Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francis Kasaila and Times Group Editor In-Chief, George Kusakula on Friday traded barbs during a live televised programme Hot Current on Times television as the minister accused the renowned writer of advancing opposition Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) agenda.
Hot Current, according to the hosts Kasakula and Brian Banda, is designed to discuss matters of current which are hitting headlines, taking government into task on accountability and corruption.
However, Friday’s edition clearly demonstrated how the programme is losing its professionalism and objectivity with the hosts engaged in war of words with featured guest, as Kusakura failed to control his emotions as a co-host.
Despite starting on mutual note, the programme lost direction as Kusakula and Kasaila engaged in war of words, continuously interrupting each pother’s statements forcing Banda who played the role of a referee to intervene now and then just to cool of the argument that spilled from politics to personal opinions.
While the two engaged in heated debate about the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s administration, hell broke loose when Kasaila labeled Kasakula as MCP operative, serving its agenda through his position as media manager.
Kasaila justified his allegations by claiming that Kasakula once contested during MCP’s primary elections for Kasungu South West in 2009.
Kasakula could not hold his breath as he dismissed the allegations, insisting he never contested in any MCP primary elections and demanded Kusaila to do a thorough research on his claims.
Kasakura, who accused President Peter Mutharika’s government of nepotisms and corruption, argued that government has failed to improve the quality of life for Malawians and that that it has no attention to economy.
The sentiments prompted Kasaila to accuse Kasakula of being political, serving the agenda of the opposition.
“He (Kasakura) is MCP and there is evidence. 2009 he contested in Kasungu under MCP primaries, he failed. And today he has an agenda. Our agenda as government is not to give cash handouts. We are developing infrastructures that will help improve peoples’ lives. Peoples’ lives can’t change through cash handouts. We need to give people infrastructures that will help to change,” argued Kasaila.
Quizzed by the main host Brian Banda to withdraw his allegations, Kasaila stood by his claims, insisting that Kasakula is MCP operative and he therefore can’t be objective.
“If we remove politics, we will be able to understand our national agenda,” said Kasaila.
In his reaction, Kusakula accused DPP government of being a system of liars, arguing in 2009 he was at that time working for The Nation Publications Limited and never contested in any primary elections.
“You ask anybody at The Nation or MCP, I did not contest in the primary elections. During that time I was working as editor for The Weekend Nation,” insisted Kasakula.
Asked if it’s possible to have a Malawi that benefits all, Kusaila argued that it’s acceptable to have opposing views in any system of government and called for mutual agreement between the opposition and the ruling party.
Kasaila during the programme attacked the Public Affairs Committee (Pac) for being political, claiming it has an agenda against DPP.
But Kasakula defended the religious organization, saying it serves the will of Malawians while lambasting government for failing to improve the quality of life for Malawians.
Asked what government is doing to ensure its policies benefit every Malawian, Kusaila said: “We all have responsibility as Malawians to contribute to the country’s development. Even you Times Group, if you won’t pay taxes, is that being responsible? We all have to take responsibility.
He highlighted some development initiatives such as community stadiums and water supply as some of the programmes the DPP government has implemented to improve the livelihood of Malawians.
“Only Malawians can determine if government failed or not, not anybody else who has never been elected by Malawians…Look how bishops write their pastor letters; they analyze the successes and the failures. But Pac in its document, they just attacked government, meaning they have an agenda. You can say whatever bad things against DPP, but the people of Malawi know what is happening.”
Kasaila challenged that come 2019 DPP is going to win the elections, forcing Kusakula to intervene accusing government of taking Malawians for granted.
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