Mutharika tells PAC to go to hell on power trimming: President says Malawi political terrain has changed

President Peter Mutharika has told Public Affairs Committee (PAC) officials that he is not reducing his executive powers, arguing he has an obligation to protect the office of the President for future leaders.

President Mutharika  with PAC members

President Mutharika with PAC members

Mutharika said this on Thursday in a lively, frank and transparent meeting with PAC officials at Kamuzu Palace attended by almost all cabinet ministers, all presidential advisors and senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and beamed live on state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation.

“I have the mandate to protect this office for future presidents. If you take off the powers of the president appointing senior government officials like ambassadors, MBC director general, Macra director general, then what will the president be doing, what will be his job then,” Mutharika asked rhetorically.

He said elsewhere, even in UK, the Prime Ministers appoints the director general of the BBC so too in US where the president appoints a director general of an organization similar to Macra.

He said there is no way parliament should be given the mandate to appoint the graft busting body, Anti Corruption Bureau and office of the director of public prosecutions chiefs, arguing how independent is parliament, saying it can have its own dictatorial tendencies within democracy.

Mutharika conceded to have made pre-election promises on the independence of the government institutions and that these are also reflected in the DPP manifesto but the political terrain has changed now.

The President also said there is nowhere in the world where parliament can be fully autonomous with its own budget, saying the three arms of government check on each other.

“If we do that, there can be abuses at parliament. How sure are you that parliament cannot abuse its powers and resources? This arrangement is good, parliament makes checks and balances on the executive, the executive makes the checks and balances on parliament,” he said.

On the economy, Mutharika was upbeat that the economy would improve soon, saying he had not travelled outside the country since December as a costing cutting measure.

“I was supposed to go to UK, South Africa and Turkey but cancelled the trips. I was supposed to give six lectures but cancelled because of the state of our economy” he said.

He however predicted the economy would be worse than last year because of anticipated high inflation rate due to severe shortages of the staple food, maize.

The President also described as untrue PAC recommendation that development is not spread evenly in the country, saying his government gives development to areas on merit not on tribal or regional point of view.

“I went to China where we were given seven major development projects. Out of the first five which we are starting, three will be here in the centre, one in the south and another one in the north. I know you want to say that I favour the south because that is where I come from but that is not true,” he said.

He listed a number of development programmes the DPP led government has done or intend to do in the north including the Livingstonia Njakwa road a teachers training college in Rumphi among others.

PAC chair Felix Chingota asked the President that technical committees from both the government and PAC be formed so that they meet as soon as they can to go into detail the recommendations from PAC.

The President was not told to resign as demanded by some political parties at the PAC indaba in February.

Mutharika was on same occasions assisted to answer the questions by some of his cabinet members and his aides who included Samuel Tembenu, minister of Justice, George Chaonda, minister of Agriculture ad aides Francis Mphepo, Hetherwick Ntaba and Collins Magalasi among others.

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Winston Msowoya
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Winston Msowoya
5 months 7 days ago
Absolute power corrupts power corrupts absolutely.Now that Peter has tasted power and found that it is sweet,he will want more and tragically,he will listen to nobody.During Muluzi’s second term,he became uncontrolled pit bull and a drunken soldier hence he cared less for public funds.Bingu Muthalika behaved like a deranged idiot,he could make no difference between public funds and personal finances hence,the collapse of the nation’s entire economy.Here,Peter must be cooperative whether he likes it or not to the wellbeing of our country and its fine people.Peter,you must know that you were elected (even though unconstitutionally because you rigged the processes).… Read more »
ASSANI
Guest
ASSANI
5 months 7 days ago

THATS MY COUNTRY MALAWI.NOTHING NEW HERE. WAIT AND SEE….JUST WORK HARD FELLOWS to make it

Kingsley Dandruff
Guest
Kingsley Dandruff
5 months 7 days ago

An idiot of a president in this fool you have guys.i feel sorry for you

Tengu
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Tengu
5 months 7 days ago

what do opposition parties do in Malawi. respect the people’s return at the polls and do the right thing which is to strengthen the policies and strategies chosen by government selected by the people. opposing is a waste of time. strengthen!

Apopo
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Apopo
5 months 8 days ago

Kkkkk azikwera ka baza azisechedwa ma roadblock aaaa kusowa nkhani uku talalikirani anthu atembenuke mtima dziwni kuti nthito ya mamission ndi kulalikira uthenga wabwino ndalezo siyani ndithu dalira kwa Mulungu

Hannock Chiweto
Guest
5 months 8 days ago

Mr Profesor accept your failure unite with opposition parties to find away forward to rescue our mother Malawi from crippling economy and high cost of living. Inu simuvutika anthu amavutikakunjaku.

Gologolo
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Gologolo
5 months 8 days ago

When malawi wakes up – the country will be in flames.

Chado
Guest
5 months 8 days ago

Palibe azalamulire dziko mokomera anthu onse, maso a umzimu palibe ai ali ndi makutu amve Baibulo likuti chiyani za masiku osiliza

Apao
Guest
Apao
5 months 8 days ago

April fool sinathebe

Bwekabweka
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Bwekabweka
5 months 8 days ago

Why is he reversing today? Is it becoz he is ruling? Why is he protecting the future presidents? Its a waist of time and resources to keep talking of corruption if we knw that president and his cronies are stealing our taxes and the ACB director has no teeth to bite them: its why they have the guts to kill anyone who is standing on their way, be it ACB official or ordinary person

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