Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Dr Lazarus Chakwera on Monday responded to the address which President Peter Mutharika made on Friday, November 10, while opening opening of the 47th Session of Parliament and painted Mutharika as a “broken” leader.
Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, termed Mutharika’s leadership as characterising of “broken promises”, saying one needs to look no farther than his own Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) manifesto launched on April 6, 2014.
In his address which was briefly interrupted by a power blackout , Chakwera fired the salvo‚ sayingthe DPP manifesto is a blue print of “so many broken promises” that it deserves to be called “a manifesto of lies.”
He said: “ Just last week, the local media was lamenting about the trail of broken promises that stain the pages of that manifesto as evidence that this President does everything except what he said he would do.
His promise to abolish the coupon system? Broken.
“ His promise to lead a brand of politics without intimidation or dishonesty? Broken.
“ His promise to subsidize cement and iron-sheets for millions of Malawians? Broken.
“His promise to build five universities? Broken.
“His promise to reduce the appointing powers of the President and devolve them to Parliament? Broken.
“His promise to resuscitate the Nsanje Port? Broken.
“His promise to double exports within his first term? Broken.
“His promise to have no tolerance of corruption in his government? Broken.
“His promise to provide health insurance for all civil servants? Broken.
“His promise to upgrade the teaching profession and make it attractive? Broken.
“His promise to pass a law on handouts? Broken.
“His promise to provide total security? Broken.”
Chakwera told Parliament that the number of promises President Mutharika has broken or failed to even attempt to fulfill three years into his term of office is “so staggering” that instead of informing the nation on the progress made on what he promised, he is always making speeches “about the wonders he will perform in the future and blaming past regimes for his failure to get anything done in the meantime.”
He said: “When the President spoke here on Friday, he even had the audacity to describe his government as ‘performing architectural wonders’ in the construction of Mombera University, even though it has not been built. But perhaps the most insulting claim is his claim that he is investing in electricity to do what no other government has ever done since independence. “
Continued Chakwera in his American accent: “Mr. Speaker Sir, the irony is that the President himself admitted that Malawi’s installed capacity for electricity is 351 megawatts, generated by stations that were constructed or commissioned by the MCP, UDF, and PP regimes. This means that contrary to the President’s fantasies, the only governing party that is yet to add power to the grid while in office is his, and the previous regimes he blames for his failure to do likewise are the ones who constructed the electricity infrastructure that supplies him with uninterrupted electricity wherever he goes while Malawians endure 24 hour blackouts and months of waiting for over-priced back-up generators procured in a fraudulent manner.
“So in short, Mr. Speaker Sir, when the President stood before this honorable House to narrate what he is doing, there is every reason to believe that he was presenting a work of fiction. However, what isn’t a work of fiction, Mr. Speaker Sir, is the third brutal fact that the President and his Cabinet refuse to admit or address; that this country is not surviving without donor aid like he claims it is. “
Chakwera said not only Mutharika’s claim demonstrably untrue, but in the same speech in which the President made this claim, he documented just how dependent Malawi is still on donor aid.
“Rather than the presumptuous and pretentious attitude of applauding himself for the help our development partners continue to give us, the President should be leading by example in expressing gratitude to those whose aid continues to prop up the house of cards that he is living in,” said Chakwera.
He continued: “For our part, Mr. Speaker Sir, we commend our development partners for their continued support, particularly the Global Fund and Partners, African Development Bank, the World Bank, GAVI, The Health Services Joint Fund supported by the German, UK, and Norwegian Governments, and the Indian Government.”
Leader of Opposition said it is very disingenuous for the President to receive donor aid for the country with one hand and then take credit for running the country without donor aid with the other.
“ The fact is that our development and service programs continue to be dependent on foreign aid, grants, and loans, both on and off budget, not because they must, but because the President has failed to demonstrate that he is not a Prince of Thieves presiding over a kleptocracy,” said Chakwera.
In his reaction, Peoples Party (PP) leader in the House, Ralph Mhone also blasted Mutharika’s administration for “castrophrophic leadership”.
He said Mutharika’s addressed was a missed opportunity.
“We in the Peoples Party believe the President should have gonne deeper to provide policity direction for this country which he didn’t,” said Mhone.
Traditionally, the president’s speech sets the tone for deliberations in the meeting of Parliament.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :