Malawian newspapers on Tuesday November 14 feasted on the reaction of opposition leaders to President Peter Mutharika’s opening address to the 47th Session of Parliament with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarous Chakwera hitting strongly on allegations of corruption and fraud in government, saying anybody who asks about them never gets a straight answer because the Mutharika government effected its divorce from the truth the day it took office.
‘Broken promises’ read the bold headline in The Nation which reported that , opposition People’s Party (PP) leader in the House Ralph Mhone and Chakwera—who is also leader of opposition in Parliament—said the Mutharika administration has failed to fulfil the promises made during the 2014 elections campaign trail and in his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) manifesto.
In the speech, Chakwera branded DPP’s blueprint as a “manifesto of lies.”
The paper reported that Chakwera outlined the areas the Mutharika administration has failed including fighting corruption, failing to deliver and not fulfilling promises.
He said instead of addressing the frustration and outcry of Malawians, the President chose to proclaim an “imaginary litany of accomplishments that do not hold up under the scrutiny of basic and well-established facts”.
The paper quoted Chakwera: “His [the President’s] speech, mistitled Rising Above Macroeconomic Stability, will go down in our nation’s history as the latest in a series of missed opportunities to directly and honestly address the deepening plight and delayed aspirations of Malawians.
“And as I said, ignorance of a problem that is a matter of fact may be forgiven, but ignoring the problem you know is there cannot.”
He said the President cannot be trusted because all the promises he made have been broken—from the Electoral Reforms Bill to abolishing of the coupon system for redeeming inputs under the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) and subsidised cement and iron sheets, among others.
In its report, the paper also reported that PP’s Mhone concurred with Chakwera that the President “decided to crown his speech with a misplaced economic title Rising Above Macroeconomic Stability.”
Mhone, a practising lawyer, said: “We are saying the title is misplaced because our economy is yet to attain stability.”
He added that the President cited the decline in inflation and interest rates as an indication of economic stability, but failed to mention the real GDP (growth domestic product) growth in the past two years which on average were below 2.5 percent.
According to Mhone, Mutharika only cited a projection of 5.5 percent, whose realisation has already been threatened by the unprecedented power shortages and low farm produce prices.
Both parties have, therefore, said it is good for the President and the leadership to find new ways of improving the country’s economy as the current interventions have failed the country
The Daily Times takes the story further.
“Chakwera hits hard” was its headline where the paper highlighting what the leader of the opposition said branding the President as “a Prince of Thieves” presiding over the most corrupt administration in recent history.
Mutharika “has failed to demonstrate that he is not a Prince of Thieves presiding over a kleptocrcay”, according to Chakwera, who was quoted by the paper.
The flagship daily added with an editorial comment to the opposition reaction.
‘Mutharika’s failing presidency’, the editorial comment said, describing Chakwera’s address as “scathing angry and fearless.”
The paper said Chakwera offered insights into a presidency that has run of ideas and is “slowly but surely, making a disappearing act.”
It called Mutharika leadership as a “rolling disaster” and that he has displayed “sheer incompetence.”
The editorial comment concluded with a deeper “moral” question to Mutharika’s supporters if they will continue to follow “a standard-earer who has allowed many to suffer untold miseries and fuelled corruption because of his ineptitude?”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :