President Peter Mutharika has used his new year message to tell citizens that the year 2019 provides Malawians a chance to make a choice and decide the country’s destiny during the May 21 Tripartite elections.
“The year 2019 is a year of elections. It is a year we will decide the fate of this country. The fate of this nation lies in the decision you and I will make this year. This is the year we will make a better Malawi or destroy our country,” said Mutharika.
In a sobering New Year message, the President said the country’s electoral laws prescribe a 60-day period to the polling day as official campaign period when the public broadcaster MBC is expected to allocate slots to contesting political parties and the electoral body can enforce its code of conduct.
However, political parties are already in full-swing election campaign.
Mutharika appealed to Malawians to practise clean politics that entrenches love, unity and peace, saying the electorate should “reject politics of castigation” and smear campaigns.
“Elections come and go. But this country will remain our country. This election, this campaign will come to pass. But you and I will remain Malawians.
“Let us agree to practise civilised politics in the spirit of peace, love and unity. Let us reject politics of castigation. Reject politics of hate. Let us learn to forgive one another. Beyond politics, we are all Malawians,” said the Malawi leader.
With an election of a President, 193 members of Parliament (MPs) and 462 ward councillors pending, Mutharika pledged to end electricity blackouts which has been bedeviling the nation, crippling industry and economic growth.
“Blackouts will be history soon,” he said.
Mutharika also lauded his success that the country was on the right track under his administration as the Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index ranked it among top 10 nations in the world and one of the only two countries in Africa committed to progressive taxation system.
In apparent reference to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility programme performance, the President said the Bretton Woods institution has since 2015 consistently given Malawi a high rating for economic performance.
He said: “The IMF is conf ident that we are economically over-performing as a country. The latest 2018 IMF report says it all.”
Mutharika, who is seeking re-election for a second and mandatory final five-year term, said time has come for politicians to rise above petty politics and put Malawi first.
He said: “Say NO to savage politics of rudeness. Say NO to politics of lies!”
Mutharika said politicians from his governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), United Democratic Front (UDF), UTM party, People’s Party (PP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP) should know that Malawians want them to focus on solving the long-term problems of thes country.
“Malawians are tired of poverty. Malawians want us to compete on our policies and programmes. Let us listen to the voice of the people. Together, we must continue on our path to make Malawi a great country,” he said.
However, in his New Year message, Lazarus Chakwera, the MCP leader, wished Malawians a blessed a New Year and said 2019 is an important year as major decisions will be made on the direction of the country.
Said the MCP president: “Malawians will take up the responsibility to make the right decision, to put right leaders in right places. As a party, we are geared to winning the elections and we ask them to make their right decision in 2019.”
He said MCP has faced some challenges in preparing for the 2019 elections.
Said Chakwera: “We had a lot of challenges. We started the year with issues of the court but by God’s grace, we were able to overcome such challenges and consolidate our position as a party that is ready to build a new Malawi.”
On May 21 this year, Malawians will go to the polls to elect a president, MPs and councillors to govern the country for the next five years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :