Mutharika comes under fire over ‘mediocre’ SONA

Social and political commentators in Malawi have described President Peter Mutharika’s State of Nation Address (SONA) delivered in Parliament on Tuesday as wanting and lacking a clear practical strategies to address the current economic hardships affecting the country.

Kabwila:  Muted speech

Kabwila: Muted speech

In his address that marked the official opening of a nine weeks long Budget Meeting of Parliament in Lilongwe, President Mutharika indicated that his government was delivering on promises made upon assuming power following his party’s triumph in the May 20 2014 tripartite elections citing the introduction of the Public Sector Reforms and strengthening of public finance management instruments to avoid recurrence of Cashgate as some of the major promises his administration had fulfilled.

But critics argued that Mutharika’s speech was “mediocre”.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP Joseph Njobvuyalema said ruling DPP members were clapping for mediocrity.

He said Mutharika’s address was only “a blowing of hot air and a repetition of the things that we have heard before.”

MCP spokeswoman Jessie Kabwila said Mutharika failed to articulate how his government will tackle food shortages.

The opposition say the speech does not offer any hope for Malawians and have vowed to take controversial issues like Malawi Savings Bank recapitalization back to the August House where the Legal Affairs Committee says it will present a report.

Public Affairs Committee (PAC) chairperson Dr. Felix Chingota said the President’s speech lacked clarity..

“As PAC, we are passionate about the devolution of powers and in this case, empowering local authorities is essential. Since this was particularly mentioned by the President, we are happy. But I hope this is not just mere rhetoric. However, we are worried that the sale of MSB was conspicuously missing from the President’s address. Malawians expected that he would say something on this, but he did not, “said Chingota, a retired University of Malawi, Chancellor College Dean of Humanities and former Chairperson of CCAP General Synod.

The PAC chair further faulted the address for apparently failing to provide clear information on the controversy surrounding government’s apparent proposal of introducing user fees in public hospitals.

“As things stand today, we are not sure whether we will be paying if we go to seek medical attention from public hospitals,” said Chingota.

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Human Rights Advocacy Coordinator Makhumbo Munthali indicated that while there were some gains registered by Mutharika over the year, the failure of his speech to include government’s progress on some of the hot issues that had characterized public debate was disappointing.

“We appreciate the positives registered by Mutharika’s regime including the reforms, trimming of cabinet and several others. However, we were also expectant to hear from the President on what specific steps his government has put in place to address some of the burning issues that had characterized public debate during his tenure including those on federalism, electoral systems [50+1 electoral system].

“It is a fact that the circumstances around May 20 Tripartite elections clearly demonstrate inadequacy of the electoral laws to safeguard the right to vote, ‘legitimacy to govern’ or the upholding of the elections of a leader by the majority. Free, fair and credible elections cannot be achieved by the current state of laws and mechanisms of administering elections in Malawi. Malawians remain concerned by government continued failure to act on or drive the electoral reform agenda including the proposed 50+1 electoral system as a matter of government’s priority.”

Munthali said Malawians were also expectant to hear from the President when the access to information bill will be presented before Parliament in a context of government’s continued unfulfilled promises on the same.

Reacting to Mutharika’s State of Nation Address, both of Malawi’s daily newspaper, The Nation and Daily Times editorial comments called for more action on Mutharika than mere rhetoric.

“We would also like to concur with those who have faulted the President’s speech for lacking focus and detail. Going forward, there is need for President Peter Mutharika to focus on key priorities which his administration should achieve during his first five years of office. These are achievements which should really make a huge difference in the lives of Malawians instead of rumbling about obvious issues that the ministries already do”, reads part of the Daily Times editorial comment.

The Nation editorial said: “In less than a year, the President said he has fulfilled the promises he made by introducing a lean cabinet, strengthening the public finance management and the public service reforms. This is commendable. But we would like to caution the President that the success of his administration will mainly be judged by the manner in which it implements the reforms launched in February this year.

“What we are saying is that yes, Mr President, you are taking steps in the right direction, but as some of the critics have observed, we are not yet convinced…But the bottom line, Mr President, is that your people need more action, not just words.”

The ruling party had high praise for President Mutharika’s state-of-the-nation address with DPP spokesman Francis Kasaila, who is also leader of government in parliament, saying Mutharika’s address is as an “action-oriented” speech.

Leaders of political parties started responding to the address on Wednesday afternoon.

Read Mutharika full address here: State of the Nation Address

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33 thoughts on “Mutharika comes under fire over ‘mediocre’ SONA”

  1. Roots says:

    Listen to the words of wisdom and not support of the party..listen to the strategic advice and not operational bragging. Listen to the party of the people and not the tribal party. Listen to the free advice from the Man of God and not from the minds of the wicked. Open up your mind and see what Dr Chakwera is saying? Can you argue with him on these issues face to face? Hypocrites shame on youuuu

  2. matako says:

    Typical of Malawians trying to shoot the messenger instead of addressing the issues in the message. Like any citizen in this country Chakwera and I have every right to hold this APM administration accountable. Malawians need to stop being yes people, and hand clappers despite mediocrity. What has this government done other than the 20 minister cabinet that is drawing hefty allowances? How is reform in civil service going to benefit common masses? We need tangible results, employment creation, water issues in our cities, rampant corruption at immigration police traffic and else where. Power black outs on regular basis, infrastructure that has collapsed, security, these are issues affecting our people not what APM is bragging about. We must be serious in holding our govt accountable and we can not continue to accuse leaders of opposing for providing balances and checks.

  3. Dr chakwera is hungry for power no he is making such comments, learn to say thats better when someone has done something good, but abusa ndi kabwira, always kutsutsa what an opposition, MCP, CLEARTHE SOUTHERN REGION FIRST , HOW CAN YOU RULE IF YOU CAN NOT RESOLVE PROBLEMS IN YOUR OWN PARTY, SAY ALONE A REGION, WHAT MORE A COUTRY? SHAME ON YOU

  4. amuna ndife says:

    tiyeni tiwuzane zochita tonse ndife amalawi osati kumaonerela zinthu zikulakwika.Ndiye ndikumanyozana

  5. Khamani!! says:

    When will Malawians realize that apm has no respect for them ? He doesn’t even care if the state of the nation is based on fact or not …. Alibe nazo olo

  6. Makaiko says:

    Koma chinanchina jeseyu angakome.koma bwanji salipa banja?kununkha kapena?

  7. khundabbwi says:

    Kkkk MCP the rusty stinking party. It has never and will never change.

  8. Chimani. Game says:

    This president just talks rubbish no action.useless head of state Malawi has ever had.

  9. onjoya says:

    Kabwira kuipa nkhope ndi mtima omwe ndi maliseche omwe. stupid prostitute. umangobwebweta mmalo mopanga chitukuko kwanu ku chitala konyasa kuja

  10. Khuth'upa o'Machemba says:

    I have read the speech, and think it is comprehensive in covering major issues of concern; it is substantive; and there is passion about making life better for Malawians, especially the most poor among us, in the villages. No one can kill several birds with one stone, abale inu (ladies and gentlemen).
    Kabwila-Kapasula et al. are misguided if they think perpetual criticizing will earn them votes to win the big prize of the presidency. Malawians want to hear KK say something that will put some Kwachas in their pockets, or food on the table. Not just rhetoric. 2019 is getting closer, and I can’t wait to see MCP go down again, in embarrassing defeat.

    ps. I am just as observer; and I do not belong to DPP. So, do not say I am just a blind DPP supporter.

  11. Kokotowa says:

    Zanu zimenezo! Anzanu akulamulira.

  12. mwanapeter says:

    Mukunamatu a MCP go to hell n rest in peace. Wether u lyk or not MCP wil never rule this country. ur dreaming n dreaming dy light. Chakwera usazinamize Mulungu anakulembera kusatengera khosa zake ku moyo wosatha osati kulamulira dziko. Kabwira kusakwatira eti? unasiya kuyenda ndi plumber uja?.

    Lets join handz wit the president n lets give constructive alternative ideas that kumangolakhula zopanda pake.

    Inuyo mwapngapo chani anjobvuyalema koposa kuzilemeretsa nokha. Mukumalandira ma fuel allowance a 360000.00 pa mwezi koma mwamangako bridge ya 2 million yokha ndindalama za muthumba mwanu? mwaperekako ngongore kwa achinyamata dera lanu?

    Nanga ma 24 million munalandira aja mwapangara chani kwa ife tinakuvoterni kuposa kugura ma galimoto.

    Musatipusise munasitha sintha ma number apa..

    Leave peter help him poyenera koma osamangomunyoza. Kamuzu mukanamunyoza inu? mene mukapsa ngombe mukananena ayi inu. MTIMA UMENEWO UNAPANGITSA TEMBO KUFERA KU OPPOSITION

  13. The speech is quite betteroff because Malawi we have got a mind like a woman we dont want Man minded Visionally but let it go like that and he should not disclosed all minded visionally brains only action speeks louder tell them to continue discussing about satchets beer Ngoni’s are just quite beer ndi umene umalera ana sizayamna lukuvutani za ndege hire, another 50years you will remain the same.Civilisation is very important in a human being!

  14. Bengo says:

    Kod mulakho ukhala liti tikadye ife


    When you don’t understand the speech, you then think its empty. Zimafuna anthu opita kusululu. Osati atolankhani osaphunzira a Ku Nyasatimes. Accept defeat. Your president lost. Wait until 2019. APM WOYEE!! 2024 WO!

  16. Joseph Tembo says:

    No comment is a good comment.

  17. Shonayi says:

    rdAkabwila zodzayankha mumakhala mutayankha kale akamayankhula a Pitala mumakhala mutatseka makutu.Ndipo aliyense amadziwa kuti kwa inu palibe chilichose boma likupanga koma inu basi

  18. Chikopa says:

    Koma president akataye nthawi ndiza fedelisem koma macommentator apamalawi? Siuja mumatiuza kuti mukuona kwacha itagwa kwambiri lero pitala wakusokani pakamwa ndi chosokela nsapato,za msb mumati isagulisidwe boma lamva , ndiye yapeza njira ina yoti bank yi ipitilire amati bail out, monga America anachitila ndi AIG KU USA sizikutanthauza kuti basi ndiye kuti aliyense amene anali ndi ngongole yafutidwa ayi , tiyeni kusawukaku tisasauke ndi m’mutu momwe ndichifukwa chake mukamuona munthu wakwela galimoto mumaona ngati wina anamalirapo, okhwima.

  19. JuJu says:

    kodi amalawi ndale zotere zizatha liti.a mcp mukulankhula ngati kuti mukanakhala inu mukulamula mukanalankhula zachilendo.amalawi tiyeni tisamale nawo anthu amenewa.tikukumvanitu zomwe mukuchita ndi zomwe zizapangise kuti tikusankheni kapena ai.

  20. cash gate says:

    Anthu A DPP , Speach Siyopeleka Chiyembekezo Kwa Amalawi, Musamangoyamika Ngakhale Zinthu Zili Zolakwika, Kumukonda Munthu Sindiye Kuti Ndikumangomumvera Chilichonse, Koma Kumuuza Pomwe Pali Polakwika Kuti Zinthu Zikhale Bwino, Ndiye Kuti Tinene Kuti Kwachuluka A Kwalimbauta, Mukondeni Pitala, Likondeni Dziko Lanu

  21. andrew says:

    whether u like it or not pp will never come back in power. Zomba says.

  22. Julie says:

    To the ruling party and their followerz, they have archieved something, but to others there isnt much, considering the blunders like the MSB sale and the promisory of rich peoples debt by the same gvt. The previous budget had the cement and iron sheet subsidy, if i may ask, how many people benefited from that K8 billion? And who are they? Where are they from? To me the only thing we can commend the gvt is the repatriation of Malawians frm the Xenophobic RSA, on the part of the floods, our government failed Malawians very much. On the taxes, The less working Malawians are paying heavily over 40% of our earnings is going to taxes, thereby making life miserable, better go to RSA. The same taxes are also making foreign investors to pull out of Malawi or not to invest in Malawi. The other thing is insecurity to people’s lives and goods, no investor can invest in such a situation. If we talk of water and power problems, its the is of ages in Malawi. Who can invest where there is no water and power? What industry can work without water and power? Cashgate trials should be speed up and the justice should be to any law breaker including the K92 bn, the Robert Chasowa murderers, the 20 July 2011 killers, the MHC fraudsters etc. Let justice flow like water

  23. ujeni says:

    Peter Mutharika is not fit to be a President. MCP/PP 2019 Boma, Chakwera should start practising his inaugural speech.

  24. Youn says:

    Inetu ndimaona ngati kuti mwina sindikumvetsetsa. The speech was indeed flat. Perhaps he was speaking in parables.

  25. andrew says:

    Anthu ena samvesa. Akakhala osusa amaganiza kuti ayenera kususa chilichonse popeza iwo ndi osusa. Izi siziwona kuti kuti munthu ndi ophuzira kapena ayi. It shows that THE LEARNING OF MANY THINGS DOES NOT TEACH UNDERSTANDING.SUCH LEARNING ARE GOT THROUGH SENSES BUT EYES AND EARS ARE BAD WITNESSES IF THE SOUL IS WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING. I am saying this because we have well educated people in parliament. Being on opposition side they think their duty is to oppose whatever comes. They have never shown the spirit of appreciating our fellow Malawian, Mutharika is doing. I am however appealing to the nation to have the spirit of developing our nation. We are all malawians. Tawonani anthu akunyoza dziko lathu chifukwa chosafuna kugwirira limodzi ncthito zotukula dziko lathu. Fedalism can never assist us because when it comes we will keep on dividing the nation up to the extent that karonga as a nation will need to be a seperate country on its own which is very bad for the whole country and even for every individual as I can see. Amalawi anasankha Mutharika asa current president, lets accept the will of the majority. If u do good mawa tizasankha inu, u will also need others to assist you in whatever developments you will have instore for your country..Remember, united we stand, divided we fall. Iam saying this as an indipendent citizen who loves his country without considering part of the country i am coming from.. andrew kambalame. Za.

  26. Patrick Phiri says:

    Very stupid MCP. The president said government has set aside K10 bn to restoke the silos to avert hunger. What more do you want him to say? Go to hell. You will never rule again. Fotseki

  27. Mweneku Muzi says:

    Kodi MCP ingapange chani ndi Amayi ali pamwambapo Nkhanza basi munayamba mwayamika a kabwila stupid zanu

  28. The Truthful One from the West says:

    I agree that the speech was flat and uninspiring. It is extremely below standard. The building of community colleges alone will not reduce unemployment. In fact without other supporting measures this project may increase unemployment of skilled people.

  29. Tight financial management. What. The Accountant General does the same routine, National Audit not independent and with a failure like Kamphasa who is failing to deliver even one audit report to PAC and also weak internal audit CIA and you say I am strengthening financial systems. Wait for another bang of cash gate.

  30. Dr Moo Tha Leeker says:

    Anakatani poti nayeso ndi mediocre president put in power by mediocre people like Maxon Mbendera and corrupt and mediocre judiciary

  31. Nyampini says:

    He must explain dpp govt paid off mulli’s loan at msb,why his dpp govt is renovating myp bases into community colleges,why his dpp govt is failing to open nsanje inland port?why his dpp govt is failing to open a developmet bank? eeish i can go on and on koma mu sipichi yache ata palibe chamvamo ine!

  32. mariam says:

    MCP can never and will never admire anything from anybody unless pp and cash gate

  33. nYAU SITHOBWA says:

    fLOODS, Famine,Killing of albinos, xenophobia in SA those are the achievements of our APM in ayear he promised only

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