Leader of Opposition in Parliament and president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lazarous Chakwera has bemoaned what he call poor governance under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying the Peter Mutharika administration is using the State Broadcaster MBC television and radio to vilify opposition and critics.
Chakwera told Parliament that good governance is a prerequisite condition for meaningful and equitable socio-economic development of the country but observed it is the “most disastrous” in as far as DPP government is concerned.
In his response to President Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, Chakwera observed that the Head of State in his speech mentioned a number of success stories and on-going efforts put in place to improve on governance.
However, the Leader of the Opposition countered Mutharika by saying such efforts remain “sporadic, half-hearted, and a mere smoke screen.”
He said: “We bemoan continued delay in concluding high profile cases of well-connected criminals while at the same time ensuring expedience in fast tracking cooked up cases of political opponents.
“We therefore wish to reiterate our call that Government should assert its authority on stamping out corruption by prosecuting high profile cases of those politically connected, genuinely free the Anti-Corruption Bureau, free Malawi Electoral Commission, and conduct government business honestly, beginning with ensuring that the awarding of contracts is done in a fair, open, and orderly manner,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera took time to condemn the government for awarding a US$500 million to Khato Civil Engineers of billionaire Malawian businessman based on South Africa, Simbi Phiri for a water project in a dubious manner.
“The public outcry over the way Government mismanaged the manner in which the 500-million-dollar contract to pump water from Salima to Lilongwe deserves a credible response, not a defensive one,” he said.
Chakwera also expressed concern that DPP administration continues to parade chiefs, pro-government civil society leaders and church leaders on government payroll to condemn remarks of opposition and critics on poor governance and economic turmoil;
“The abuse of our esteemed traditional leaders, clergy and civil society members in order to water down genuine concerns of the opposition and those with good will for Malawi in pursuit of cheap political glory are further testimonies of bad governance,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera called for government to free traditional, civil, and religious leaders “from the bond of political patronage and allow them to concentrate on their noble callings within our communities.”
He said: “Parading traditional, civil and religious leaders on state broadcaster (MBC) to vilify those with different opinion from that of Government should stop hence forth as it is a waste of time and taxpayer funds.
“Malawians are intelligent enough to differentiate between mere rhetoric and substance and cannot be hoodwinked into believing that government is performing by listening to the propaganda fed panellists cartooning themselves on state television or radio,” he said.
Chakwera threatened to deny funding to MBC to protect taxpayers’ money from being abused
He further suggested MBC should be granted independence to operate truly like a state broadcaster just like South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) or Botswana Television.
“ Furthermore, the persecution of independent media for attempting to give Malawians the other side of story should stop since this tendency denies Malawians access to information as provided by the law,” he added.
While Chakwera was making his response to the Sona, his address was abruptly cut off during the Parliament program on MBC TV.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :