Malawi Congress Party (MCP) yesterday hit out at the administration of President Peter Mutharika, declaring that the President is not in control of the country.
During a news conference held in Lilongwe, MCP officials listed a litany of issues which the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has lost control of, among them taking a large delegation to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the time the country is facing a food deficit and has appealed for humanitarian assistance.
However, Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango, who is the official government spokesperson, dismissed MCP’s observations and accused the party of living in its own world. He said Mutharika is in control.
MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said the governing party is making hasty and irrational decisions in running the country, an issue she feared can further cripple the country’s ailing economy.
Kabwila mentioned examples of the recent hiking of secondary school and tertiary education fees in public schools as well as the abolition of the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examinations as part of reforms of the parastatal, Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) as announced by Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST).
She said: “We want a leader who is visionary, but from the way decisions are being made, it is as though he [the President] does not know what he is doing.
“Even the economy of the country is not doing well and we have the courage to have such a bloated entourage [to the UN]. What are we thinking as a country? Is this the path we need to be heading?”
Kabwila further described the fee hike as atrocious and a slap in the face of the poor as education will now be the preserve of the elite.
According to Kabwila, government should have abolished the subsidy on iron sheets and cement and invest the resources in education so that the poor should also have the same privileges as the rich.
But Mhango said: “They [MCP] still believe they were robbed of the [May 20 2014 Tripartite] elections and they need to wake up from their slumber because DPP is ruling this country until until until… Let me tell you my sister, the President is very much in control and he has great plans for this control, not what Kabwila is saying.”
Government has also reacted to criticisms on the entourage to the UN by issuing statements that most of the people attending the meetings have been sponsored by the UN.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda has maintained the President’s entourage comprises about 20 people, not 121 as widely reported.
But UN has remained mute on the matter.