Leader of opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera has said President Peter Mutharika has completely failed Malawians and should have stepped aside instead of clinging to power.
Chakwera, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president and now the sworn political foe of Mutharika said this when he was responding to the President’s state of the nation assembly Monday in parliament.
“There is no hope for Malawians in this government. The President has no direction or hope for Malawians,” said Chakwera amid applause from the opposition benches and silence from the government side.
The uncompromising Chakwera said it is unfortunate that Malawians have no means of firing Mutharika and his administration for their failure to put in place an impressive economic recovery to resuscitate the ailing economy which he said has put Malawians in huge suffering.
“We are a nation in big trouble,” said Chakwera who said Mutharika’s administration has been characterised with politics of nepotism, slander, misinformation and contradictions, among others.
Chakwera said donor age is not yet over as claimed by the country’s leadership only that donors cannot give money to people they cannot trust.
He asked Mutharika’s administration to put in place sound economic policies to win back donor confidence.
“We simply can’t afford to let the ship we are sailing in sink into the economic waters just because the President does not know what to do,” he said.
Chakwera then punched holes in Mutharika’s 25-minute speech, describing the State if the Nation Address as “zero speech” which had no substance for the opposition to respond to.
Chakwera said Muntharika’s speech was a “waste of time” to the nation and Palrliament as it was done i na hurry as it lacked substances and instead of giving Malawians hope it only created a lot of fear to the public.
“The President’s failure to take full stock of the state of the country’s economy, food situation, security, social welfare, governance and other national issues is an insult to the Malawians that employed him to say how bad things are and what he is doing about it.
“Even if he decided that it was too early to give a proper State of the Nation address given that his last one was only six months ago, Malawians deserve to hear a full report on the progress being made on the multitude of promises he claimed his government was fulfilling when he stood here in May,” said Chakwera.
“Malawians listened to their President for a sign of relief from the policy decisions that are hurting them, like a plan to end failure to keep the IMF‟s Extended Credit Facility from going off-track as it is now, but the President had nothing to say,” the leader of opposition said.
He observed that the only positive from the President’s address is that it only lasted 25 minutes, “ so at least he was kind enough to not take too much of our time with his Zero Plan Speech.”
The MCP president also asked the government to speed up legislation that would regulate the operations of the National Intelligence Bureau which has been accused of snooping on the opposition leader and civil society leaders.
Chakwera said the President should have tabled a hunger report in the House, saying the situation is dire on the ground but warned donors that they should not contribute in cash but kind saying the current administration cannot be trusted with money.
He also asked the criteria used to identify 80 beneficiaries of the cement subsidy programme in each constituency.--Additional reporting by Owen Khamula, Nyasa TimesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :