The administration of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has said it is “very satisfied” that it has transformed the country in three years President Peter Mutharika was elected president and is moving Malawi forward.
DPP spokesman Francis Kasaila, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said he is confident the ruling party would remain in government after 2019 elections because of the “significant progress” it has made while in power.
“To us, despite whatever is being said, in as far as we are concerned, we have done the best for the people of Malawi,” said Kasaila in quotes reported in the rests on Tuesday.
He was reacting to concerns that the party has strayed from its campaign promises, especially those that touch on reducing presidential powers and could cause it to lose popularity with its electorates.
Launched in April 2014 titled: ‘Towards a people-centred government’, an analysis of the manifesto shows that the DPP government is shying away from making tough decisions, especially on law and administrative reforms in the Executive.
The DPP government promised to reduce concentration of power in the presidency, especially on appointing and removing heads of accountability institutions such as the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Auditor General (AG), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Clerk of Parliament (CoP).
The DPP also promised that merit would be observed in appointments and removal of chief executive officers and board members of parastatals, but Malawians remain in the dark on the movements of heads for Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra), Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) and Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC).
Kasaila said by the end of the term in 2019 the DPP shall have “implemented everything” that it promised Malawians in their manifesto.
He said DPP is fulfilling some of its promised including the community colleges and Decenet and Affordable Housing Subsidy commonly known as Malata and Cement Subsidy.
Political governance commentator Henry Chingaipe argues that “failure to deliver campaign promises demands for explanation as to what is the status of the pledges made.”
According to Chingaipe there is a political and moral duty for the government to give updates on such important issues and not just highlighting what they think they have done better.
University of Malawi political analyst, Boniface Dulani, observed that a number of the short and long-term promises by DPP will not be delivered.
In an editorial comment of The Nation newspaper on Tuesday, the daily there would be ‘no excuses for not walking the talk.”
The paper however commended DPP-led government for fulfilling some of its campaign promises; notably the lean Cabinet and the passing of the Access ti Information Bill into law, “albeit, ith a lot of reluctance, and although there is still a lot to do to operationalise the law.”
President Peter Mutharika has also been hailed for the public services reforms.
But the paper said a cause of concern is President Mutharikas “reneging” on the promise he made to Malawians that he would trim presidential powers with a view of making institutions of governance more independent nin their operations.
Mutharika made the promise through DPP manifesto and during his inauguration as Head of State.
The paper said Malawians are being “short-changed” on the electoral promises made by DPP and President Mutharika.
In quotes reported by the paper, Mzuzu-based political analyst Emily Mkamanga said the performance of Mutharia three years into its five-year mandate has not been inspiring and rated him 3.5 out of 10.
Also quoted is social and political commentator Charles Kajoloweka observed that the President has tolerated corruption and even come to the defence of some culprits- apparently former agriculture minister George Chaponda.
“Leadership indecisiveness to curb corruption remains worrisome,” Kajoloweka said.
The following are some of the major promises DPP made in the manifesto that ushred it into office:
- Complete construction of university campuses in Karonga, Mzimba, Nkhotakota, Mangochi, and Nsanje;
- Reduce presidential powers by empowering a special public appointments committee to handle the appointment and removal of top officials in various public institutions such as appointment and removal of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
- Others were the Auditor General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Clerk of Parliament, Malawi Human Rights Commission executive secretary, the Malawi Law Commissioner, director general of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) director general, and that leaders of other accountability institutions shall be on merit through a special public appointments committee;
- In Chapter 4 (11) it emphasises zero-tolerance to corruption, fraud, theft and other economic crimes
- To implement recommendations of past constitutional reviews including the facilitation of revised Section 65 on crossing the floor and to bring back of Section 64, on the recall provision;
- Operationalising the Nsanje Inland Port;
- Abolish the coupon system for subsidized farm inputs;
- Make subsidised fertiliser available for every farmer who needs it.
- Cooperate with and collaborate with the civil society and non-governmental organisations and the media; Pass and implement the Access to Information Bill;