Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa has launched a scathing attack on President Lazarus Chakwera accusing him of plotting to slide Malawi back to the three decades of dictatorship and political tyranny where membership to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) was compulsory.
Nankhumwa has said this in response to the President’s Thursday address in which he challenged boards of government parastatals to flush out partisan, political operatives and nonproductive individuals from the institutions.
The opposition leader said Chakwera should abide by the rule of law in his quest to clear the rubble of corruption in the country.
Nankhumwa, who is Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice- president (South) said the President’s warning shots on politically compromised officers are a threat to people’s freedom of conscience and political pluralism.
“I wish to state that while the President, like every Malawian, does not want to condone mediocrity, he has gone overboard by making these orders, which are clearly in violation of the rule of law and good governance,” Nankhumwa says in a statement.
He then challenged the presidency to work on uniting Malawi instead of fomenting divisions through alleged decrees and ultimatums.
“During that Dark Age, anyone who was perceived to be disloyal to MCP and the ‘Messiah’ Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda lost their jobs, businesses and their children were expelled from school. Many sons and daughters of the nation were thrown into prison without trial. Others were either forced into exile or killed,’’ Nankhumwa pointed out.
He said Chakwera’s ‘anguish address’ on Thursday rekindled in Malawians the sad memories of that atrocious MCP regime.
“The speech contained some peculiar presidential orders or decrees such as directing a parastatal board to fire an Acting CEO based on her perceived DPP political affiliation,” said Nankhumwa.
He continued that, in an apparent response to social media sentiments, the President, without batting an eye, said “Malawians across the country have raised a loud outcry over the board’s decision to appoint the Deputy CEO as the Acting CEO, on account of the fact that the person in question is a known operative of the Democratic Progressive Party…I have directed the Secretary to the President and Cabinet, who chairs the board of NOCMA, to address this anomaly within two weeks, and I am confident that this will be done”.
Nankhumwa wondered: “Which Malawians, Mr. President? What a shame!”
The President also ordered the Malawi National Examinations Board to “remove the top management of MANEB on account of this gross failure, and replace it with a new team that will conduct the most credible examinations Malawi has ever had, which must be done no later than January”.
This follows the cancellation of the 2020 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations, which were under way across the country following massive leakage of examination papers.
“I wish to state that while the President, like every Malawian, does not want to condone mediocrity; he has gone overboard by making these orders, which are clearly in violation of the rule of law and good governance.
“These presidential decrees are both illegal and without any merit,” said Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa said Malawi need an above-board leadership that must prioritize unity.
“The President should take deliberate action to unite the country after an election that was bitterly fought on regional lines. He should not allow his cheerleaders to foment divisions,’’ said Nankhumwa.
The opposition leader said President Chakwera must exercise caution in his quest to “clear the rubble”, saying he must search for a Nelson Mandela in him and reach out to his perceived enemies for the sake of unity and development.
“Indeed, if President Chakwera or anyone in the Tonse administration strongly believes that the DPP failed to unite the country, the right thing to do is not to foment further divisions. Is there not a saying that two wrongs do not make a right?”
But when asked to comment on the Leader of Opposition reactiongovernment spokesperson Gospel Kazako, who is also Minister of Information, said there is no need to regulate how the President reacts to issues that have potential to kill the future of the country, adding nothing, not even corruption, is stopping Chakwera from putting Malawi on the right path to development.
“If an individual is not part of the rubble, there should not be cause for fear. It is those that know they are particles of the rubble that indeed must be afraid. The guilty are afraid. We have public servants that have served several governments and continue to serve this government. Ask those that are afraid what they have done or did to be afraid,” Kazako said.
Meanwhile, a University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political science lecturer Mustafa Hussein said by critiquing Chakwera’s address, the DPP is only playing its opposition role.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :