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Peter Mutharika hits at Joyce Banda

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President Peter Mutharika has hit at former president, Joyce Banda, who is currently living in self-imposed exile, telling her to stop making accusations against the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government.

Mutharika made the sentiments during the opening of the 29th Malawi International Trade Fair in Blantyre on Wednesday.

He said Banda should come back home and appreciate what his government is doing to foster economy in the country.

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“Muwauze aja anaba ndikuthawa dziko lino kuti abwere. Last week amanena kuti zinthu zatikanika, chakanika ndi chani? …asiye kuyankhula zachipongwe (Tell that person who stole money from this country and fled, to come back. Last week, she said things are not working out, what has failed? …she should stop making such allegations),” he said.

Banda is reported to have lashed at the DPP administration for incompetence, in an audio message addressed to her People’s Party (PP) supporters.

In the recorded message, Banda, who lost the 2014 elections to Mutharika, accused her successor of treating corruption with kids gloves.

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Mutharika argued that when he ascended to power, inflation was at 24 percent and he has managed to reduce it to 14.6 percent.

“In the coming few months, perhaps, by January or February next year, inflation will be single digit,” he said.

But in an interview, PP’s spokesperson, Noah Chimpeni, said Banda cannot stop making criticisms whenever and wherever necessary.

“There is more corruption now and in fact no one has been arrested in far as corruption is concerned. So, how can Joyce Banda stop [criticising the government]. And when the President is talking about development, those projects were started by Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika passed on to Dr. Joyce Banda and he is continuing them. Government is a continuous process,” Chimpeni said.

Mutharika also took a swipe at some councillors who are reported to be awarding themselves contracts such as road projects, a development that is affecting progress of the country.

“When it comes to awarding of contracts, Malawians who have the ability should be considered, in that way we are empowering the private sector. But it has come to my notice that some ward councillors have taken the opportunity to open up companies in order to have contracts awarded to their companies. This should not be tolerated,” he said.

He said the ministry responsible should properly do an investigation on any councillor alleged to have corruptly awarded a contract to his company.

On the red star campaign which aimed at facelifting Blantyre City by demolishing old buildings, Mutharika said his government will make sure the project continues.

The campaign stalled following an injunction that 54 property owners in Blantyre obtained from the High Court in the district.

The demolition of the 161 earmarked buildings was scheduled to start in March last year.

According to Mutharika, it is just some few individuals who would want to sabotage the campaign.

Mutharika also mentioned of water projects that the DPP-led government is implementing in a bid to provide potable water in the country.

He mentioned of the Mulanje- Likhubula and Salima-Lilongwe Water Projects, saying they have taken shape.

On electricity, Mutharika said since he took over presidency, 336 trading centres have been electrified.

He added that independent power producers will be incorporated in the soonest time possible to improve electricity supply in the country.

Mutharika said he had talks with a company which he did not mention, saying it will invest in irrigation farming in Chikwawa District.

He said the company will secure land of about 24,000 hectares to be used in irrigation farming as one way of promoting food security through green belt initiative.

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