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Lazarus Chakwera hits back at MCP regime critics

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By Watipaso Mzungu, Contributor:

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Lazarus Chakwera, has said his party, under founding president the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda, laid the foundation for the country’s development.

Chakwera said this in his address which Times Television broadcast on Sunday night, hours after he failed to address a public rally at Zingwangwa Secondary School Ground due to heavy rains.

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“I want to respond to what President Peter Mutharika said last week. In his remarks, the President said that the MCP government did nothing to develop this country when it was in power.

“Malawians, can this be true? Let us make a correction here because everyone can testify that MCP laid a solid foundation for national development. Everyone can see for himself or herself what MCP did when it was in power,” he said.

Chakwera, who is also Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, further reminded MCP’s regime critics that they easily forget that when they fall sick and seek medical attention from Kamuzu Central Hospital and other hospitals, “it is the MCP that built [such facilities]”.

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“At the hospital, if you are treated or assisted by a doctor trained at the Kamuzu College of Nursing, you should know that it is MCP that built the [college]. If today, you are proud of a [bachelors’] degree you obtained from an institution of higher learning such as Chancellor College, [The] Polytechnic or Luanar [Lilongwe University of Science and Natural Resources], among others, where you either received your degrees or you sent your children or wards to.

“If you see multi-storey buildings such as Delamere, Chayamba, Development House, Mount Soche Hotel or Capital Hill in Lilongwe and Police Headquarters. If you have ever stayed in affordable houses in residential houses in Area 18, Falls Estate in Lilongwe, Mzilawayingwe in Mzuzu and many other areas. It is the MCP that built all those,” he said.

The MCP tsar further reminded Mutharika that the State House in Lilongwe, Sanjika Palace in Lilongwe, Chikoko Bay in Mangochi and State Lodge in Mzuzu were all built during the MCP era under Kamuzu Banda.

“So, as the President occupies himself with giving beers to the youth, he should not forget that even the roads he is using to ferry their party supporters were constructed by MCP. He shouldn’t forget that the airports he uses to travel abroad, but he fails to maintain them to the extent of leaking and drenching travelers, were built by MCP. Therefore, I wish to advise you, my fellow Malawians, to be taken or deceived by these people.

“I would like to advise DPP to leave us alone. Spare us the castigation. You may continue castigating your breakaway group. But don’t involve MCP in your castigations,” Chakwera said.

He was reacting to Mutharika who recently suggested that the MCP regime failed to develop this country and that it did not leave any foundation.

But MCP, UTM and various political analysts have dismissed Mutharika’s assertions, saying they are misguided and aimed at hoodwinking voters ahead of May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga, said anybody disputing that Malawi registered tangible development under the MCP and Kamuzu Banda is “probably mentally sick”.

“We need to acknowledge where someone has done something good. Some of these people were in exile. So, it is very unfair to make statements aimed at undermining other people’s efforts,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General, Greselder Jeffrey, refused to comment on matter, saying she needed more time to consult.

Chancellor College (Chanco)-based political analysts Ernest Thindwa and Henry Chingaipa said in separate interviews that Malawi registered tangible development after attaining independence from the colonial masters.

Thindwa said Kamuzu and MCP laid a foundation, which the preceding governments have failed to capitalise on.

“So, for someone to say Kamuzu and MCP did nothing to develop this country is rather being dishonest. Kamuzu and MCP delivered quality development infrastructures that no any other party has done for the past 25 years,” he said.

Chingaipe said it was ‘unfair and unrealistic’ to claim that MCP regime did not develop the country.

“I don’t know what was the basis for the President to say what he said and indeed for anyone to say anything close to what the President said. I am not saying all that MCP did was good, but I am in total disagreement that MCP did nothing to develop this country,” he said.

“Certainly, this rally the President addressed did not take place at Kamuzu Palace. It took somewhere. How did the President travel to that place? Did he use the jungle to get there? Where did he wake up from? Sanjika Palace, Kamuzu Palace or Zomba? He goes to work at the Capital Hill? Is it not the MCD under Kamuzu that built those structures? The President should be realistic when making some of these statements,” Chingaipe said.

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