Atupele whip up Mutharika on Cashgate untouchables: ‘Malawians expect business unusual’

Malawi’s opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi has persuaded President Peter Mutharika to walk the talk on his pledge to deal with Cashgate corruption scandal with no selective justice, saying a government can only prove its seriousness by dealing with issues like cashgate.

In a well-articulated response to President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address delivered Tuesday, Atupele said such cases as cashgate were daylight robbery against the poor Malawians and getting on top of vices would prove government’s seriousness in putting the poor at heart.

Atupele: Malawians expect business unusual
Atupele: Malawians expect business unusual

“It is that, any administration that is serious about delivering change for Malawi has to tackle cashgate, not just by ‘being seen’ to be dealing with a few manifestations of the problem, but by focusing on tackling the underlying root causes of this problem,” said Atupele.

He added: “We seem to have built in Malawi, what appears to be a political system that continues to allow the privileged few, to consume state resources for their own private use while disregarding the voices of ordinary Malawians.”

Atupele pointed out that Cashgate has had a knock on effect on investor opportunities and in turn, prospects for growth.

“It has eroded public trust and it has also resulted into disproportionate suffering of ordinary Malawians due to increased cost of living, fewer drugs in hospitals, unpaid civil servants, breakdown of social services and a collapse of small scale businesses,” noted Atupele.

Atupele speech came after leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera, who is Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, said, the new government to bring to justice all those who, in previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and People’s Party (PP) regimes, acquired riches and property illegally.

In his address, Atupele noted that President Mutharika mentioned in his statement of the development of a robust action plan, saying it will .be important that it should be tabled in Parliament and discussed with civil society groups, other stakeholders including ordinary Malawians.

“This will be important to ensure accountability for the implementation of this plan and that it addresses both technocratic and political actions,” said Atupele.

“It will also be important for government to give a clear outline of the consequences of cash gate on the economic status of the country in the medium and long term,” he added.

The UDF’s 35-year-old leader said Malawians needs Government to be answerable on how it prioritizes, uses and allocates its resources.

“Government needs to take full responsibility of restoring the efficiency and productiveness of the public service-not by focusing on setting up a myriad of systems and processes, but on focusing on actual delivery.An absence of the latter illustrates weak accountability,” he said.

The Machinga North East legislature said expect ‘business un-usual’.

“Malawians would like to see their government focus all its energies demonstrating tangible results and deliverables especially in the delivery of public goods and services. This is a core tenet of responsiveness,” pointed out Atupele.

Atupele’s contribution to Mutharika’s address concentrated on proposals for a coherent approach to policy programmes.

Responses to the State of the Nation address continue on Monday until when Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe is expected to deliver a provisional budget for July to October.

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