Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera—who is also leader of opposition in Parliament— speech in the House on Monday, in which he branded President Peter Mutharika as “a Prince of Thieves” presiding over the most corrupt administration in recent history, has prompted a barrage of reactions from several pro-government activists.
The government chief whip Henry Mussa protested that Chakwera’s speech was “full of hate” and containing insults and slurs demeaning the Head of State.
Billy Banda, director of the rights group Malawi Watch, said: “The content, language and tone of his [Chakwera] statement demonstrate his limited understanding of the role of the opposition. It shows that he believes that the opposition, as the name suggests, is limited to opposing everything or anything the party in power or the government proposes.
“Worse still, it shows that he believes that resorting to personal attacks and uncivilized language are what an opposition is all about. “
Banda, in a statement made available to Nyasa Times, said Chakwera has once again shown his “political immaturity” as characterized by “emotional outbursts and derogatory language.”
Malawi Watch director said his organisation condemns Chakwera for using “derogatory vilification” of President Mutharika.
Banda said Chakwera “clearly critically short on clues and alternative policies and bitter with his own failures, has taken opposition to mean churning out personal slurs.”
He claims Chakwera is misleading the opposition by using it to advance his personal and selfish interests.
But Geneva-based social-economic commentator Stanley Onjezani Kenani taking it on Facebook argued that a propaganda line the ruling party has successfully sold to some Malawians is that the Leader of Opposition does not provide solutions in his speeches.
“Does this mean we elected robots incapable of formulating solutions? If you tell me my weakness – say, for example, ‘You drink too much; in the end, you might lose your job,’ – do I need anyone to tell me that the solution is to stop drinking? This line is used to neutralise Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s most powerful speeches, but there is no merit in it,” wrote Kenani, a celebrated writer.
“In his most recent speech, for instance, Chakwera pointed out to the President: Sir, this is what you put in your manifesto but you are not doing what you promised Malawians you would do. Ndiye wina nkudzati [And then someone claims] Chakwera did not provide solutions. Isn’t the ruling party’s manifesto the solution Chakwera is pointing to?” added Kenani.
In his address Chakwera 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.
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.
Times Group on Tuesday had a phone-in TimesTalk program on Times TV and Times Radio to discuss Chakwera’s speech and most of the callers welcomed the leader of the oppositions “frank talk.”
Most callers told host of the program Brian Banda that Chakwera depicted the real situation on the ground and his voice revebrated that of the voiceless.
And Daily Times newspaper in an editorial comment 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 :