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Opposition tears Sona

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Kondwani Nankhumwa

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa and United Democratic Front (UDF) Leader in the House Ned Poya Tuesday took turns to punch holes in the State of the Nation Address (Sona) which President Lazarus Chakwera presented to Parliament on Thursday.

But Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda took a swipe at the leaders, accusing them of politicking instead of offering honest opinions to the opposition Sona.

Among other things, the opposition leaders doubted that the economy had created 997,423 jobs in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

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Nankhumwa said he did not know where exactly those jobs are and who may have given the President the statistics.

He said he was glad that Malawians were able to discern that Chakwera was not telling the truth on employment figures.

“In July 2021, President Lazarus Chakwera appeared on BBC Hard-talk TV programme where he admitted that his government had failed to create the one million jobs that he promised and that 600,000 jobs had been lost instead.

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“Now to come back seven months later and claim that his government has created over 900,000 jobs is very strange. This is presidential fibbing of the highest order,” Nankhumwa said.

He also said private sectors had broken systems.

“However, looking at how this government is going about doing its business, it is doubtful that President Chakwera is capable of fixing the broken system or systems. Fixing broken systems requires commitment and decisive leadership, something that Malawi currently does not have. Unfortunately, we have a President who hardly sits in his office.

“We have a leader who takes ages to make simple decisions; a president whose only first love is travelling across the country, and the world, making beautiful speeches without any backing action,” Nankhumwa said.

Taking his turn, UDF’s Poya said the government could not claim to have created 997,423 jobs, which is three times the current size of the civil service. However, Chimwendo Banda, who stood on a Point of Order, censured Nankhumwa for belittling the President and the impact of Tropical Storm Ana.

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