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Peter Mutharika tears into Tonse government

Peter Mutharika

Gospel Kazako

Former president Peter Mutharika Sunday accused the Tonse Alliance-led administration of plunging the country into serious economic problems that have disrupted Malawians’ lives.

He said the first year of the Lazarus Chakwera administration had ended without any clear policy direction.

Mutharika, who leads the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), made the remarks during a press briefing held at his house in Mangochi District.

“The economy is hurting Malawians who are unable to afford basic needs, prices of goods are increasing a lot because the government is failing to make the Kwacha stable,” he said.

Speaking in Chichewa, Mutharika said: “Zinthu zakwera kwambiri chifukwa cha Chakwera [Chakwera is failing to tame inflation].”

He accused the Chakwera administration of being corrupt, further accusing it of failing to account for K17 billion which the Treasury released to help Malawi fight the Covid pandemic.

He insisted that what happened for Chakwera to ascend to power was a “judicial coup” under a conspiracy that started in 2017, orchestrated by the courts, civil society organisations and the then opposition Malawi Congress Party.

He said a senior person in the Judiciary confided in him that “DPP got injustice instead of justice”.

Mutharika said the current administration was “illegal” and must be removed from power to save Malawians from further suffering.

He said when Chakwera was in opposition, he used to call Mutharika “prince of thieves” but it was now clear that Chakwera was the “king of thieves”.

Mutharika added that the Chakwera-led government had not initiated any projects since assuming power.

“Chakwera is busy inspecting projects which my government initiated. They said Malawi was going in the wrong direction; now they are busy with the projects which the DPP regime initiated in the six years it was in power,” he said.

On succession, Mutharika denied offering the party’s top job to some people, pointing out that, since the party was not a monarchy, delegates will choose leaders of their choice after his five-year tenure as leader of the party.

Meanwhile, political science lecturer at the University of Livingstonia George Phiri has said while Mutharika’s sentiments that things were getting worse in the country were true, the DPP administration left the situation worse that it found it.

He added that the other challenge the Tonse administration was grappling with is that of the Covid pandemic.

“However, Tonse Alliance should not use this as an excuse but should, rather, perform so that the opposition becomes weaker,” he said.

Government spokesperson Gospel Kazako accused Mutharika of deliberately ignoring the progress which the Tonse Alliance had registered since its ascendancy to power.

“We are having to reconstruct the economy and the process is painful. It is a curve we successfully will negotiate,” Kazako said.

Kazako explained that Mutharika has decided to put on lenses that will make him see what pleases him such that the Tonse administration will not be tempted to be disturbed by any amount of negativity.

He said the Chakwera government will not be dragged into negative thinking that will derail the efforts the government is making.

“The former head of State must bring evidence of corruption. Unlike his time, we now have a truly independent ACB. He can take the evidence to the ACB,” he said.

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