Geneva-based social-economic commentator Stanley Kenani has backed leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera who has dared President Peter Mutharika to demonstrate seriousness to resolve the energy crisis facing the country by fast-tracking interim solutions to extended power outages but a group of individuals sympathetic with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) calling themselves Concerned Citizens has registered their disapproval on the tone used by Chakwera .
Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, who accused President Peter Mutharika of being “clueless, directionless and insensitive” to the people’s misery and suffering inflicted by power blackouts.
He asked Mutharika to demonstrate seriousness resolve the electricity crisis facing the country.
Taking his comments to the social media, Kenani backed Chakwera for being blunt in his statement.
“If I were to summarise the Leader of Opposition’s speech on the State House shenanigans at Escom, I would say, ‘The President is incompetent, a liar and a thief.’ First, the President and his people ran Escom into the ground by stealing from it endlessly – to the extent that the Director of Finance [Betty Mahuka] resigned as she did not want to be stealing on behalf of State House.
“Now, even at Escom/Egenco’s darkest hour, all State House can think of is how to siphon $74 million from Escom/Egenco in the name of supplying generators. Meanwhile, the President stands at the podium and tells lies about the generators’ delivery dates. He knows that we Malawians will do nothing, apart from typing a few status updates on Facebook complaining about black-outs,” Kenani wrote on his Facebook page.
He continued: “As comedian, the late John Nyanga starring as Izeki once said, ‘We Malawians behave as though we borrowed this country from elsewhere, as though when we’re done misusing it, we will give it back to the real owners and retreat to the Malawi that is truly ours, the Malawi we can really care about.”
However, a group of the so called Concerned Citizens led by Phillip Kamangira, Fredrick Malata, Gerald Mhone and Kennedy Mwene Munyapala said Chakwera’s tonne was “disrespectful” to Mutharika.
“We are particularly worried with the conduct of Dr Chakwera, a man who calls himself reverend and who would therefore have been expected to be among the first to preach peace and order in this nation.
“In the years that he has been in politics he has proved to be a man who so loves violence and enjoys spreading hate. To him, that is politics but to us that is destruction and we will not allow it,” Kamangira pointed out.
The group said in the spirit of national building, Chakwera as opposition leader should be coming forward by offering solutions to the current challenges that the current is facing as opposed to repeating the problems on podiums which is insulting to Malawians.
They said they have noted with dismay that MCP President is using the energy crisis currently prevailing as a stepping stone to power instead of providing an alternative vision.
“The issue of blackouts needs a sober approach and mature leadership to deal with. We all know that for more than 50 years which include 31 years of MCP rule, Malawi has not made any significant investment in the sector.
“It is only this government which has initiated reforms and is making huge investments in the sector. Rev Chakwera knows this but he opts to use people’s emotions and suffering to gain political mileage,” he said.
Chakwera has asked the President to punish officers involved in the botched multi-million dollar standby generators procurement deal at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).
He said: “Instead of a strategic leader that is moved by your plight as Malawians, we have a President in Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika who seems clueless, directionless and insensitive to the people’s misery and suffering inflicted through these blackouts.
“I personally can see that the country in which we are living has literary been plunged into darkness by the incessant blackouts as a result of Escom’s load-shedding and, figuratively, into darkness of hopelessness, as there seems to be no end to the blackouts and other economic problems plaguing this nation.”
Chakwera was referring to the botched deal to source generators to add 78 megawatts (MW) to the national grid to ease power supply woes effective October this year.
Escom messed up the generators deal some few months ago when it went against own recommendation to award the supply of generators to a company called Aggreko. The deal was cancelled and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) – which sells its power to Escom for supply to consumers -had to start all over again.
During a news conference in Lilongwe, Chakwera implicated Chief Secretary Lloyd Muhara and President’s Special Aide Collins Magalasi to be involved in the genset deal.
Chakwera called for a public inquiry into the foiled generators deal, saying asa a result of the blackouts many businesses have virtually failed and are closing shop: butcheries are seeing their meat turned to rot, salons cannot operate, maize mills cannot mill, welders cannot weld, hatcheries cannot hatch, students cannot study, hospitals have turned into death-zones as operating theatres cannot operate and vaccines cannot be stored, factories are operating at half-mast and incurring heavy losses; ordinary families with refrigerated foodstocks are suffering losses.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :