Leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera on Monday dismissed President Peter Mutharika for not telling the truth in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) that his government has delivered in the last four years , saying the reality is that it has “miserably failed” to deliver on its socio-economic promises to Malawians.
In another biting response to the Sona the President delivered in Parliament on Friday, Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President, described failure by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to translate policy documents into meaningful developments as nothing but a cancer that is hindering economic transformation.
Said Chakwera: “ Mr Speaker Sir, let me put it plainly and bluntly: the cancer hindering the transformation of our nation is the Democratic Progressive Party. Everything else is but a symptom of this dysfunction-promoting-
“As such, only a fool would believe that the good old pillars in this government can turn a disease into a cure for their own failed leadership, and only a fool would believe that the young soulless agitators in this government can turn a disease into a cure for our failing economy.”
He said Malawians are not interested in politicians who want to keep in government a party that maintains the status quo, observing that the DPP in its entirety is that status quo.
“To put it clinically, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the syndrome called DPP has three primary symptoms. The first is Failing to tell Malawians the truth. The DPP is a party of untruths. In its manifesto, it promised prosperity for all, but is only delivering prosperity to a select few; promising justice for all, but creating a state where Chasowa and Njaunju’s murders remain unsolved; promising security for all, but failing to even provide security for its own Parliamentarians and its own President during the State of the Nation Address,” said Chakwera.
He catalogued the failures of DPP administration, saying the party promised to “make the country the food basket of the region”, only to reverse its own policy by banning the export of our farmers’ crops. “ So I ask you, Honorable Members, is Malawi the region’s food basket today? It is not true.”
Chakwera continued: “The DPP promised to introduce health insurance for all public servants. I ask you, are all public servants enjoying this benefit today? It is not true.
“The DPP promised to end drug shortages in our hospitals. I ask you, are all our hospitals adequately resourced today? It is not true”.
Chakwera said the DPP promised “to eliminate illiteracy by 2019”, saying it has failed .
The DPP promised that “the teaching profession will be upgraded” and that teachers would be paid on time.
“I ask you, are our teachers feeling this upgrade today? It is not true. “
Chakwera continued: “The DPP promised to “provide Total Security to both persons and businesses”. I ask you, has this total security been felt by those with albinism or those falsely accused of being bloodsuckers, the elderly or the DPP’s own MPs who have been harassed here at Parliament and allegedly had their cars burned? It is not true.
The DPP promised to “reduce congestion” of traffic on our roads. I ask you, do drivers enjoy roads that have no congestions today? It is not true.
The DPP promised to reform the civil service by cutting off unnecessary positions. I ask you, is the civil service any smaller today? It is not true.
The DPP promised to remove from the Presidency the power to appoint or remove the Governor of the Reserve Bank, the Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Auditor General, the Director of Public Prosecution, the Clerk of Parliament, the Malawi Law Commissioner, the Director General of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, the Director General of MACRA. I ask you, have you seen the President relinquish these powers? It is not true.
The DPP promised to “cooperate and collaborate with the civil society, non-governmental organizations and the media”, yet it sends its young cadets on to the streets to threaten CSOs who want to protest peacefully, creates a heavily armed police barricade to block Malawians from marching peacefully, and in his State of the Nation Address before this House, President Mutharika himself accused the CSOs who marched peacefully of plotting violence and seeking to destabilize the country. I ask you, does that sound like co-operation? It is not true.
The DPP promised to double Malawi’s exports in five years. I ask you, have you seen Malawi’s exports doubling? It is not true. In fact, between 2013 and the end of 2017, Malawi’s exports have shrunk by four hundred million dollars!
The DPP promised to construct a state of the art Judicial Complex right next to this very House. I ask you, have you seen this beautiful building? It is not true.
The DPP promised to only borrow for production and never for consumption, and yet it borrows millions to build stadiums to entertain young people and nothing to build factories to employ them. I ask you, is this production? It is not true.
The DPP promised Malawian women that they would enjoy equal numbers to men at all leadership levels of the public and civil service. I ask you, has this been done? It is not true.
The DPP promised to put an end to the deforestation of Chikangawa forest. I ask you, does that forest look like anyone is protecting it? It is not true.
The DPP promised to open the Nsanje Inland Port, yet today it lies in ruins with nothing to show for the 20 million dollars the DPP flushed down the drain. I ask you, is this port now operational? It is not true.
The DPP promised to complete, not start, but to complete the construction of universities in Karonga, Mzimba, Nkhotakota, Mangochi, and Nsanje. I ask you, are our young people expected to graduate from a foundation stone?
The DPP promised the end of blackouts by the end of 2017. I ask you, are Malawians out of the dark ages? It is not true.
Chakwera said DPP promises that were nothing but promises, saying it is a party of unfulfilled promises.
“Not telling Malawians the truth is how it got into power and not telling the truth to Malawians is how it has governed Malawians. The DPP will even use things that are real to create a false impression, to peddle something fake. It builds real community colleges, but when you look at their quality up close, it is clear that the DPP is peddling fake education, but our young people deserve better. The DPP lays real foundation stones and leaves them behind in order to fake development, when we all know they are monuments of failure. The DPP repaints real post-offices in order to fake reform. The DPP will give massive handouts in by-elections and lose because Malawians cannot be fooled by fake generosity.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, the DPP takes a real company called Malawi Mangoes, claims to have wooed it to expand its operations to Salima, when the company has already had operations there for seven years, all in an effort to fake investments. So wherever you see the DPP talking, you will find all kinds of untruths there. Even when what it says starts with the truth, the end thereof is untruths. The DPP and fake promises cannot be separated, and Malawi is drowning in its untruths, so if we want a government that tells Malawians the truth, we must accept that the DPP is incapable of delivering such a government.”
He also accused DPP of stealingfrom Malawians.
“ In fact, we now have an MP of the DPP (Bon Kalindo) on record declaring publicly that stealing under the DPP is worse now than it was during Cashgate, as evidenced by people close to the president amassing untold wealth overnight and as soon as the DPP got into Government, not to say anything of DPP Ministers that suddenly appear in their constituencies with a thousand new bicycles and cars bought with funds from sources that go by the name ‘somewhere’, sources that the DPP insists on keeping in the dark. And as if that wasn’t enough, there has recently emerged a leaked phone call between top DPP officials salivating over the opportunity to steal from the key Ministry of Agriculture.
“Is this not reminiscent of the time not long ago when two separate Commissions of Inquiry implicated the then Minister of Agriculture in corrupt practices in the procurement of maize from Zambia, and yet the DPP retained him as its Vice-President? His head did not roll in the DPP then, and no heads are rolling in the DPP now, because stealing from Malawians is not a consequential crime in the DPP. Stealing from Malawians is a pastime. It is business as usual.
“At every turn, the DPP creates easy loopholes that facilitate wanton stealing from Malawians. If the DPP sells a bank belonging to Malawians, it is a chance for someone to steal from Malawians. If a DPP official or sympathiser sues the State, the compensation they will seek through the courts is multiple times more than the loss they suffered, because it is a chance for someone to steal from Malawians. If the DPP procures generators, it will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the outcry of Malawians against the move, because it is a chance for someone to steal from Malawians.”
Chakwera said the DPP has no shortage of wide open gates for siphoning money from Malawians mentiong the Calendar Printing Gate, ADMARC K45 billion Gate, TEVETA Gate, Mulli Brothers K3 Billion Gate, MACRA Gate, Maize Gate, Office Furniture Gate, Generator Gate, Medical Stores Procurement Gate, Salima Feasibility Study Gate, Mombera University Gate, Phalombe District Hospital Gate, Nsanje Inland Port Gate, 4 Billion Kwacha Disbursement Gate, Tractor Gate, National Aids Commission Fund Gate, and 236 Billion Kwacha Gate.
“Surely this cannot go on. Surely this has to end. Surely we see that these egregious acts of stealing from Malawians are depriving Malawians of roads, medicines, school supplies, school hostels, college scholarships, clean neighborhoods, teachers, nurses, doctors, and many more.”
Chakwera watered down the success of infrastructure development which Muthariksaid the administration has constructed roads across the country and its efforts continue to be undermined by the severe effects of the Cashgate scandal of 2013.
“It is not enough for the president to come here and brag that his government is working on 12 roads, because if the money lost by the DPP through theft is enough to create 50 roads, then it is foolish to clap and chant “Boma”. Now, to be sure, we don’t want a Boma that has anything to do with stealing, but we must accept that it would be easier to remove the DPP from government than it would be to remove theft from the DPP.”
On his part, People’s Party (PP) leader in the House, Ralph Mhone, used his response slot to the Sona saying Mutharika’s achievements should be contrasted with the promises he made during the campaign through the 2014 DPP manifesto.
He echoed Chakwera ‘s sentiments, describing DPP as a failed entity with broken promises and full of lies as there is nothing much to show development-wise.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :