University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political scientist Michael Jana has said President Peter Muharika should stop making excuses for ongoing economic problems in the country but look for solutions within rather than blaming the past.
Jana said: “President Harry Truman of the United States of America used to put a sign on his desk that read: ‘the buck stops here’. I think as long as Mutharika accepted to be the captain of this ship called Malawi, the buck stops on his desk—he must take responsibility.”
The university political scientist made the comment in an interview published by the daily Nation newspaper.
“ If this country sinks or successfully sails through this crisis, Mutharika takes the responsibility as the captain. When he took over government in May 2014, for instance, crop estimates already showed a looming huge deficit. Now this is 2016 and we are still talking about trying to find a solution. I think the President and his government must take responsibility for failing to find a solution to date,” he said.
Jana said Malawi is not the only country in Africa facing economic challenges, saying most countries including Nigeria and South Africa, are struggling economically.
“Statistics indicate that low commodity prices and economic slowdown in Africa’s trade partners such as China are some of the causes. Malawi’s problems are of course compounded by the dry spell and floods experienced in the past year or two, and of course poor policies and corruption that have left Malawians poorer since the introduction of democratic dispensation—if I am to talk of this period alone,” he said.
Basing on Mutharika’s one and half years in office, Jana said: “I think he came with a promise of potentially effective reforms. Programmes like the public service reforms, the Green Belt Initiative, the community colleges and so on—I think such programmes hold the promise of solving some of our problems if implemented well. They, however, need time and resources to be implemented and show results.
“Unfortunately, upon assuming the presidency, Mutharika was faced with a crisis that I think put him off guard and threatened the realisation of some of his planned programmes. Here I am talking about the sudden resource gap created by the withdrawal of donor support to government budget, and the food shortage.”
Jana said Mutharika has not shown “convincing capacity” in a crisis situation to design a “bailout package.”
He said: “Yes, it is not an easy task; it needs a lot of brains to come together and a lot of support; but that is one instance where leadership matters most.”
The opposition has been showering a lot of slurs on the President with some describing him as “clueless” and “inept.”
Jana has since urged the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP0 government to “desist from inciting unnecessary tension” especially in the midst of the current socio-economic problems that demand the nation to focus attention on finding short-term and long-term solutions.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :