Malawians may be poor but not stupid-Mutharika


Former Malawi President and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader, Arthur Peter Mutharika has said Malawi is facing a leadership crisis and that Malawians are not stupid.

Mutharika was addressing the nation from his Page House in Mangochi where among others, he said President Lazarus Chakwera has abdicated his duties and is no longer interested in the affairs of the people.

He blasted Chakwera saying while Malawians are suffering, he is chartering planes for photo opportunities, playing golf and opening schools which he called trivial.

He also chided Chakwera for failures of this year's Affordable Input Programme (AIP) pointing out people have noted the numbers of beneficiaries have been reduced and there is free flow looting.

Mutharika: You have failed

"They passed institutions like Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and no due was diligence done. They have looted on a pretence they were buying fertilizer from a butchery. This is reckless and irresponsible."

"When will fertilizer get here? It takes four months, it is irresponsible, we ask ACB and Fiscal police to work fast in the looting of AIP funds; all culprits be brought to book. We demand fertilizer now."

He also mentioned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not given Malawi the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) because the government has not met requirements and that debt is high. "It's unacceptable. Debt stands at K6.4 trillion from K4 trillion. They have failed to manage it.

"When my government was overthrown, we left $1 billion but now we are only a few days worth of supply. Where has all the money gone? We had the highest forex covering 6 months in our time."

He mentioned the deplorable state of the living standards as prices continue to sky rocket among others being the prices of Maize pegged at K25,000 in other areas. He said this is all Chakwera's fault.

Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) was also mentioned as he questioned why it was closed and what happened with the money they were given to purchase maize.

Mutharika: economy is at a standstill

Mutharika said domestic inflation was at 8.6 percent but  is now expected to go to 30 percent saying this needs to be managed.

On the fuel crises, Mutharika said the cause is poor management and forex; "Nobody is able to function, the country is almost at standstill, the economy has collapsed. They must take serious action."

Still on the energy sector, Mutharika said it had now transpired that Kapichira Hydro power station will not be up by December as it was touted. He questioned why Aggreko contract was terminated without alternative source.

The former president also said the Tonse Alliance is planning to rig the 2025 elections using the recruitment of a a party fellow as Chief Elections Office at Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec), new boundaries which allocates huge registration numbers to the central region and renewal of national identification cards emphasizing they know what is happening.

Mutharika said the government should stop blaming others for their failure instead of fixing things: "It's been over two years. If you don't have the trust of the people, then resign.

He reiterated his calls for a caretaker government to help solve the issues the country is facing: "These people are not able to see and solve the problems. You have let the people down. Malawians may be poor but not stupid."

Namalomba: Chakwera is like a cancer that needs to be cut off

Mutharika suggested a period of 90 days to hold elections.

DPP Spokesperson Honourable Shadric Namalomba, MP and DPP National Organising Secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu are some of the notable faces in the conference room.