Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has hit back at critics who acccude him of being agead to be the fiscal chief and President Peter Mutharika thst he could be too old to fight the next election, saying running government is not for babies but for mature people with experience.
Gondwe, an octogerian, took advantage of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) northern region conference to say there is no sign whatever that his age and that of the President is an impediment.
He guaranteed Mutharika would fight the campaign in next year’s elections and win hands down.
“The government of President Peter Mutharika has done more in this country than anybody else. Peter yula nimwana mchoko. Ine ndili mulala kwaPeter yula,” Gondwe said.
Gondwe, who will clock 82 this year, has since laughed off suggestions thatDPP should replace President Mutharika with a ‘baby’ during the 2019 polls because he is aging
The Finance minister said President Mutharika is extremely energetic leader who works extremely long hours and is an extremely effective progressive leader.
He insisted Mutharika is is in good shape and like himself, has a lot of energy.
Professor Thandika Mkandawire, a Swedish economist of Malawian descent, recently said on social media that the time for Mutharika and Gondwe is gone.
Mkandawire said he was together with Mutharika during both the struggle for independence and democratisation, which he argued are enough contributions from him.
“I still can’t figure out why he [Mutharika] believes he has the energy and capacity for the incredibly arduous and complex struggle for developing Malawi. The most successful presidents in the last 20 years—the Meles [Zenawi] of Ethiopia, Rwandan President [Paul] Kagame have been young with huge amounts of energy.
“In addition, we can’t have a Minister of Finance [Gondwe] in the 80s. It makes no sense and this is beginning to show in some of the confusion in fiscal policy. And it is a joke among both donors and investors.
“We, the old should sit on the side, doling out our wisdom when demanded. But running a State or economy? No,” he said.
DPP Secretary General Gresselder Jeffrey also took advantage of the conference to campaign for the post of Secretary General during DPP’s forthcoming convention.
Various political parties will this year hold conventions where all positions will be up for grabs in readiness for the 2019 tripartite elections.
Speaking at a regional conference in Mzuzu, Jeffrey asked regional governors and constituency governors to vote for her since she has outstandingly performed her duties after taking over from late Eklen Kudontoni two years ago.
“I am asking District Governors as well as Regional governors to vote for me as a woman at the convention for the post that I am currently holding (SG).
“You all are my witnesses that many of you had the chance to visit State House and meet face to face with the President. Who was the Secretary General behind all this? ”asked Jeffrey.
The Secretary General further warned the members to be on alert as there will be some people who will be interested to vie for her position and try to woo the members’ votes.
“There will be some people who will come and ask you to vote for them for the same position that I am also interested in.
“Try me as a woman as you will bear testimony with me that I have done a good job to revive the party since I took over the position,” she said.
Jeffrey is likely to face stiff competition from former DPP administrative secretary, Clement Mwale; former DPP secretary general and Speaker of National Assembly, Chimunthu Banda, DPP Regional Governor for centre , Bintony Kutsaira, among othersFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :