Peter insists to stick with Bingu policies: Clarifies on Lake Malawi ‘non-negotiable’ talk

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) torchbearer Peter Mutharika  has maintained that he will continue with the ideals of his brother, late president Bingu wa Mutharika when he take over government, arguing the policies have proven to work.

Speaking on Zodiak Broadcasting Service on Tuesday, the DPP leader maintained his comments about continuing where his brother left off; explaining that he will continue with the policies in the DPP manifesto which he said have proven themselves to work and being used in the current government through the MDG goals.

“I want to continue issues like ARV plan, welfare centers, and empowerment of women, youth and the greenbelt initiative. As you know, the policies have proven to work and my job as the next president of the country will be to make decisions using these policies which will be influenced on the current climatic, economic and environmental changes,” said Mutharika

Critics think Mutharika is a shadow of Bingu whose dictatorial ending compelled donors to freeze aid and left Malawians rioting against rising cost of living, shortage of fuel and forex as well as disappearing democratic principles.

But 73-year-old Mutharika insists he is best placed not only to restore years of food security his brother championed but also bring sanity in the economy and mitigate against the high cost of living.

Peter Mutharika:

Peter Mutharika: Non-negotiable does not mean fighting

“On the issue of handouts to the nation and fertilizer subsidy, I want to promote food security in the country. I plan to work with others to create economic independence for Malawians,” said Mutharika.

On his reported warmongering remarks on Malawi’s lake dispute with Tanzania, Mutharika clarified that he never made any statement insinuating a fight.

Mutharika—a former Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister under his brother’s old regime— reportedly told a campaign rally that Tanzania is taking advantage of Malawi’s “weak leadership” to claim Lake Malawi, which is known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania.

He vowed that if voted into power in May 2014, he will not tolerate Tanzania’s muscle flexing, saying the ownership of the lake is “non-negotiable”.

The DPP leader’s statement has been condemned by opposition MCP and UDF including critics, fearing that the tough talk was a war cry.

But he told the radio that “non-negotiable does not mean war.”

“The lake should be fully utilized where vessels for fishing and tourism can be mobilized to improve the country. My offer to assist the government on the lake was given to the government but it was disregarded,” said Mutharika.

“I am aware of the law of the lake boundaries and I realize that the lake is a national asset and it must be utilized fully”

He also clarified that he did not say the dispute was as result of weak leadership.

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