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Peter Mutharika has failed—Lazarus Chakwera

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In what is probably the most scathing statement he has ever made, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President and Leader of Opposition, Lazarus Chakwera, has described President Peter Mutharika as a failure whose government is in a state of emergency.

The address which he made “to Malawians” at his office at the Parliament Building in Lilongwe yesterday, used the word “failure” and the phrase “you have failed” to describe Mutharika more than 35 times.

Chakwera has described Mutharika’s leadership as one which is like a pair of scissors designed to cut the thread by which the country is hanging and send the citizens spiraling into the abyss of deeper levels of poverty.

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“Contrary to his [Mutharika’s] delusions, the country is not falling apart because of Cashgate in our recent history, or because of changes in the weather for which we had months to prepare, or because of withdrawal of donor aid, or because of civil servants in our institutions.

“He has refused to take responsibility for the way things are, and has believed the lie that the country is failing because of what he continues to describe as “challenges”. But every Malawian, from Chitipa to Nsanje, knows that the country is not failing because of “challenges”, but because of “failures”. And most of those failures are failures of leadership,” Chakwera said.

In several other areas, including the energy sector, graft fight, the health and social sectors, Chakwera said Mutharika has clearly failed such that he should not be allowed to continue leading Malawi beyond his current term of office.

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“…So as a spokesman for the Malawian people, I have a simple message for President Mutharika: Your Excellency, you have failed. You have failed the civil service because you have failed to lead. You have failed the taxpayers because you have failed to end the corruption of your own government.

“You have failed the young people because you have failed to keep the doors of our universities open… You have failed the Vice President because you have failed to maximise the young man’s talents for progress,” Chakwera said.

According to Chakwera, allowing Mutharika to continue leading the country beyond this term will be hammering the final nail in the coffin of Malawi’s development.

However, Presidential Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, has described Chakwera’s attack on Mutharika as being driven by bit terness due the election defeat that the MCP leader suffered at the 2014 elections.

On Chakwera’s accusation that Mutharika is failing to provide decisive leadership on the economy, Mgeme said: “Any fair-minded individual would appreciate that against a backdrop of sudden direct budgetary support freeze by donors in the final months of the PP administration due to the Cashgate, and considering the impact of the drought and the devastating floods which came back to back with the aid freeze, President Mutharika this far, has performed beyond expectation.”

Kalilani argued that Mutharika is not shielding anyone on corruption, saying the President has on numerous occasions challenged anyone with evidence of corrupt practices by officials in his government to come forward, name them and bring evidence.

“No one has done that many months after the call. This raises questions as to whether individuals such as the MCP leader are making these allegations from an objective position,” Kalilani said.

Meanwhile, Chakwera has called on Members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors to use their respective roles to serve their country and not their president “for Malawians are trusting you to show Mutharika that they have lost all confidence in him and his whole cabinet.”

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