The Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) conducted a survey led by Boniface Dulani, a University of Malawi academic and Afrobarometer representative, which shows that there are low levels of trust ratings for President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP ).
Dulani made his presentation titled ‘Democratic Governance and People’s Assessments of President Peter Mutharika’s One Year in Office’ at a meeting in Salima on Monday organised to assess Mutharika’s 12-month-long rule.
The survey was conducted in Rumphi, Salima and Thyolo districts and shows Mutharika has a high approval rating of 59 percent, but draw little trust from Malawians.
According to Dulani, Malawians “have passed their judgement—and that judgement is mostly negative.”
“The general picture from the survey is one of negativity. Seven in 10, thus 70 percent, of respondents from the three districts, say the country is going in the wrong direction,” said Dulani.
The findings show Malawians are proud of decisions effected by the Mutharika administration such as appointing and maintaining a lean Cabinet, prosecution of Cashgate cases, embarking on a public sector reform drive, no cases of political detentions, allowing public demonstrations without hindrance with traditional indices of governance suggesting Malawi has not regressed.
But concerns were raised on the liberalisation of the public media usch as MBC, Mana and no major progress on promises to trim presidential powers, lack of leadership on critical issues such as salaries, State-owned Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) sale and “focus on trivia”, among others.
Dulani said it might be too early to pass judgement on the Mutharika presidency from a democracy and governance perspective after only a year in office but said it was still important to acknowledge that there have been a few promising signs, but some not-so-promising ones as well.
In general, 42 percent of Malawians in the sampled districts where 600 in all particiapted do not trust the President. There are also low levels of trust ratings for the President in Thyolo (39 percent) and Salima (39 percent), with lower performance approval ratings for him in Salima and Rumphi.
“Interestingly, Rumphi residents trust the President more than those of Thyolo and Salima,” said Dulani.
However, State House has trashed the survey as lacking true reflections on the ground.
Presidential adviser on civil society organisations Mavuto Bamusi said the performance ratings show that majority of Malawians, 59 percent, are happy with the performance of the President.
Bamusi who pointed out that the mistrust can be a result of where the country is coming from in terms of leadership, told the meeting that he will pass on all the observations to the President uncensored.
Mutharika and DPP ascended to power following their controversial victory in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :