, during and soon after PAC conference saying the development is “regrettable and has no room in a democratic country.”
CHRR boss Timothy Mtambo also condemned statements by Bamusi prior to the PAC conference such as, “The President does not take ultimatums” or “PAC should not ask the President to resign”, saying they did not only show that government’s ultimate agenda to attend PAC meeting was merely to stifle debate on the current situation or to prevent any adoption of a resignation call instead of listening to the cries of Malawians but also a deviation from the democratic path which encourages open speech and freedom of expression.
“In a nutshell, while we may not always agree with calls for the President’s resignation, it is important not to use such a stance to stop others from expressing their views,” said Mtambo.
He said CHRR believes that calls for the President to resign should be grounded in facts that support a case of loss of public trust in the leadership or “executive incompetence” as prescribed by law.
The right watchdog has since urged Malawi government to take lead – as provided by law – in the implementation of the resolutions of PAC.
“ We cannot agree with PAC’s observations more that while the citizens have the role in helping the government through suggesting the solutions on how the country can come out of the current economic mess, the ultimate responsibility still lies with the government as the main duty bearer.
“It is therefore important for government to take full responsibility of the current mess by amongst other things acting on these recommendations which are a product of dialogue and engagement. Equal attention should also be paid to the recommendation on the need for government to act on the 2007 Law Commission Constitutional review recommendations,” said Mtambo.
CHRR has also urged the opposition parties, media, civil society and other players to play a “pro-active role” in monitoring government’s implementation of the recommendations in the best interest of the nation.
“PAC should also come up with a clear and well-defined monitoring framework of implementation of the resolutions, and also identify a specific date when a follow-up meeting of the same nature will be staged to specifically appreciate progress in implementation. Surely, the time to act on PAC’s recommendations is now – not tomorrow,” said Mtambo.
PAC held a two-day stakeholders conference under the theme Defining Solutions to Economic and Political Direction in Malawi with efforts to find solutions to the problems dogging the country.
The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) made a recommendation that Mutharika should step down as Malawi President because he has failed to run the country.
But Presidential adviser on domestic policy, Hetherwick Ntaba, told the delegates to the conference to disregard recommendations, saying they were “baseless.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :