The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been urged by an opposition block to address challenges facing the country before they complicate further.
Leader of opposition Lazarous Chakwera, who is president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), addressed a news conference in Blantyre on Tuesday with leaders of other political parties, who gave government a deadline of six to 24 months to address the 12 challenges they outlines.
A communiqué has been signed by six opposition political party leaders who included Chakwera, People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) leader Mark Katsonga-Phiri, New Labour Party leader Sam Mpasu, United Independence Party member Edwin Banda, Newton Kambala of United Transformation Party and Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde) president George Nnesa. Also signatory to the communiqué is lawyer Bazuka Mhango.
The opposition leaders have said failure for government to address the challenges including improving the ailing economy, they will whip up Malawians to decide their future.
Among the recommendations, the leaders want DPP-led government to sort out power and water problems, pay out all private sector arrears within 12 months, sack incompetent Cabinet ministers, clean up the image of a corrupt nation by taking decisive and speedy action on all corruption cases, finish all unfinished roads within six months, curb domestic and foreign borrowing and ban imports of substandard products.
Chakwera said Malawi industrial sector is being affected by high transportation and finance costs, among other negative aspects, saying there is clear manifestation of “an economy on its knees.”
The opposition leader faulted government’s high domestic and foreign borrowing and inability to control waste and theft and corruption in public institutions.
“No one says it, and no one would admit it but the only way to get any public servant to do anything speedily is to give unsolicited tip in advance,” said Chakwera.
“The cancer of corruption has destroyed all our institutions,” he added.
Chakwera said Malawi government should live up to its slogan of creating an economy that is predominantly producing rather than consuming and that is predominantly exporting than importing.
“All it is doing now is the exact opposite,” noted Chakwera.
Adding his voice, Mafunde president Nnesa said President Mutharika is running an incompetent administration as he is working with inept Ministers who are failing him, citing Transport Minister Jappie Mhango as an example as a number of roads remain unfinished.
Katsonga said if government fails to address the challenges, “Malawians themselves will decide on what to do.”