Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) national secretary Chris Chisoni has discouraged calls for President Peter Mutharika to resign, saying there are no plausible grounds compelling a Head of State to step down.
Last week, some civil society organisations (CSOs) called for Mutharika’s resignation, accusing him of failing to manage the country’s economy .
But Chisoni, who heads CCJP – a social justice and advocacy arm of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi – in a published interview said the CSOs were abusing the freedom of expression in their demands.
“ Whilst we acknowledge freedom of expression to be the birth right of all, it must be utilised responsibly. Calling for an incumbent President to resign has become an empty threat trend from some CSOs and opposition parties since 1994,” said Chisoni as quoted in The Nation.
“ Presidents may resign if there are grounds necessitating this action. However, before there is any contact and dialogue, before there is even a single attempt to engage, it seems, it is fashionable to call for presidents to resign.
“Sometimes, it feigns ignorance of systems, laws and procedures from those making such calls; sometimes it symbolises lack of seriousness from the protagonists of such calls to embark on a genuine path of dialogue based on facts and principles. Often times it smacks of emotional outbursts that only satisfy the egos of the protagonists-probably a needed peaceful-sleeping dosage when there is a paralysis of analysis,” said Chisoni.
Chisoni said the challenges the country faces require a united front to come out of it.
“ In our journey as a country, all stakeholders—CSOs, religious bodies, traditional institutions, the private sector and more seriously political parties—we must reconsider our destiny. We must truly ask painful questions whose pain is necessary for transforming Malawi’s poverty, politics and the pervasive development puzzle.
“We must develop the spirit of concern, care, interest and love for our country as most of the challenges we are facing today are man-made and they have for sure man-made solutions,” Chisoni said in the interview.
In their recommendations, the CSOs urged President Mutharika to reduce local as well as international travels and revise the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme budget and adjust downward the newly introduced fees in schools.
They have also urged Mutharika to respect and protect media freedom, by among others, signing the much-awaited Table Mountain Declaration, and fully supporting the enactment of the Access to Information Bill (ATI).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :