Malawi President Peter Mutharika has rejected accusations that his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has strayed from its campaign promises, saying his government is doing the developments that were promised before being elected in power in 2014.
The DPP has come under fire media fire that it is not fulfilling its manifesto especially those that touch on reducing presidential powers and could cause it to lose popularity with its electorates.
Launched in April 2014 titled: ‘Towards a people-centred government’, DPP government promised to reduce concentration of power in the presidency, especially on appointing and removing heads of accountability institutions such as the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Auditor General (AG), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Clerk of Parliament (CoP).
And political analysts have indicated that the DPP administration has missed its targets already half-way into its five-year mandate.
“Looking at the many pledges in the DPP manifesto, it is clear that given the remaining time before the next elections in 2019, a number of the short and long-term promises will not be delivered. This is both due to the fact that the government has walked back on some of the promises while on others, time is simply not on their side,” noted political analyst at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi (Unima), Boniface Dulani.
“We know already, for example, that the President has indicated that they will not reduce presidential powers despite having promised to do so prior to the 2014 elections. On promises to construct new universities, it is simply not possible to construct and complete even a single university and get it running before 2019,” Dulani added.
But addressing a political rally at Masintha ground in Lilongwe on Sunday. President Mutharika said his party is implementing its.
“My government is doing what was promised in the manifesto despite other people saying that since we entered into government only two notable developments have been done.
“We have opened 13 community colleges and we are about to open the 14th one in Mangochi soon, we are constructing roads, Malata cement subsidy programmes and asking international business people to invest their business here in Malawi ,” Mutharika explained.
He added that as one way of telling the nation what his government is doing, he asked six ministers to speak to the nation on what their ministries are doing in fulfillment of what they promised Malawians.
The Ministers who spoke were Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Minister of Health, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, and Minister of Justice and Constitution Affairs.
Mutharika said from the reports of the ministers one can easily tell waht DPP have done in two years what others failed to achieve in many years let alone decades.
Mutharika said all the roads that were marked for construction will be completed as money are available to commerce with the project while some have already been started.
He said his government is still empowering women as the political rally was led by a woman from the central region.
“We exist to develop Malawi. We are what we are because Malawians trust our development agenda both on short and long-terms,” he said.
He appealed to the people in the country not to be lazy and refrain from jealous so that together they can develop the country.
The following are some of the major promises DPP made in the manifesto that ushred it into office:
- Complete construction of university campuses in Karonga, Mzimba, Nkhotakota, Mangochi, and Nsanje;
- Reduce presidential powers by empowering a special public appointments committee to handle the appointment and removal of top officials in various public institutions such as appointment and removal of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
- Others were the Auditor General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Clerk of Parliament, Malawi Human Rights Commission executive secretary, the Malawi Law Commissioner, director general of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) director general, and that leaders of other accountability institutions shall be on merit through a special public appointments committee;
- In Chapter 4 (11) it emphasises zero-tolerance to corruption, fraud, theft and other economic crimes
- To implement recommendations of past constitutional reviews including the facilitation of revised Section 65 on crossing the floor and to bring back of Section 64, on the recall provision;
- Operationalising the Nsanje Inland Port;
- Abolish the coupon system for subsidized farm inputs;
- Make subsidised fertiliser available for every farmer who needs it.
- Cooperate with and collaborate with the civil society and non-governmental organisations and the media; Pass and implement the Access to Information Bill;