Tembo says Mutharika speech did not inspire hope

Malawi’s Leader of Opposition, John Tembo, said on Monday that the State of the Nation Address by President Bingu wa Mutharika delivered in parliament on Friday “didn’t inspire hope” of economic recovery.

Tembo, who is leader of main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), made the remarks when he responded to the President address in parliament.

He said Malawi was now under oppressive rule which is threatening the hard won democracy.

Tembo: Mutharika speech was empty

The veteran conviction politician, who was a strongman in one party dictatorship, said there were all signs of autocracy with police brutality, passing of repressive laws and the consistent attacks of civil society leaders and critics by the President.

He attracted applause from members of the House, when he clearly said the opposition block would oppose any attempt by the Mutharika government aimed at regulating or even banning NGOs.

Tembo also insinuated that Malawi was a failed state under Mutharika leadership with the worst economic crisis ever.

“What else do you call a country where one of the arms of government has stopped functioning and there is no solution in sight?” wondered Tembo.

He wonderers if Mutharika government still enjoys the sustained trust of the people of Malawi to continue ruling.

On the President’s plea to International Monetary Fund (IMF) “to give us additional three years to continue on the disastrous path which we have taken…is simply unworkable and will just result in further increased suffering on the part of the people of this country.”

Tembo’s attack on Mutharika’s speech came after Malawi’s flagship newspaper, The Nation, on Monday also carried an editorial which said the President speech on Sunday was not inspiring when he admitted that he is not sure of how much progress has been made in the country’s fight against corruption.

“Either he was burying his head in the sand—pretending all is well—or being frugal with the truth,” the paper said in the editorial comment.

The paper said Mutharika “missed yet another opportunity to consolidate his resolve to fight corruption in the country.”

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