President Peter Mutharika risks being forced to step down should he fail to address concerns presented by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in their 10-point petition which they presented to his government at the end of nationwide demonstrations on Friday.
The petition among other things wants Mutharika to reverse his appointment of Rodney Jose as Inspector General of Police, accusing him of being involved in the death of youth activist Robert Chasowa year ago.
The CSOs also have asked Mutharika to fire Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa in 20 day days over their feared roles in the K4 Billion payout- a concern that highlighted the vigils.
The local media came out recently with revelations that the government, had set aside about K3.2 billion to be given to 86 MPs most of whom voted against Electoral Reforms Bills in the just ended meeting of Parliament, there has been growing suspicion that the fund was politically motivated.
After few days of deliberations, all MPs in Parliament agreed to share the money for development in their constituencies, a move which has attracted criticism from various quarters.
The CSOs also want parliament to retable all the elections related bills including 50%+1 electoral system of electing the President in their original form as proposed by the Law Commission within 40 days.
“We demand these elections related laws including the 50%+1 to be enacted in their original form as proposed by the Malawi Law Commission.”
But to these and many other issues, the CSOs say Mutharika must address or face a national wide uproar for him to step down.
“You can be lest assured therefore Your Excellency Sir that the Citizens shall hold a series of post-April 27 demonstrations activities –if you decide to ignore the 10 demands petition- until all the issues are addressed,”reads the petition in part.
It adds:’’ “In the event that we find your leadership lacking, untrustworthy and incompetent in addressing these challenges and demands, we the concerned citizens, activists and all Malawians of goodwill shall have no choice but to ask you to immediately step down as President of Malawi in line with the principle of social contract as ably expounded in the Constitution (Section 12[c]),”
This is not the first time Mutharika has received calls to step down.
In 2016 opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) had called for his resignation on the claim that he (Mutharika) has ‘completely’ failed to run the nation and therefore would not be wrong to step down.
MCP’s President Lazarus Chakwera has come strong on the calls for Mutharika to resign from the top office saying various socio-economic ills rocking the country are as a result of his (Mutharika’s) failure to have a befitting plan for the country.
But Mutharika has kept saying no one will pressurize him out of office.