Social-political commentators have blasted President Peter Mutharika for bragging that the economy is robust, saying the Malawi leader is out of sync with reality of the nation which continues to face worsening poverty and rising costs of living.
Mutharika, who faces an election in May 2019, has said Malawi is a highly rated destination for investors because he has restored economic confidence and there is sound macroeconomic environment despite waning donor support.
The President said he inherited a gutted economy from the Joyce Banda administration but has now managed to boost the foreign reserves position to five months of import cover from one month that haunted his predecessor.
“ I took the badly damaged economy and now the economy has recovered. Inflation is at its lowest point in our history; interest rates are going down and the economy is growing. Our foreign currency reserves are at the highest in history,” said Mutharika on Monday.
Outspoken writer and social media activist Stanley Onjezani Kenani took to Facebook to question the credibility in Mutharika statements on economic data.
“Our President is detached from reality. Which economy has recovered? You think it’s enough to cook figures and deceive people that the economy has recovered? People are suffering in our villages,” wrote Kenani.
He challenged Mutharika on his claim that Malawi is preferred tourist destination.
The Geneva-based Kenani wrote: “Talking of tourists, each time I take a flight from Amsterdam to Arusha, I cannot help admiring. Of 450 passengers on the plane, maybe 400 are tourists, going to Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and other Tanzanian tourist attractions. Those in the know say that every day is like that. And yet our flights home are full of Malawians returning from attending conferences or holidaying abroad. On what basis can you say our country is a preferred tourist destination?”
Adding her voice Omega Malata wrote: “Which thriving economy? A good economy only being felt by the State House and DPP (ruling Democratic Progressive Party) cronies while the rest of Malawians live in poverty.”
Social and political activist Ben Chiza Mkandawire commented that Mutharika was not telling the truth and that his statement is full of delusions.
Mkandawre said President Mutharika is “suffering from serious delusions “.
He queried “who in their right mind would be standing at a podium proclaiming Malawi economy in recovery mode. Who?”
Mkandawire argue that Mutharika has mastered the art of self-delusion .
Another critic Loraine Masiya Mponela said if the success being touted by Mutharika is anything to go by, then US President Donald Trump “must remove Malawi from the shithole list.”
Journalist and columnist Idriss Ali Nassah noted that Mutharika doesn’t write the speeches he delivers in public.
“Around him are people taking advantage of the fact that the President is old, is a drunk, is disconnected, is disinterested and is incompetent to make him read rubbish and fiction. These people making a fool of our president in such a manner are, frankly, criminals,” Nassah wrote.
Opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera is on record to have described failure by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to translate policy documents into meaningful developments as cheating Malawians who believed the government would deliver on its promises.
Mutharika’s administration was also dogged by several corruption scandals and accused of government persecution of opposition political parties through physical and prosecutorial intimidation.
President Mutharika also faced accusations of nepotism. He denied those charges.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :