Just days after former President Bakili Muluzi offered to help the current government resolve the economic crisis raiding every plot in the country, the Malawi leader Bingu wa Mutharika has “extended” an olive branch to the opposition parties to help government with developmental ideas.
President Mutharika invited the opposition parties Wednesday at Jali in Zomba when he launched the 2011-2012 National Tree Plating Season.
Although this is the spirit of nationalism which Malawi needs, Mutharika’s offer could be taken with skepticism considering that at the same venue he also sneered at the opposition leaders together with members of the civil society when he said he was doing that with an intention to develop Malawi.
“If there are people in the opposition parties who have development ideas let them come. Whether it is Tembo [leader of opposition and MCP], whether it is Muluzi [former Malawi president] or any other member of their parties who want to come I will welcome them so that together we develop this nation,” claimed Mutharika.
He added:“I am happy today because we have entered a new year.”
However, just a few minutes before offering an olive branch to the opposition parties, the Malawi leader admonished his critics who include opposition party leaders and the civil society saying he would deal with anyone who dares to demonstrate against his administration.
“This year those of you who want to destabilize my administration I will deal with you. I don’t want see anyone whether from the civil society or opposition parties, in the name of demonstrating, disturbing development activities.
“I am not threatening you but even if you say I am threatening you I don’t care,” he said.
“ Every person in this country has the right to development and if you disturb development you are breaking the laws of this country,” Mutharika said.
The Malawi President also lambasted critics for being good at glorifying problems at the expense of various developmental projects his administration has achieved during his seven-year-rule.
Malawi just like other countries has an abundant reservoir of professionals who are willing to render their services to the country but most of them are marginalized on account of their political and tribal affiliation.
When Muluzi, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004, made the offer to advise Mutharika to resolve the current economic challenges Malawi is experiencing, Presidential Spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba said government would not approach Muluzi for solutions.
“Let him come forward and share what he has. If his suggestions are important, they will be taken on board, but as government, we will not go to ask him for solutions. That is not how government operates,” Ntaba said.
Muluzi handpicked Mutharika in 2004 as the presidential candidate for the UDF and touted him as ‘an economic engineer’ but commentators says the incumbent has turned into an “economic destroyer”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :