The leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera used the State of the Nation Address (SONA) response as the opportunity to bash President Peter Mutharika and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party(DPP), saying all the DPP cared about was power and getting rich while “torturing” the citizenry.Chakw
In a usual style of scathing speech in response to Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) themed ‘We Have Delivered’ presented in Parliament on Friday, Chakwera charged that the DPP “torturing Malawians.”
He said: “Wherever you see the DPP in operation, it will not just turn a blind eye to the suffering of Malawians, but it will act as the catalyst for that suffering. It is not uncommon to hear a DPP official castigating respected community leaders, not caring about the hurt this causes. It is not uncommon to hear a DPP official using incendiary and foul language in a public address, not caring about the pain of humiliation this causes. It is not uncommon to see the DPP exploiting chiefs to divide communities, not caring about the social pains this inflicts. It is not uncommon to see the DPP government appoint or promote someone to a public office who was responsible for torturing Malawians in a previous assignment, not caring about the trauma this causes past victims.
“The DPP will even call a forty-five year old man a baby and unfit for the presidency, thus insulting 15 million Malawians under the age of 45, contradicting the constitution, and publicly humiliating a man who has a wife and children.”
Chakwera, who is also president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), said there is no need for Malawians to keep DPP in power as it has failed in the four years it has governed the country in the three key categories of often feeding Malawians lies and stealing from them and torturing them.
“It is not uncommon to see DPP cadets harassing, assaulting, and bullying people in the streets in broad daylight and in full view of police officers who are often reduced to powerless spectators. In fact, those of us on this side of the House have on several occasions been on the receiving end of the violence of blue-clad or blue-painted cadets in the North, in the Center, and in the South. And each time we have condemned the violence, the DPP machinery has dismissed our complaints.
“ But over the weekend, the aggression the DPP has tolerated from these cadets for years spilled over to two of their own MPs and even spilled into this house and victimized their own president as he delivered his address. And now suddenly both the President and the Vice President issue statements condemning the violence of their own charges, when we all know that these cadets have been doing this to peace-loving Malawians for years without a single word of condemnation from President Mutharika or his muzzled Vice,” said Chakwera.
He wonderers whether the suffering and pain caused by their DPP youth cadets and party officials only matter when it is inflicted on them and their loyalists.
“ When the President and Vice President were safe in their tax-paid palaces and their DPP cadets came to hack MCP members during Mulanje’s by-elections last month, why didn’t either of them say anything? Why didn’t either of them say anything against violence when their DPP cadets hurled stones at me and my delegation during the Gonapamuhanya event in Rumphi seven months ago? Why didn’t either of them say anything against violence when their DPP cadets attempted to mob me at John Chilembwe’s memorial in Chiradzulu two years ago?
“In 2013, when Professor Mutharika was arrested on treason charges, was it not his party cadets that wrote to President Joyce Banda threatening to set the country on fire if Mutharika was not released without conditions? Was it not his party’s cadets that responded to that arrest by disrupting social order in the streets of our cities and having running battles with the police? Was it not that year that one journalist examined the history of violence perpetrated by political parties since the late 1990s and concluded that the DPP is the party that has violence in its very DNA?
“So now after four years of DPP abuses torturing Malawians through dysfunctional systems; after four years of DPP policies torturing Malawians through the sale of land to foreigners while citizens remain landless in their own country; after four years of DPP directives torturing Malawians by banning them from selling their own maize; after four years of DPP officials torturing Malawians by verbally assaulting them at rallies and in the media; after four years of torturing Malawians by ignoring their cries against the sale of MSB, the buying of maize, and the borrowing of generators; and after four years of DPP cadets torturing Malawians through physical assault in the streets and bringing armoured vehicles and tear gas to block a peaceful march, the President and Vice-President have only now realized that violence is bad and should be condemned?”
Chakwera who was on jugular vein wondered f the President and Vice President think they and their political allies are the only people worth protecting from violence or that they are the only people whose suffering at the hands of DPP tugs is worth condemning.
He charged that the government had lied in promising that it would fight corruption, improve living standards, transform the economy, provide good governance and ensure equity and equality.
“And when President Mutharika came to this House on Friday, calling Malawi a nation whose economy has been fixed, millions of listening Malawians looked around them and saw only signs of a broken economy. When the President declared that confidence had been regained, when he himself knows that seven days earlier thousands of Malawians were in the streets of all three regions in a march of no confidence in his government, Malawians looked within them and saw only signs of lost confidence.
“When I heard him proclaim that projects were moving and hope is rising, I thought of the millions of Malawians who look ahead and see only foundation stones descending and living costs ascending. And that is certainly not the country I pledge my blood and sweat to build for Malawians as President,” he said.
Chakwera said the President was delusional in declaring that his party had delivered on its party manifesto.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :