Opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera has called the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led administration as “inconsistent government” and that the nation is not only financially bankrupt, but also bankrupt of sound policies and plans to move Malawi into a prosperous nation.
Responding to President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address, Chakwera who is also president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), told parliament on Monday that the Head of State avoided “so many national issues that it is almost impossible to find anything of substance to respond to.”
He said the DPP-led government may think that avoiding saying how bad things are in the country will make Malawians think that their lives are getting better, “but this is a fool’s errand, and this House will not allow you to bury your heads in the sand like this. Let’s talk about how things are falling apart.”
Chakwera slammed what he called government inconsistencies, saying there are so many that it is dizzying to account for them all, citing contradicting statements on several issues to do with government policy.
“Mr Speaker Sir, the inconsistencies of this government are so many that it is dizzying to account for them all. We spend millions to train doctors, but they say that we are too broke to employ them.
“The same government says it is selling Malawi Savings Bank one day, then says it is not selling it in order to consult Malawians, then sells the bank while Malawians are giving their input through Parliament.
“The same government says it is not buying a jet, then hires a jet, then says it will buy a jet in the future, then says it will never buy a jet. The same government says it has no plans to raise salaries for public officers, then raises salaries a month later, then its leaders say they are suspending the salary increases they gave themselves until the economy improves. 7
“The same government says the Access to Information bill will not be tabled in this sitting of parliament, and then says that the bill will be tabled in this sitting of parliament,” said Chakwera.
The leader of opposition added: 2This is a government that communicates today that it is not recruiting junior doctors and tomorrow the same government contradicts itself by saying it will recruit junior doctors.
“ First the government communicates that there will be no Maize seed package in the 2015/16 FISP program, then wakes up the next morning it is going to include maize seed in FISP. The same government that campaigned on the promise that civil servants will have their salaries improved is now slinging insults at the civil servants for believing the empty promises, saying things that I cannot repeat in this House, when they make legitimate demands”.
In his 44 minutes speech in response to Mutharika’s 25 minutes address, Chakwera also tacked the issue security lapses in the country accusing Mutharika of downplaying the real security breakdown and disputed statistics by the President that indicate that the crime rate is going down, saying those statistics are “total lies and far from reality on the ground.”
He said: “Mr Speaker Sir, what Malawians know is that thugs armed with pangas are terrorising them in their homes. Since 2014 the security situation in the country has deteriorated to levels we have never seen before. The number of reports of rape, defilement, abduction and killing of albinos, and killing of police in the line of duty has been on the rise. Even houses of diplomats are being broken into by robbers”
Chakwera also questioned the DPP led administration why it is taking too long to investigate and act on the murder of Anti Corruption Bureau senior official late Issa Njaunju.
He questioned why the government has taken a “casual approach” to the issue just like the death of Polytechnic student activist Robert Chasowa,
“Mr Speaker, Sir, if Government is incapable of protecting its citizens, can they at least give us an answer to this simple question: Why are you doing nothing to investigate the murder of a senior Anti- Corruption Bureau officer, Issa Njauju? From the day of the murder until now, the Government has taken a casual approach to the investigation just as it has done with Chasowa murder.
“Why should it be the opposition, the British High Commissioner, and other members of the diplomatic corps who push for a thorough investigation when the President has the entire police service at his command?”
He added: “When the Council for Foreign Relations in New York asked the President about what is being done about Issa Njauju‟s death, the entire President said was that the murder was a professional job and was very complicated to solve! What? If you are admitting that our problems are too complicated for you to solve, then why are you clinging to the office you hold? “
Chakwera said the ACB like other constitutional governance institutions need not only to operate independent from the executive, but also in a safe and secure environment.
“When officers are kidnapped, brutally murdered and burnt…that is not just a precious soul lost, but justice denied,” he said.
Chakwera blamed government saying the measures taken are still weak and no strategy exists to
deal with organized crime.
“Is it that criminals are more organized than the government or the government is organized more by criminals?” questioned Chakwera.
As he concluded his speech and the House went to tea break, the opposition side stood up and sang: “Chakwera ndi boma lero Chakwera is fit to govern Malawi].”
Following the responses from the opposition, Parliament is expected to start general debate on the motion on the President’s address from Tuesday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :