Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has ignored calls for him to resign by saying the challenges facing the nation cannot be resolved by bickering and indicated he remains strong in purpose, steadfast in will, resolute in action to get the impoverished nation out of economic turmoil.
Opposition parties —Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) — have given President Mutharika until May to resign, saying his government had failed to solve the country’s economic problems.
In his first public address since calls for him to resign, President Mutharika speaking Saturday at Thyolo Community Centre ground at an elevation ceremony of Laelo Costa Juma from Traditional Authority to Senior Chief Ngolongoliwa, hinted he was not about to resign as people making such calls are doing that with ulterior motives.
“The problems we are facing are for all Malawians and are also being faced all over the world. We can only overcome them if we work together and love one another,” said Mutharika.
Delegates to the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) 5th All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference demanded to see government ensure that maize is available in all Admarc depots.
Speakers also took turns to attack government on how it is handling some delicate issues like the health delivery system and the economy.
President Mutharika, however, defended the food situation and authenticate statistics on available maize which he said was enough to feed starving Malawians but accused some unscrupulous people of stealing the staple grain.
“How can one steal maize so that other people should die? Is that wise? That is stupid,” said Mutharika.
He said the challenges that the country is facing could be dealt with by coordination among all relevant stakeholders on how to deal with malpractices in the Admarc depots.
“We have all noted that the main challenge in these depots is the issue of vendors who are buying the staple grain at a cheap price and sell it a higher price. This is not acceptable because the poor Malawians out there are suffering.
“I am therefore urging all chiefs and relevant officials to put in place measures that can deal with the malpractice because this is not a one man’s job,” explained Mutharika.
The President said he will make a national address on the food situation.
Mutharika also accused Malawians of departing from their renowned spirit of warm hearted people to being too “cold” to each other.
The Head of State said Malawi does not deserve to continue being called a ‘warm heart of Africa’ because its citizens have stopped being friendly to each other but only warmly to strangers.
“Can we seriously say we are the warm heart of Africa? Or we are warm to strangers while being cold to each other. We need to stop castigating each other if we are to have peace in this country,” said Mutharika.
He then called on Malawians to refrain from backbiting but rather embrace a hardworking spirit as laziness and dependency syndrome such as relying much on handouts could not develop the country.
PAC held the two-day stakeholders conference under the theme Defining Solutions to Economic and Political Direction in Malawi with efforts to find solutions to the problems dogging the country.
Other concerns raised at the meeting are high unemployment rates and a lopsided economy that is exemplified by a predominantly consumption economy as well as failure to deal with the gap created by lack of donor support.
There are also concerns on lack of transparency and accountability in the comprehensive handling of the Cashgate cases and inaction of the Government to respond with urgency to the current food crisis, in spite of huge financial injections to the Farm Input Subsidised Programme (FISP).
- Establishment of a legalised Nation Economic Planning Commission (NEPC)
- President Peter Mutharika to step down if he fails to release maize to all the Admarc depots within 30 days.
- Form an interim Government of National Unity comprising all political parties, CSOs and Religious leaders
- Call for early elections
- President Peter Mutharika should call for help from international organisations and the local community for the provision of maize
- Change of electoral voting system
- Allocate resources to ministries of health, agriculture and education be proportional to the need of the sectors
- Government should institute austerity measures in order to curb Government’s wasteful spending
- Government should invest in production and manufacturing
During its 4th All Inclusive Stakeholders Conference held in January 2015, PAC convened that meeting under the theme Promoting Awareness on the Proposed Reforms on Local Government Act. At the meeting, the body made 19 recommendations, which were submitted to President Mutharika for action.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :