At the end of 2015, after serving almost one and half years, Malawi President Peter Mutharika has been labeled a complete failure as president, as reflected in his own words.
Many times Mutharika has been saying he is “fighting for change for poor Malawians” but in real sense grassroots income has been in a continuous downward spiral since he became president.
Happy Kayuni, associate professor and head of political and administrative studies at Chancellor College, said Mutharika’s failure is due to his “half-hearted reform” toward ensuring that problems of transparency and accountability in the financial system are addressed.
Kayuni described Mutharika as a disgrace with his record of high levels of unemployment, rising taxes and fall of the kwacha.
“Obviously we have seen many shortfalls in his leadership. For example, we are talking about the economy, how it has performed, as we are speaking now kwacha is stumbling , there is no serious improvement and also we have noted that the president has not provided the leadership to show direction where the country is going and what can be done,” said Kayuni in an interview with Malawi24.
Kayuni further warned the Mutharika administration over the failure to stabilize the local currency which has depreciated to K800 against the dollar and K1000 against the British pound.
The depreciation of the local currency may lead to the skyrocketing of prices of goods and services.
According to Kayuni, nothing positive materialized in 2015 except the infrastructure development that the Chinese government is providing which he said is not part of budgetary support.
He stated: “the president has failed to coax the donors. We are all aware that donors left after mainly the cashgate saga and they no longer provide the budgetary support that was required. In his campaign period he highlighted that he will make sure that donors should continue to support Malawi.
“Basically through his leadership there is no proper direction for the country. What is it that we want to achieve? We only see a lot of talks and castigation of those who oppose him which is not good for the country.”
Despite many options given to him on revamping the country’s economy, Mutharika has been reluctant to test and analyse them. Kayuni advised Mutharika to prepare for more troubles in 2016 if he does not provide solutions to cashgate saga.
“Donors have been saying this again and again. I think government has not necessarily taken that seriously,” Kayuni said. “If they were able to look at it seriously, the country’s image could have changed and donors could have resumed [aid].”