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Malawi President Peter Mutharika pleads for dialogue

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has expressed concern over the way some civil society leaders in the country have reacted to the response he provided to the nation regarding his recent trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Mutharika’s remarks follow Livingstonia Synod church and society’s observation that he is emulating his late brother Bingu wa Mutharika’s dictatorial tendencies.

“The civic and political platform of the Church and Society of the Livingstonia Synod of CCAP has also made similar sentiments referring to President Mutharika as embracing dictatorial tendencies which is not correct.

“It is also a misrepresentation of facts to state that the President is becoming arrogant, when in actual sense, what the President has managed to do, is to be transparent and accountable with information regarding his mode of travel to the United Nations and the size of entourage,” Special Adviser to the President on Non-governmental Organisations, Mavuto Bamusi, said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Times on Wednesday.

Bamusi said by engaging the nation through the media, Mutharika demonstrated how democratic he is.

He then advised the civil society leaders in the country to back their advocacy with evidence and be responsive as well as responsible in the way utterances are made towards the President.

“The President deserves respect, the President deserves dignity and at any time the President is willing to engage and have dialogue with the civil society leaders,” Bamusi said, adding that the reasons being given by the civil society to take to the streets are not adequate.

“If you look at the state of the economy, the President was open enough to say that he inherited an economy which was riddled with the Cashgate scandal. We have inherited an economy whose export base was very narrow,” he said.

On Monday, Church and Society of the Livingstonia Synod Executive Director, Moses Mkandawire, expressed reservations on the President’s explanation.

Mkandawire said: “The emotional and hostile approach the President took last week at a press conference in Lilongwe after his return from the United Nations and the use of words such as ‘nonsense’ and the banging of the table should not come from a leader.

“Looking at his reaction, he was showing signs of being a dictator like his late brother, Bingu. He should draw lessons from Bingu’s scenario.”

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