Alliance for Democracy (Aford) lone legislator Yeremiah Chihana has said President Peter Mutharika is an infirm leader being betrayed by the treachery people he has around him, particularly pointing at governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) frontline troops sitting in Parliament.
Chihana made this statement in his maiden address in the National Assembly since his election as legislator for Mzimba North.
“Peter Mutharika might be a very good leader of integrity but you people in the front, you are liars. Malawi must move but will not move with people of your calibre,” said Chihana pointing at the frontline of the government side.
Chihana, who was the evaluator of former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s deceased estate, also paid tribute to Bingu , saying “he was a statesman, rigid person and full of integrity.”
He said some of the ministers in the current government could have the merit to be appointed in Cabinet by Bingu.
Chihana said Bingu was a statesman who did not regard region; race, tribe and he maintained integrity.
“ I know some cabinet ministers who are there that they cheated him that I should not be sworn-in this august House and you are there now in the cabinet cheating the President,” said Chihana.
The incumbent President Peter Mutharika in 2013 sued Chihana for allegedly damaging his reputation through a letter regarding the former president’s estate.
But then Chihana defended himself in the High Court when he stated that Peter Mutharika has no reputation at all regarding his political career, arguing that he is held in low esteem as a politician and his career is already disparaged in terms of leadership integrity.
In his address to Parliament, Chihana observed that there is a cold tribal war between Lhomwes and Chewas.
“In the history of Malawi, this is the first time, the Lhomwe are facing each other with the Chewa but it is very regrettable you must watch your words. The Chewas here are in majority,” he said.
Chihana said when his uncle late Chakufwa Chihana championed democracy, he was fighting for the liberation of all Malawians regardless of the Chewa, Tumbuka, Lhomwe and Ngoni.
He warned legislators to watch out on their war of words on tribal lines.
“My fellow people from the North it is unfortunate that you are laughing at everything and this is not your battle. This is the battle between the Lhomwe and the Chewa, let them fight. I will observe and see where the end will be,” said Chihana.
Contributing to the State of the Nation Address, Chihana said the infrastructure, be it education or any, should be driven by the minimum infrastructure requirement at constituency or district or even regional level.
“Density should not be a criterion for choosing where to build schools. On this note, infrastructure based on density means the north will get nothing. Yes, Madam Speaker as this has been the case before no wonder that is why the north has had nothing in previous budgets. Yes, no wonder the roads in the north will never be done at all,” he said.
“I am mindful of the following: Ezondweni, Kabumba, Madisi, Enqucwini, etc. The President went to launch it and funds were available, you diverted the funds to the Nsanje Waterway.
“Kasito Bridge has been in bad state for 20 years yet you are doing Chikwawa- Mwanza Bridge. Chikwawa, Rumphi, Vongo bridges popularly known as VARBAO, are in a terrible state and have not been included in the SONA.
“Edingeni-Mpherembe, Kazuni- Chikwawa Road has no tarmac yet BADEA already funded the project and you moved the money to Nsanje Waterway. Mzimba Eswazini Kafukule-Ekwendeni Road has not been completed. The same is happening to Livingstonia-Njakwa Road. The density per population is not the key for providing infrastructure to other regions,” said Chihana.
He continued: “If you think you have completed the lakeshore road without Nkhata Bay from the hospital up to Mulowe via Usisya, you are only lying. Bingu launched the Jenda- Dwangwa road but to no avail. There is no promise of roads in Kafukule, Njuchi, Chikangawa, Nkhamenya, Mabilabo, Liwerezi, Khosolo and Dwangwa which promised to ease transport between Jenda and Nkhotakota.
“Madam Speaker, now I do understand why the north has no meaningful development. There are no technical schools, limited market centres, no decent schools and no good roads while our friends are demolishing old roads and schools and replacing them with new ones. Where are we in the north?”
Chihana said population density as a criterion for distributing infrastructure is discriminating the northern region.
“Even this Cabinet is based on population density. More people from Mulanje- Thyolo belt and nobody else from other regions. We are capable too, we can help you plan this government. Yes, Madam Speaker this is the generic form of project quota system, no wonder the SONA has nothing on Mombela University, Nyika, Vwaza, Hora Mountain. There are no incentives put in place to eradicate the quota system.”
In his conclusion, Chihana appealed to members from both opposition and government to reconcile “so as to have peace in this transition period as we prepare for fresh elections.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :