Malawi President Peter Mutharika and his government have been advised not to dismiss matters raised in a pastoral letter by bishops of the influential Catholic Church in which they have talked tough against the prevailing socio-political and economic issues facing the country.
An editorial comment in the flagship newspaper, The Daily Times on Monday said the voices have been raised and the government must listen.
The paper noted that it has been the trend, the DPP government is always defensive in responding to every criticism yet little is done to correct things.
In the editorial comment, the paper noted that one of the important issues that the Catholic Church has raised in the epistle is the media trial of suspects or individuals “which puts into question government’s non-interference in the justice system.”
Reads the comment: “We believe everyone who is suspected to be in the wrong is innocent until proven guilty but that has not been the case.”
The paper also agrees with the bishops that “it is important to create an enabling environment for bodies such as Anti-Corruption Bureau and Director of Public Prosecutions to function properly. These are two of the most important bodies in Malawi if the promise made by the government to fight corruption should indeed become a reality.”
Just like the bishops, the daily “share the same view” that investigations of corrupt practices are not expedited which takes the efforts of fighting corruption into “a reverse gear.”
It states that: “ More often than not, the government loses winnable cases because there is no proper investigations before such cases are brought before the court. “
The paper highlights the bishops concerns on issues of insecurity, mob justice, killings of persons with albinism and health services standards.
“All these issues are not new. A number of concerned Malawians have expressed their worry in different fora but the government has done little to address these issues.
“The fact that the bishops have repeated this call should be a wake-up call to the government that important issues can no longer be swept under the carpet,” reads the editorial.
The paper asks the Mutharika government to be “ decisive and offer solutions rather than waiting for the donor community to exert pressure.”
The flagship daily cautions government that it will be “a huge mistake” if it decides to dismiss the pastoral letter in its entirety.
“For once, the government must lend its ear.”
And in its editorial comment on Sunday Times, a publication condemned by President Mutharika, it also commented on the anger-filled speech of the Head of State at Dae Young Luke Hospital.
The paper said Mutharika who entered the political stage with presidential decorum is “steadily becoming one of those howling lot and is showing dictatorial tendencies.”
Mutharika must know, the paper said, that Malawi is not his country but “belongs to us all.”
The President is faulted for adamantly saying he will veto some laws that will be passed in parliament to reduce presidential powers.
The paper noted that President Mutharika is “losing direction” and showing signs of a potential dictator.
During his speech Mutharika also attacked a popular Nigerian television evangelist TB Joshua over an alleged prophecy that he would die soon.
“Let me tell you, Joshua… you will fail. What you did in 2012 will not happen again this year,” the President said
In 2012, Joshua reportedly predicted the death of a president of an unnamed southern African country. Mutharika’s brother, Bingu, who was president at the time, did die within the predicted timeframe, giving the prophesy strong currency in Malawi.
The paper said Mutharika stooped so low to attack TB Joshua on “some phantom prophecies nobody knows about.”
It says Mutharika has fallen trap to the “congenital paranoia” which is dangerous for a leader.
Mutharika has since been asked to have a “soul-searching” exercise to see if his recent behaviour is presidential.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :