President Peter Mutharika and his ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) face leadership questions from main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on a number of governance issues.
MCP president and leader of opposition in Parliament, Rev Dr Lazarous Chakwera told a news conference in Lilongwe that the six months of the DPP and Mutharika leadership has been unproductive with little intervention on issues of national importance.
Chakwela said they are disturbed with increased cost of living, lack of financial prudence and delay in
implementing Farm Input Subsidy ( FISP) as some programs which government is failing to successfully implement.
“We note with great concern that the cost of living is ever increasing and now negatively impacting on the poor and the underprivileged as prices of basic commodities such as sugar, fuel and many more are increasing on a daily basis yet the sources of income for the majority have remained static,” Chakwera told reporters.
The opposition leader also criticised government on lack of austerity measures.
“While the cabinet has been maintained at 20 this far, the appointment of the army of presidential advisors and members into parastatal boards is surely one way of draining government resources and these appointments are mere political appeasements that do not have an immediate return to the country’s economic vision,” said Chakwera.
He said Mutharika government’s response to these issues has been lukewarm and favouring rich and those with political power.
Among other things, the MCP called upon government to revise downwards the bank interest rates in order to cushion small-medium enterprises, offer reasonable pay hike to junior staff members in all government departments and quickly resolve the industrial strikes currently taking place.
Commenting on ‘cashgate’ corruption crackdown, the MCP leader noted that government has stepped up the prosecution of Cashgate cases following the release of the forensic audit report by Baker Tilly of London.
He, however, noted that the process seems “extremely slow and heavily politicised.”
Chakwera said MCP is calling on government to ensure that the “pursuit of justice is colour-blind” in the Cashgate cases with no selective prosecution and shielding of ruling DPP operatives and their “well-wishers”.
He also called for a forensic audit following revelations that about K92 billion went missing during the previous DPP regime
“Commit to conduct the audit from 2005-2012 to ensure that all cases of corruption are prosecuted,” suggested Chakwera.
MCP president also expressed concerns with the security lapse in the country, saying the situation “has the potential to scare off both local and foreign investors.”
Government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa accused MCP of trying to make political capital out of the issues.
He admitted that the DPP government is experiencing challenges and called MCP “noises off”.--(Additional reporting by Wanga Gwede, Nyasa Times)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :