Malawi’s Leader of Opposition, Kondwani Nankhumwa described President Lazarus Chakwera’s claim that Malawi is rising against economic hardships as an insult to Malawians.
Last month during Independence Prayers, President Chakwera claimed that that “a new Malawi is rising” and encouraged Malawians to shout the phrase at every opportunity.
However, Nankhumwa who was delivering his closing remarks in his capacity as Opposition in Parliament, chose to differ with the President saying Malawi is not rising.
The Leader of Opposition who is also the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the South, argued that there are a lot of issues happening across the country that are true evidence of stagnation.
He then gave an example of private television stations being closed willy-nilly for flimsy reasons and also mentioned of kidnapping and arresting of CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.
“Madam Speaker, I choose to differ. Malawi is not rising when a food crisis is imminent because of bad agricultural policies; Malawi is not rising when a bag of maize is selling at K20, 000; Malawi is not rising when tired and retired legs crawl back into the job market at the expense of the youths; Malawi is not rising when the government continues blaming a war torn country, which is a world away, for its economic ills.
“Malawi is not rising when there is favouritism in employment of public officers and where only one region and tribe benefit; Malawi is not rising when inflation and devaluation are throwing so many poor Malawians further into the cycle of poverty; Malawi is not rising when nurses, midwives, laboratory technicians, teachers are denied employment in the public service for no plausible reasons,” said Nankhumwa.
In his remarks, Nankhumwa further argued that Malawi cannot be said to be rising when chain stores are closing their doors due to poor economic conditions and leaving many Malawians jobless, when ruling party hooligans freely carry panga knives in the streets without the police arresting them, and when a poor Malawian is buying a bag of fertilizer at K70, 000.
According to the Leader of Opposition, President Chakwera could not claim that Malawi is on the rise when social media influencers, “like Mneneri Joshua Chisa Mbele”, are being arrested each time they criticize this government and its leadership on social media.
He also said Malawians paying K100,000 for a passport is not a sign of an economy on the rise and he further blamed the government for failing to provide the promised monthly allowance to the elderly.
“Malawi is not rising when citizens are still paying for electricity and water connection; Malawi is not rising when there are endless blackouts that scare away potential foreign investors; Malawi is not rising when secondary and tertiary education is not yet free; Malawi is not rising when charcoal vendors are subjected to various forms of intimidation, including confiscating their charcoal.
“Malawi is not rising when Bills in Parliament are rushed through without regard to the 28-day notice requirement as stipulated in the Standing Orders; Malawi is not rising when the entire health care system is broken and without adequate medicines and equipment; and Malawi is not rising when access to NEEF loans is dependent on political party membership,” he added.
Nankhumwa has since called on President Chakwera to “save Malawi from being a butt of jokes.”
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