Former President Peter Mutharika has scathingly torn apart his successor Lazarus Chakwera’s one a half-year administration, accusing him lacking economic leadership; rampant corruption and selective justice; political persecution and ethnic hatred and the return of oppressive dictatorship.
“Life is becoming impossible for most Malawians,” he said at his press conference on Saturday. “We are beginning to live like slaves in our own country.”
He described Chakwera’s administration having no sense of direction and that the country has gone back to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) “darkest days of terror, death and fear”.
“Today, I want call upon President Chakwera to show leadership and governing this country. Almost two years after this country was taken from us, Chakwera has not even started governing this country.”
He stressed that Malawians are suffering, saying the country “is on a breaking point” calls on the international community “to break the silence and stand with the people — Malawi is heading for a humanitarian crisis.
On Chakwera’s lack of economic leadership, Mutharika said Malawi is in an economic crisis as he is failing to raise revenue while “senseless over-expenditure is rising”.
“We are failing to provide basic needs for the common Malawian; there is no essential medicine in hospitals — we can’t cure malaria, we can’t provide Panado, we can’t do operation in some hospitals.
“We are failing to provide fertilizer to the people. We are failing to provide food. We are failing to manage the rising cost of fuel prices. We are failing to control prices for anything.”
Mutharika contends that Malawians can no longer afford to pay for public to commute to work — not even for the lost Kabaza taxi.
“The economy stopped working as soon as this country was taken away from the DPP — everyone knows that but instead, President Chakwera wants to blame his failures on the DPP.
He also touched on the recent arrests of former Cabinet Ministers, Joseph Mwanamveka, Ben Phiri and former Reserve Bank of Malawi, Dalitso Kabambe, describing them as persecution of DPP members, which “will not solve the economic problems of this country”.
“Malawians know that the economy was stable before Government was taken from us. Prices were stable. There was forex in this country. Businesses were functioning and Malawians could feed themselves.
“So, stop blaming DPP and start managing the country. Stop making the DPP a scapegoat! Malawians want to afford fuel, cooking oil, soap and sugar. Malawians want to be able to afford water, electricity, food, kabaza and minibus fares.”
He went on to accuse Mutharika’s administration as “a Government of thieves, by thieves and for thieves” and maintained that the “DPP did not steal any money from Government — that is why the economy was working before Government was taken from us”.
“There is more theft and corruption more than ever in the history of this country, yet, it is only DPP officials who are being arrested on trumped charges. We know that ACB has evidence but they are being dictated by politicians.
“Stop this selective justice and stop persecuting DPP leadership on trumped up charges,” he continued, while also accusing the MCP of political persecution and ethnic hatred — in the last one year, there have been dismissals of almost all high-ranking civil servants from the Southern Region.
He also said there have been regionally and ethnically biased arrests; economic and political exclusion of Northerners and Southerners adding that 70% of the Cabinet was appointed from Lilongwe and more than 90% of all Government appointments are from Central Region — in particular Lilongwe, Mchinji, Dowa and Ntchisi.
“This political marginalization and nepotism is fuelling ethnic hatred because most Malawians are made to feel like this is not their country. This is a dangerous for the country.”
On the return of oppressive dictatorship, Mutharika hinted that “Malawi is fast sliding back into the dark era of one-party state”, saying there is a rise in the “appetite for wanton arrests without proper charges”.
He also accused Chakwera of trying to suppressing dissent voices, citing the arrest of Bon Kalindo as an example — using the “police as instrument of terror” and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) “as a tool for political persecution”.
“Government rushed to arrest Hon. Joseph Mwanamvekha and Dr. Dalitso Kabambe just because we announced that these individuals were going to speak on the economic situation of the country.
“They arrested Hon. Ben Phiri because he spoke in Parliament. These are all signs of dictatorship — the international community needs to note that Malawi is becoming a dictatorship.”
He thus concluded by telling Chakwera that he “cannot silence the voice of national pain” and urged “all Malawians never to give up the struggle for the country”; “never stop believing in it” and to “stand up for it”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :