Chaponda ‘rips’ President Banda on GNU, MEC

Leader of the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in parliament, George Chaponda, on Tuesday decided to give President Joyce Banda a few lessons on governance when he responded to the State of the Nation address.

Chaponda lamented  that President Banda has shown that her government  “has no respect for good governance”  is the manner in which  she has formed an inclusive Cabinet  in what he referred to as Government of National Unity (GNU).

He said  when a Government is establishing a GNU, “there is need to engage in a dialogue with the relevant parties concerned” saying the manner in which it  is being pursued “ clearly aims at establishing a one party state.”

Chaponda said DPP is “determined to resist” return to one party state.

Chaponda: The devil is in the details

“ We were shocked for instance that our Leader of Opposition  (John Tembo) has declared that he does not intend to oppose the Government in any way.  This therefore is another example of the establishment of monolithic politics in Malawi,” said Chaponda, a former Cabinet minister.

He also queried President Banda on the appointment of the new Commissioners for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

The President told Parliament that she wrote ” to political parties to nominate candidates to be considered for appointment as Malawi Electoral Commission Commissioners.”

Chaponda said  DPP received such a letter and provided names.

However, he said the party is “surprised  that what  has emerged is “a highly politicized” Commission including current senior political office  bearers of political parties.

“Hence, it is felt that the letter requesting us to provide names was merely window dressing and not done in good faith. Some of these officers have openly declared that their political objective will remain to ensure  defeat of DPP.”

Chaponda also said DPP is impressed  that the President is continuing the programme of the late President Mutharika, saying she aptly stated  in her speech that she is “finishing the second half of my predecessor’s term”.

Therefore,  he said “we are not surprised that there is nothing new introduced in her speech.   Much of what is being presented as new is just a copy of what the Bingu administration was pursuing.  “

Chaponda cited  the much talked about Malawi Growth and Development Strategy 11, saying it was already finalized and approved by the Bingu administration.

“She has merely replaced the signature.  Even the Nation Newspaper of May 18th 2012 made a similar observation that ‘there was nothing in the Friday Speech that distinctly defines Banda and the PP.”

Chaponda said DPP  is not against Banda for continuing programs of the late President Mutharika  “but merely to emphasize that there is need to acknowledge the legacy of the past Bingu

He said on the short term economic measures, DPP will comment after the Minister of Finance delivers his budget statement, saying “  as they say the devil is in the details.”

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