The People’s Transformation Party (Petra) president Kamuzu Chibambo has come out of his political cacoon to spit fire at President Peter Mutharika for his failure to address the nation on the recent fuel hike and theft of K1.9 billion worth of fuel at State-owned power utility Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) which is contributing to the prolonged power cuts.
Chibambo said Mutharika needs to address the nation on the issues, saying they are affecting the day to day life of ordinary Malawians as well as the corporate world.
Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) increased the price of petrol by 6.2 percent to K990.50 per litre, diesel went up by 6.9 percent to K990.40 per litre while paraffin is now selling at K785.80 per litre, an increase of 3.93 percent.
The fuel hike effected last week has triggered the rise in commodity and services prices whilst the theft of the fuel at Escom is contributing to the prolonged power cuts which is at nine hours a day as power generators which the government hired at US$78 million are lying idle.
The fuel price hike follows another one in October by an average of five percent.
“The President needs to come and out and address the nation. We need an explanation from him as the country’s CEO,” said Chibambo.
His party and 12 other tiny parties are expected to form an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections in a bid to wrestle power from Mutharika at the ballot box.
But presidential spokesperson Mgeme KaliLani has trashed the possibility of Mutharika addressing the nation on the issues raised, saying he cannot be commenting on every issue in the country.
“The line ministries and departments addressed the issue already therefore there is no need for HE to address the nation on the matter again,” he said.
UTM party leader and State vice-president SaulosChilima ordered the government to bring down the prices of fuel by next month.
Economic commentators have warned that standards of living for the low and middle income earners are in jeopardy following the anticipated rise in prices of goods and services triggered by last week’s fuel price hike.
National Statistical Office (NSO) figures show that electricity, housing, water and transport contribute 31.5 percent to the consumer price index (CPI), an aggregate basket for measuring inflation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :