Mutharika’s outbursts on UN trip draw civil society, opposition rage

A civil society activist and an opposition political party have censured President Peter Mutharika for his outbursts against Malawians’ concern over his blatant abuse of public resources, particularly taxpayers’ money, calling on him to come off his ‘ivory tower’ conditions to address the concerns of the nation.

Mayaya:  Executive arrogance

Mayaya: Executive arrogance

This comes in light of President Mutharika’s utter arrogance displayed at a news conference he addressed in Lilongwe on Thursday, October 8, 2015 where he typically declared he is not answerable to Malawians for his conduct.

President Mutharika recently travelled to New York for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with a ‘larger-than-life’ entourage of more than 100 people, spending hundreds of millions of Kwacha when the economy back home continues to deteriorate.

During the news conference, President Mutharika was defiant, countering critics’ calls to resign amid growing concerns over misrule and a deteriorating social and economic order.

“I am not going to step down. I have no intention to go into a debate,” said Mutharika.

Activist Billy Mayaya said in an interview with Nyasa Times on Thursday the President has no right to insult the intelligence of long suffering Malawians by refusing to account for the rationale behind taking an entourage of 115 people.

“We insist that the President explains and accounts for his actions. Instead of addressing the myriad challenges facing Malawians, he continues to gallivant around the world and fails to show leadership.

“As civil society we demand he desists from impeding the work of the media and responds to questions intelligently and not through threats,” he said.

Seodi White  a social development lawyer observed that President Mutharika’s news conference was so rich in technical matters on: “What his personal participation as Head of State at UNGA Side events means for the country and how historic it is. It puts Malawi on the global governance agenda and this has a positive spin on the country.”

But former governing People’s Party (PP) has also rebuked the President for “his carelessness in addressing people’s concerns”. PP publicist Ken Msonda told Nyasa Times on Thursday his party is “extremely disturbed by the President’s utter disregard for ordinary people’s plight”.

“We have observed that President Mutharika wants to suddenly evolve into an authoritarian just like his late brother. We think that Malawians deserve a listening and remorseful leader instead of a return to the old dark days of dictatorship,” he said.

Msonda observed that “the ear is normally the first thing that dies before the whole body”.

“President Peter Mutharika is surely and steadily sliding into a cesspool aloofness and arrogance that characterized his brother, late President Bingu wa Mutharika, before he died in April 2012. Remember those calls for government to be accountable to the people; remember those demonstration calling for the enlargement of human rights spaces; remember the civil society fight equality in government appointment and access to economic opportunities?

“When former British High Commissioner to Malawi, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, sent a cable to his country in 2011, which accused Bingu wa Mutharika of being increasingly ‘arrogant’ and ‘autocratic’, he was unceremoniously expelled against voices of reason. The international relationships that Bingu choose were with dictators,” Msonda recalled.

He said when Malawians protested after having had enough, Bingu turned to the gun and 18 people were confirmed killed, particularly in the northern towns of Karonga and Mzuzu as a result of police using live ammunition to quell protests.

“President Bingu wa Mutharika was unapologetic and said that he would “smoke out” all his enemies. This utter brutality was accompanied by a crack-down on Malawian journalists, human rights activists, and lawyers. Other events that marred his presidency were the activities surrounding the 2011 academic freedom stand-off between the President and the University of Malawi, and the death of student activist Robert Chasowa. The end of Bingu is now history, as they say.

“If politicians were not in the habit of repeating the same mistakes with deadly accuracy, Peter Mutharika could have read the writing on the wall and changed course. Sadly that is not the case,” lamented Msonda.

The President told reporters that he is not sitting down against calls for austerity measures to repair the damaged economy amid high inflation and rising commodity prices.

“Next week, I am going to India, then in London in December for an African Investment Forum,” said Mutharika.

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zathu.zomwe
Guest
Malawians should grow, let’s not be used, why do we always wait for some one to think for us? We voted for this president and he will remain as such until the end of his term. We voted for a human being not a superman who can change things overnight. Where things are you’ll be saying the same thing if it were the best president of your choice, the current administration is not to blame, it’s where we’re coming from, we’ve had greedy leaders who kept on milking this malnourished economy. My advice to the Government is that it should… Read more »
Kennedy Shaba
Guest

Let’s wait and see,time will tell.

Kk
Guest

President has also the right to react on tiresome issues he is a person like any other person

defender
Guest
za anthu 115 anafotokoza, he mentioned several names that were not paid by gov & evin din’t know would be there, now how difficult is it to verify with those pple & ask them why they went to UN? munthu ku kwiya chifukwa chakuti a media u did not report well the issue of 115 entorage is that dictatorship? so u a media u r God u can’t be wrong? amalawi cha mzeru timadziwa ndi ku nyoza mtsogoleri wanu, telling the world how bad ur leader is, how u wish him dead kkk dancing wen ur leader dies.are we realy… Read more »
Gwape
Guest

Mathanyula analumidwa ndi garu wachiwewe wayamba kubwebweta

James kotokwa.
Guest

i am also a lomwe.just like the president no enough is enough.mlopwana.dzikolatomukanika

Chimani. Game
Guest

Actor? Funny? No he is just a goof head

Sandram
Guest

KKKKKKK, this president APM is an actor and funny, Mr Ibu right!

kazionere wanunkha
Guest
I think most of educated people must go back to school. They did their education but they lack wisdom. Opposition instead of helping to develop the country, they always campaigning for the next election. Malawi will remain as it is because we don’t want to give chance to the government of today. That is why former President decided to source money for the election. If we could allow her to rule this nation without fear, she couldn’t both herself to siphon our taxes. Peter and Saulos are trying their best to take Malawi to somewhere but people are busy pulling… Read more »
monica
Guest

Leave the president alone if you had issue why didn’t you waited for him you were busy bkarking ngati galu .Malawian learn to respect your leader

MSANA WA PETURO
Guest

Which leader? You fool! We don’t have a leader in Malawi! Your stupid idiot? To hell with this toothless dog!

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