Opposition, donors hail President Banda’s address

Malawi’s Leader of Opposition John Tembo and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika including the donor community on Friday hailed President Joyce Banda’s address in Parliament.

Tembo, who is also president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), said President Banda touched all important and relevant issues in his address.

“It contains vision for the future,” said Tembo in an interview with Nyasa Times.

“It is a good statement to the nation; it offers hope for the nation,” added the veteran politician and longest serving member of parliament.

On his part DPP leader Peter Mutharika said President Banda “ has a vision for this country.”

Opposition benches in Parliament.

Mutharika’s DPP has been relegated to the opposition benches following Banda’s ascendancy to President when his brother Bingu wa Mutharika died  in office as President on April 5.

He said his party will give the new ruling People’s Party checks and balances responsibly.

“The job of the opposition is obviously to help government to govern. We are part of the government.  Where the government has done well, obviously we will point out that,” said Mutharika.

“We will be a robust but responsible opposition,” he stressed. “No bitterness, we are all interested in the future of the country.”

Asked to comment on the a number of commission of inquiries the President has instituted including that of university of Malawi student Robert Chasowa and the death of his brother Bingu, Mutharika said they were in order.

“The President  has power to set up the commission of inquiry. It’s in the Constitution,” he said.

Adding: “I was not in the country when Chasowa thing happened. I was at United Nations. I know there was some controversy.”

European Union  (EU)  head of delegation to Malawi, Alexander Baum also added his voice to praise President Banda for delivering a “comprehensive speech and outlined her vision,  an agenda for a couple of years.”

Baum said the  State of the Nation Address by Banda was “very ambitious.”

“It is clear that the country in order to get over the current situation it needs to promote export develop private sector. She has pointed on a right direction but it needs to be sustained,” he said.

“Our aim and our hope is that Malawi becomes a prosperous country and acts responsibly in the international community,” the EU envoy said.

“When policies are right, the support that is given from outside is more successful,” Baum added.

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