CDEDI tells Chakwera that Malawians still remember his promises


Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) says President Lazarus Chakwera should know that Malawians’ memories are still fresh about the promises which he made to improve the livelihood of people in the country.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa told journalists on Friday that two years ago, Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima announced their salary cuts as a contribution to the national Covid-19 response. The president also told the nation that he had decided to save money by cutting down on his travels yet he is still conducting unnecessary travels and continues squandering taxes money.

He added that in his recent announcement about the 20 percent fuel cut for Cabinet Ministers, the president conveniently forgot to announce his own as such people should know that unless the president includes among the austerity measures a cut in his salary, he is not prepared to suffer with Malawians.

“Otherwise, cutting on ministers’ fuel allocations is welcome development but puts the president on the other side of the road where he will watch his juniors nurse their wounds as he criss-crosses the country at will. Simply put, it is morally wrong for the president to force everyone to tighten their belts in the face of the economic hardships, when the president continues living in opulence. lf this is not financial discrimination, President Chakwera should tell Malawians tell what it is,” he explained.

He added that Chakwera should let his cabinet assist him running the government by assigning them to other functions while he stays in office figuring out how he can protect the vulnerable and marginalized Malawians using resources accrued from the announced cost-cutting measures.

He also asked the country’s president to listen to and address concerns that Malawians’ are appealing to him through Radio programs. He said Malawians complain that they are living in hardship due to poor leadership style because they are paying taxes when their money ends up just enriching those in the Executive arm of government at the expense of the poor millions who are suffering.

According to Namiwa, Cabinet Minister in the former President Bakili Muluzi regime, the late James Makhumula, set a good precedent when he directed Treasury to channel his salary to a special rural development fund.

“Given an example above, it is possible for leaders to sacrifice their benefits for the good of the country. If they cannot do this, then why should Malawians keep suffering by paying taxes, when there is nothing to show for their lives to get better,” said Namiwa.