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Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation condemns Peter Mutharika

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The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has faulted President Peter Mutharika for failing to address challenges being faced by citizens during the opening of the 47th session of Parliament on Friday.

CHRR says in a statement that, while it commends Mutharika for openly acknowledging the myriad ills confronting the nation, including persistent power outages, the address had many gaps.

The statement, signed by CHRR Executive Director Timothy Mtambo, says the country is facing socio-economic challenges that have culminated in suffering for most Malawians.

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“The country is confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions and suffers from the longest power blackouts in our national history which have cast many Malawians, including the youth, into unemployment, abject poverty and hopelessness,” reads the statement.

The organisation finds it disappointing that the President made no attempt to highlight critical issues, pointing out that Mutharika’s speech left out such issues as the shortage of cement, youth-friendly programmes, including those that would address unemployment challenges, rising cases of crime.

The statement further drills holes in Mutharika’s speech, pointing out that Mutharika made no attempt to build bridges and calm the troubled waters “in what is clearly a traumatised and divided nation”.

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CHRR says it is disappointing that the President decided to remain silent even on the proposed Electoral Reforms Bills the Executive arm of the government promised to review ahead of the 2019 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections.

“It is ironic that the President emphasised the need to be accountable to Malawians yet he refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of constructive criticism. This hypocrisy is unacceptable and it feeds into the narrative that his administration doesn’t have a clue as to how to govern this country out of its current economic problems,” CHRR points out.

CHRR adds that, if Mutharika wants respect, “which is, of course a noble and righteous virtue, then he must desist from his dangerous and provocative rhetoric and exhibit a much higher degree of sobriety and accommodate views of the opposition”.

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