The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) Sunday described President Peter Mutharika’s remarks as unfortunate, urging him to stop being obsessed with responding to the opposition’s sentiments in public.
Speaking when he addressed a rally in Mangochi on Saturday, Mutharika trashed the opposition parties’ call for him to resign, saying they should give up the fight and join government in finding solutions to develop Malawi.
But speaking in separate interviews with The Daily Times yesterday, MCP spokesperson, Jessie Kabwila, and People’s Party vice-president for the Centre, Uladi Mussa, maintained that Mutharika lacks vision.
According to Kabwila, Mutharika’s failure to run state affairs was manifested in Parliament when he delivered the State of the Nation Address which she said was no better than the speech that was presented by Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera.
“If he says we should give up, what does he want us to do with all the mess he is causing to the country? There is even confusion on the government benches on whether to comment on his address because they are aware that it was substandard.
“When they are commenting in Parliament, they are dwelling more on what Chakwera said and not their President; so, based on what the opposition is doing, it is clear that we have the vision and want to help Malawians,” said Kabwila.
She added that instead of Mutharika and his party practising politics of castigation, he should focus on the challenges the country is facing and provide solutions.
“The most important thing is that the President should start transforming [the country] and not stand on the podium boasting of his wealth and castigating the opposition when we are holding him accountable. We have a lot to do in all sectors of the economy. We want him to act and not only talking, we are here for the lives of Malawians. We are waiting for the time he will start to deliver,” said Kabwila.
In his remarks, Mussa said his comments did not mean that he was sabotaging government as the President claimed.
“What we are doing is to ask government to implement projects that are required by our people and we give alternatives for government to follow. On donors, we told them to find means of bringing them back; giving up is not the best way because this time we have nowhere to go to. The donors are gone and if they are saying we should give up, I don’t know what they mean,” he said.
“I am not here to sabotage the government but we are here to stand for the voiceless and speak for the poorest of the poor,” said Mussa.
“We are happy that the President publicly commented on the death of Anti-Corruption Bureau official [Issa Njauju] after MCP and PP asked him to do that in Parliament. What he should now do is to take our other ideas on board so that the country can start moving again,” he added.
Speaking in a separate interview, MCP Deputy Publicity Secretary Ezekiel Ching’oma said as a party they have not at any point discussed the possibility of sabotaging the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (Dahsp), popularly known as Malata subsidy programme.
“Parliament has been approving funds for Malata subsidy but government has not started implementing the programme. So, how do they expect us to sabotage a programme whose impact is not known?
“Let me ask the President’s advisers to start giving good advice to our President instead of castigating our party and leadership in public,” he said.
Ching’oma disagreed with Mutharika’s suggestion that all political parties should join him in government, saying as MCP, they are already working with the Mutharika administration by offering him alternative solutions.
“We cannot all be yes bwana’s just like the way he wants us to be. If we all join them, the country will be worse than it is at the moment,” said Ching’oma.
Speaking in Mangochi during the development rally at Bwalo la Ndege, Mutharika said he is tired of being attacked by MCP and PP leaders, whom he said have no solutions to the country’s challenges apart from their empty talk.
“Let me speak in English for them to understand. Let’s not start politics of confrontation. I am prepared to fight and I have been fighting people my whole life. You all know that I fought PP for two years. But my interest is to develop the nation and I am not prepared to fight,” said Mutharika.
He further accused the two parties of planning to sabotage Dahsp to make his government unpopular among Malawians.
“They have agreed that during this Parliament [sitting] they should stop the Malata subsidy programme because they know that we are going to be popular among Malawians. Am asking you, [DPP MPs] not to allow them to do that because we are a democratic party,” he said.
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