President Peter Mutharika has been urged to give an honest status of the Malawi situation when he will deliver his State of the Nation Address (Sona) this Friday amid opposition challenging the legitimacy of his recent re-election, based on widespread allegations of vote-rigging.
Both political analysts and economists as well as newspaper editorial comment, the President is being advised that as he will deliver his first Sona in his second and mandatory final term of office, he should strike a balance “for the good of mother Malawi.”
“The President must assure Malawians how he will deal with rampant corruption, graft and theft of public resources. The economy cannot grow, let alone be turned into a middle income economy when these vices are still on the rise,” said economic commentator Gilbert Kachamba in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper.
A political analyst Ernest Thindwa of the University of Malawi pointed out that Mutharika also need to frame how he wants Malawians and the international community to view him in the context of the post-election disputes and weak governing mandate in a country facing a cocktail of challenges that are deepening poverty.
Said Thindwa: “The biggest expectation that people have from the President’s [Sona] is to come out clearly on how he can achieve country unity that is now at the lowest ebb.
“In my view, the President needs to accept that there is something very wrong with our electoral laws that leaves people more divided. We will all be very disappointed if he does not prescribe how the roots of this discord can be dealt with.”
In its extended coverage, The Nation in an editorial comment pointed out that Mutharika mustered 38.57 percent of the votes in the presidential elections, “meaning that at least 60 percent of the electorate do not fully agree with his vision for Malawi.”
The paper also advised Mutharika to tweak his Sona and adopt “grand plans” that were articulated by his political competitors, especially Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, aimed at moving the country forward.
It said Mutharika’s address may not just need to provide a roadmap for the country based on his party’s manifesto, but also from his rivals’ policy proposals.
“To strike a balance, Mutharika, through his Sona, should blend some of the brilliant ideas by his challengers, including fighting corruption and revision of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp). We believe it will not be plagiarism, but for the national good,” reads the editorial comment in part.
It pointed out that ignoring some of the brilliant ideas outline that the President will be seen to be missing the point in his Sona and “throwing the baby out with bathwater.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :