Written by NORMAN LINCOLN
Amajority of Malawians are holding the incumbent president Joyce Banda and her People’s Party government responsible for the unbearably poor economic environment typified by a very high general increase in prices of basic commodities, transportation, fuel, education and other necessities. Pumps are again dry and fuel queues have resurfaced on filling stations in Lilongwe the capital, Blantyre and Mzuzu.
On the contrary, the president and her diehard party followers continue to fault the late Mutharika and his DPP government. They maintain that they inherited an already failed economy and cannot be blamed for the present economic mess. They also assert that the government can not fix the economy within the six months that they have been in power because it takes time to fix economies.
Following the political trends in Malawi for the past two years, I feel it is nonsensically ridiculous for the current government of Malawi to incessantly persecute the late Mutharika even in his grave. Malawians must remember that the current administration is an amalgamation of various entities that determinedly fought against Mutharika. They are the same people who issued late Mutharika an ultimatum to resign within 60days or call for a national referendum in 90days to solicit fresh mandate to finish his term at the March’s Malawi’s Public Affairs Committee (PAC) indaba in March, 2012. Conveniently, Mutharika all of a sudden died in April, 2012, but his sudden death did not suddenly shove the coalition government into power, because he died exactly within the timeframe of his ultimatum.
Why am I saying these things to you Malawians? I intend to enlighten you that the governing Peoples Party did not inherit government without intentions and ignorant of the challenges. I want every Malawian to understand that Peoples party government was not tricked into power. They were so power hungry and eager to rule that 2014 seemed like eternity.
When they allied with other opposition parties, civil society organization and non governmental organizations and called for Mutharika’s resignation, Malawians, unfamiliar with constitutional provisions queried about Mutharika’s successor to the presidency should he yielded to the resignation call. The incumbent attorney general and minister of Justice, Mr. Ralph Kasambara and others enjoying the spoils now, spoke assertively that the vice president Joyce Banda would takeover. The incumbent minister of Sports, Enoch Chihana, had actually moved in parliament that Mutharika had failed Malawians and must resign or call for a referendum. In this regard, Joyce Banda and her allied opposition parties were already a government on standby cunningly manipulating the local masses and international community to depose Mutharika.
Let us get back to the government’s defensive approach on responding to Malawi’s woes on the worsening economy. While Mutharika acknowledged that Malawi was sailing through tough economic turbulences and begged for two years or so, to stabilize the economy and pilot the nation back to its glory, the glory he himself had earned, the new government, then in their respective opposing roles denied him the time and demanded an immediate economic solution. How paradoxical that the same individuals claim that fixing economies require time. When have they realized that you can not fix an economy within six months?
Mutharika had instituted the presidential contact and dialogue group which was aimed at addressing the concerns that had been forwarded to his government. Malawians must remember that these are very people who chocked the progress of presidential contact and dialogue group and opted for the riots in streets. The contact and dialogue group was comprised of varied independent entities of the civil society and diplomats, yet they refrained from dialogue and opted for ultimatums.
Why am I reminding you Malawians of these? I want you to open yours eyes and see that the new government of national unity deserves no room for excuses for their failure to fix the economy because they made you believe that unlike Mutharika they had immediate solutions. They called for Mutharika’s resignation because unlike Mutharika they had all the solutions. They denied Mutharika the time he requested because unlike him they had all the immediate solutions. They requested donors to freeze aid towards Mutharika’s government because unlike Mutharika they had all the solutions to international bilateral relations. They drove the masses into demonstration against fuel shortages because unlike Mutharika they had all the fuel solutions. They attacked Mutharika on human rights, because they had all the solutions on gay rights. They called Mutharika arrogant for refusing devaluation because unlike Mutharika they had all the cushioning and bailout solutions. They advocate the agenda for change because unlike Mutharika they had all the innovational solutions in the world.
Therefore, Malawians are not wrong to blame Joyce Banda’s coalition government for the high cost of living and continuously deteriorating economy because they feel let down and fooled. She must understand that the public does not blame her solely for creating the mess but rather for her failure to find an immediate solution which her colleagues and herself had pretended to possess when they were outside government. Malawians wake up from slumber! Snore no more; the rest of world is wide awake.
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