CHRR tells government, opposition to stop blame game
By Deogratias Mmana
The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has asked government officials and those in the opposition to stop blaming each other over economic problems the country is facing.
Over the last few months, Malawians have experienced a crippling rise in the cost of necessities, making it difficult for them to make ends meet.
On Tuesday, President Lazarus Chakwera blamed the former governing Democratic Progressive Party for leaving the country in a bad economic situation, citing a huge debt which, he said, his administration was struggling to settle.
On the other hand, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa took a swipe at the Tonse Alliance-led government, accusing it of failing to manage the economy, which has seen fuel prices rise more than once and prices of commodities rising too.
He hit at the current administration for bringing “hell on earth” to Malawians.
Nankhumwa further accused the Lazarus Chakwera-led administration of failing to deliver on promises made on the campaign trail in the run-up to the June 23 2020 presidential election.
Citing the rise in the price of commodities such as edible cooking oil, sugar, bread, salt and soap, the former minister of Local Government further claimed that Malawians were experiencing the most punitive taxes in the post-1994 era.
In a statement issued Wednesday, CHRR tells Chakwera that it is an insult to Malawians for him to keep wasting precious time by blaming the previous administration for the economic mess instead of clearing the mess.
“President Lazarus Chakwera should know that the economic problems Malawians are facing right now are on him, not his predecessor. The campaign promise of ‘economic liberation’ has still not materialised nearly 18 months after Tonse came to power,” the statement, which CHRR Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa has signed, reads.
“It is an undeniable fact that some of the price rises have been influenced by rising taxes. We urge the Tonse administration to urgently fix these problems or they will look back in shame come the next general election,” he adds.
He also cautions the opposition to avoid sabotaging the government.
“CHRR is under no illusion that these problems can be fixed by the Tonse government alone. We believe the economic pressures Malawians are facing could be lessened if the government and the opposition were to work together to find a way out of the deteriorating economic situation,” Kaiyatsa says.
CHRR has further asked the government to ensure that the International Monetary Fund Extended Credit Facility is back so that development partners can resume supporting the country.