Wanga Gwede –Nyasa Times
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government will have itself to blame when Malawians vote them out of office in 2019, leader of opposition and presidential aspirant Lazarous Chakwera has told parliament.
He accused the DPP government of President Peter Mutharika of being “chief culprits” in the miscarriage of the rule of law.
Chakwera, who is also president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP, said on Monday in response to State-of-the-nation-address delivered by President Mutharika on Friday that the rule of law, the bed rock of any functioning democracy.
He demanded answers from government on Anti-Corruption Bureau Deputy Director Reyneck Matemba’s decision to recuse himself from former president Bakili Muluzi’s corruption case.
Matemba said he has withdrawn for personal reasons while ACB boss Lucas Kondowe assured the matter will proceed to its logical conclusion.
But Chakwera said the withdrawal of Matemba as lead prosecutor can “discernibly be seen to be a result of government interference.”
The opposition leader said his MCP pushed for the independence of the ACB to safeguard the integrity and sanctity of legal processes, insulating it from any undue political interference of the executive.
He said: “Malawians must know that the chief culprit in the miscarriage of the rule of law in Malawi is the DPP government. Malawians will not forever be fooled by a government that has no credible commitment to the rule of law. “
Chakwera pointed out that when government officials are engrossed in corruption and also when they pursue narrow and self-serving interests, they end-up creating “conditions for the prevalence of lawlessness and poverty among its citizens as is the case for Malawi today.”
He said: “A glance at the trends in Malawi today provides clear indicators of the linkage between the prevailing socio-economic hardships, public policy decisions and the pursuit of narrow interests by leaders over the last twenty years.”
Chakwera said the DPP government “will have itself to blame when this great nation votes them out of office in 2019. “
He said the government keep asking the opposition to provide alternatives to its actions and ill intended policies “yet this is not a listening government”.
Continued Chakwera: “When Malawians speak through the Public Affairs Committee and the President scolds and intimidates PAC for indicating time frames in which certain things should be done… what else do they want us to say? Here is free advice: Stop intimidating ACB and PAC. You voluntarily offered to serve Malawians and not rule over them. Not just to extract taxes, but to be held accountable for how you use them. That’s why we have insisted that this country needs servant leadership, not a tribal and arrogant domination of a disgruntled government.”
Chakwera said it is evident that DPP’s blocking of the bill for ACB independence was for the reason of perpetuating its control and partisan influence over its work.
“Covert or overt interference in the work of the ACB a governance institution like the ACB seriously impedes the democratic tenets of the rule of law.”
He also noted that it is only in Malawi where former presidents are prosecuted or persecuted.
“By the way this is the only country where two former Presidents are unable to live in peace; one lives outside the country, the other is in and out of court. This is unacceptable,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :