Malawi opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) interim president Arthur Peter Mutharika returned home to a rousing welcome by thousands of supporters who turned out at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) on Sunday.
The security personnel blocked the entrance to the VIP lounge, allowing only six officials to get in as they said that the lounge would also be used by the First Gentleman Richard Banda who was leaving the country later on Sunday.
Mutharika, who has been abroad for two months, was also stopped by Police from using the mini stadium at the airport to address supporters who were clad in DPP clothing.
However, the DPP moved the impromptu rally to Magwero Primary School, 3 kilometers from KIA.
The convoy of Mutharika advanced at walking pace followed by cheering supporters, while others lined the road chanting and waving tree branches.
Addressing the gathered supporters, Mutharika launched a blistering attack on President Joyce Banda, saying she has failed Malawians as a leader.
Mutharika bemoaned how President Banda runs government affairs and cited the distribution of “sand fertilizer” and drug shortage as some of her shortfalls.
”I am told they are giving you sand mixed fertilizer. How can the country achieve food security when they are distributing sand?
“But don’t worry we will give you real fertilizer when we get back in government next year,” said Mutharika, who until his brother Bingu wa Mutharika died as the country’s president last April, he was Foreign Affairs Minister.
He said it was unfortunate that people are dying of curable diseases due to drug shortages in public hospitals when Parliament had allocated funds for drug procurement in this year’s budget.
”Where has the money gone? My condolences to those who have lost loved ones due to this predicament,” he said.
Mutharika also conveyed a message to those affected by floods, saying “we will make sure we provide any needed help”.
The opposition leader announced that he will visit the flood affected districts this week.
About 12,000 households have been affected by the floods that hit some parts of the country including Phalombe and Chikhwawa.
Mutharika also attacked President Banda for her retrogressive approach toward electricity problems in the country.
He scorned Banda for distributing paraffin lamps (nyali) to people instead of using modern approach.
”So in the modern age one will be busy distributing paraffin lamps. That’s old style. I will give each DPP MP four solar power panels to be installed at four schools in their constituencies.
He also urged DPP supporters and all members to be united and work together, saying that is the only way the party can register victory in the 2014 elections and go back into government.
Speaking earlier, DPP spokesperson, Nicolas Dausi, taunted President Banda, saying she is pursuing the Economic ‘redundancy’ Plan.
“At the rate things are going, we are in an economic declining mode,” said Dausi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :