Governance and human rights expert Undule Mwakasungula has laid the blame for poor economic performance on the doorstep of the Vice President Dr Saulosi Chilima who has failed to come up with sound policies and strategic aimed at resuscitating the economy, urging President Chakwera to strip him of the Minister of Economic Planning portfolio.
“The silence and inactiveness of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development in giving clear mitigation measures on the current economic hardships as a relief to Malawians tell a lot in terms of the performance of the ministry,” he says.
Adding: “The Ministry of Economic Planning should take a lead to articulate economic mitigations that would give hope to Malawians.”
Undule has also cautioned the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) against joining the bandwagon of civil society organizations (CSOs) in pronouncing threats and ultimatums to the government, arguing threats and ultimatums have not helped in pushing for change in national policy direction.
Mwakasungula reiterated his stance against demonstrations and protests, saying what Malawians needed to pursue now is genuine engagement and dialogue to resolve the social and economic hardships the country is going through.
The governance and human rights expert makes the sentiments in his press release issued on Friday in reaction to the remarks PAC made during its interface with President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera at Sanjika Place in Blantyre.
During the interface, the Malawi’s most influential quasi-religious organization criticized the Tonse Alliance administration for its blatant failure to provide direction on the mitigation of economic hardships emanating from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
The Committee also rebuked President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera for presiding over a government that has allowed nepotism and selective justice to flourish.
“With due respect to explanations on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and its implications on the economy Your Excellency, the public view seems to suggest that the administration lacks direction on the mitigation of economic hardship.
“We believe that in this area relevant Ministries that have a bearing on economic development ought to be aggressive in communicating to the public. It seems they have distanced themselves from their rightful role.
“Your Excellency may consider to package properly the information on economy to be imparted to the public, and your Cabinet Ministers ought to be in the forefront to defend and justify the economic status. This brings us to the next aspect we are following up,” said PAC Chairperson Monsignor Dr. Patrick Thawale.
PAC gave Chakwera 90 days to reshuffle the Cabinet, emphasizing that the current crop of ministers is a let down to Malawians.
But in his reaction, Mwakasungula cautioned the Committee against the tendency to pronounce threats and ultimatums against the government, arguing that these have not proven effective in advancing change in Malawi.
He therefore challenged PAC and other actors to pursue the path of peace and not the path of pronouncing threats through ultimatums.
“We must remember always that Malawi is the only country we know and we have to co-exist, tolerate each other regardless of our political differences. No matter what challenges we are facing as a country we must adhere to our Constitutional benchmarks to safeguard our hard-won democracy.
“Therefore, PAC must contribute to pacifying the national situation by advocating for continued peaceful means of engagement and dialogue to find lasting solutions to our national challenges,” he said.
Mwakasungula also wondered why PAC skirted about when talking about the genesis of the social and economic hardships rocking the nation and who holds the key towards breaking them.
But Mwakasungula concurs with PAC on its call for the reshuffle of the Cabinet, stressing that this is an overdue exercise for the State President.
“The State President must act urgently to win the trust of Malawians which will make him a listening and caring President. The current cabinet has let Malawians down as most members in the cabinet are not performing according to the expectations of Malawians.
“Malawians need a working cabinet that can help the President and his government in addressing the current economic challenges for the good of the country and their wellbeing.
“For the sake of required change and performance, it is important for the President to delink the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development from the current holder to be independent so that it can seriously focus on reviving the national economy which is currently struggling,” said Makasungula.
Mwakasungula has also joined PAC in calling for application of non-selective justice, stressing that Cabinet ministers alleged to be corrupt like Kezzie Msukwa, who has been linked to businessman Zuneth Sattar, must be dropped from the Cabinet for the good of giving trust to Malawians that the President is serious in fighting corruption.
He argued that keeping ministers who are alleged to be corrupt is a minus to the government and brings in many more questions than answers from Malawians and the donor community at large.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :