Blantyre Rural East MP Henry Duncan Phoya (HDP) accused Minister of Education and government leader in parliament George Chaponda of making insulting statements, claiming the fuel crisis has just been there for a short stint.
Malawi has been gripped by an acute fuel shortage because it cannot access enough foreign exchange reserves from the central bank, a situation that has paralyzed the operations of different sectors of the economy.
Former ruling UDF leader in the House, Ibrahim Matola, said the worst economic crisis for Malawi should be enough reason for President Bingu wa Mutharika to stand-down “and learn from Greek and Italy” where their governments resigned from power after poor economic management.
Chaponda downplayed the perennial fuel shortage, saying it had only been going on for the past six months.
The statement did not go down well with HDP, who accused Chaponda of making “an insult” to Malawians “to suggest that it’s only six months.”
Phoya said: “Malawians have been suffering for long.”
Economists say billions of kwacha are being lost each day Malawian fuel pumps are dry as production of goods is affected and provision of service is also hampered as people spend lots of man-hours queuing for fuel.
On calls by Matola for Mutharika administration to call for early elections or resign, Chapomda said Matola was not the right person to stand on a higher moral ground and accuse DPP government of ruining the economy, saying under UDF administration from 1994-2004, the economy was very bad.
Matola, who was not part of that regime, accused the current DPP leaders of being “part of the mess” as they served that administration in top brass only to recycle themselves to DPP.
On his part, Finance Minister Ken Lipenga painted a rosy picture projecting a 6.5 percent economic growth in 2012.