Peter Mutharika damns Tonse Government Calls for fresh election

Gospel Kazako

Former president Peter Mutharika has proposed the formation of a Government of National Unity (GNU) as one way of helping the Lazarus Chakwera-led Tonse Alliance administration address economic challenges besetting Malawi.

However, Information Minister and government spokesperson Gospel Kazako has rubbished the calls for a GNU, saying they are not being made in good faith.

Mutharika made the remarks at a press conference he addressed at his Page House in Mangochi District.


Mutharika said it was insensitive for Chakwera to leave the country for United Nations General Assembly at a time the country is in economic crisis, demanding that he comes back immediately and solve the challenges facing the country.

“Another [mark of] insensitivity was for the Tonse Alliance administration to cancel the Extended Credit Facility with the International Monetary Fund simply because it was negotiated by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The DPP will provide brilliant boys and girls who helped me turn around economic challenges we inherited in 2014,” he said.

Mutharika then bemoaned the rising cost of living, saying the country is not developing due to escalating prices of commodities.


He further blamed the current administration for escalating the problem of forex shortage, claiming that this has resulted in shortage of fuel, over-expenditure on the President’s external trips, over importation and under exportation of goods and services in the country.

He said if the Afrobarometer study which favoured the DPP over the Tonse Alliance administration were to be conducted now, at least 99 percent of Malawians would opt for the ouster of the Tonse Alliance administration.

“This government has lost the trust of people and it must, therefore, go and be replaced with a government of national unity,” Mutharika said.

The DPP leader said his party is ready to take part in activities of that government.

He, however, said the proposed government would then have to call for elections within 90 days to elect a “competent government” that can take the country out of the current economic crisis.

Mutharika also challenged Chakwera to deal with the issue of persistent electricity blackouts which, he said, are chocking both big and small-scale businesses.

He called on Chakwera to re-engage Aggreko which, he said, was generating over 70 megawatts of electricity and resolve Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Power Market Limited disagreements, saying the standoff between these two State companies renders Malawi an unattractive destination for investment in the energy sector.

“Already, the level of unemployment is too high in the country and, just last week, Admarc [Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation] announced its decision to fire over 3,000 Malawians. While the price of maize has skyrocketed, things are likely to be even worse next year because, as we speak, no single bag of fertiliser has been procured for Affordable Inputs Programme,” he said.

On divisions in the erstwhile government party, Mutharika said the “so-called” divisions are being sensationalised by the media, saying they are not as deep as portrayed in news media.

Mutharika, however, said such divisions are normal, especially when a party gets out of power.

He expressed hope that the party will rebuild and come back stronger after holding a convention, which is slated for May next year.

Reacting to the calls, Kazako said the calls are being made in bad faith.

He also said the DPP is against Chakwera’s trip to the Unites States (US) because it knows that the President would meet influential people who can help the country secure the much needed forex.

“The DPP knows that the headquarters of forex are the United States of America and that is why they do not want President Chakwera to go.

“We don’t see the reason for forming a Government of National Unity. Who do we unite with? These are the people whole gave the IMF cooked figures which have landed us in this trouble,” he said.

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