DPP demands referendum
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has challenged the Tonse Alliance-led administration to a referendum, where Malawians would decide whether to renew its mandate to govern.
But government spokesperson Gospel Kazako said the government will not call for the referendum, as that is not what Malawians want.
Briefing reporters in Lilongwe Monday, members of the DPP top brass, led by the party’s vice president for the Northern Region Goodall Gondwe, said the party shares the concerns of most Malawians, including that life has become too unbearable under the Tonse Alliance administration.
The members— who included former Justice minister Bright Msaka, former Finance minister Joseph Mwanamvekha, former Reserve Bank of Malawi governor Dalitso Kabambe, organising secretary, Chimwemwe Chipungu and Mangochi South West lawmaker Shadric Namalomba— said Tonse had miserably failed to meet the expectations of Malawians, who elected it to power on June 23 2020.
“Malawians did not expect that, under the Tonse Alliance government, they would not access the promised cheap fertiliser, not have cheap passports, not see mega-farms, not have forex during the tobacco-selling season, have unprecedented electricity blackouts, have no drugs in hospitals, civil servants, especially teachers, not being paid their salaries on time, and so on.
“The Tonse Alliance government is a good example of a failed and dishonest leadership, and their continued stay in power has no blessing of Malawians and is in breach of the contract they had with the voters. The DPP, therefore, challenges the Tonse administration to a referendum, where voters will decide whether to renew the Tonse Alliance mandate to govern,” said the DPP in a statement which Namalomba read.
The main opposition party said the Tonse Administration has procrastinated fiscal consolidation and adjustment over the last three fiscal years.
“This government has run an impotent monetary policy stance and poor exchange rate policies which have all led to the rise in prices of basic commodities and services. Unfortunately, those responsible for these problems are not being held to account. Instead, they are busy peddling lies after lies.
But Kazako said the DPP and the Tonse Administration are going in different directions, adding that Tonse understands DPP’s thinking that Tonse has lost direction.
According to Kazako, the Tonse administration, led by President Lazarus Chakwera, does not subscribe to the Singapore destination that the DPP promised Malawians.
“We are not part of the lying machine that doctored fake figures to the IMF [International Monetary Fund] that has produced the forex situation we are in now. It must be put on record that the forex shortage was created by the previous government when they painted a fake picture that Malawi’s economy was doing well to hoodwink the IMF into supporting them.
He wondered how the DPP could know that Tonse has lost direction when the former governing party does not know where the Tonse is going.