Former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has accused President Lazarus Chakwera and the Tonse Alliance of failing to govern the country during the 18 months they have been in power.
DPP said Malawians were experiencing worst economic hardships, nepotism and rampant corruption under the nine political-party Tonse administration.
In the party’s end of the year message, DPP spokesperson Shadric Namalomba said when it was in power prices of goods were stable, foreign exchange was available and businesses were functioning, unlike now when the cost of living has become unbearable.
On Tuesday, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako, who is also the official government spokesperson, refused to comment on the DPP statement.
The minister said Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Reverend Maurice Munthali was better placed to respond. However, by press time around 9pm, Munthali said he was not ready with a response to DPP accusations.
In its statement, DPP said there is more theft and corruption under Tonse Alliance, citing alleged corruption scandals at National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) and the mismanagement of Covid-19 response funds.
Reads the DPP statement in part: “We know that ACB has evidence of corrupt officials and politicians in the Tonse Government, but they are being dictated by politicians.
“Therefore, we urge Tonse Government to stop this selective justice, treat everyone equal before the law and, therefore, stop persecuting people assumed to be sympathetic of DPP on trumped up charges.”
DPP further claimed that government was failing to manage the economy, buy medicines for hospitals, fertiliser for farmers and food to the vulnerable, decrying that Capital Hill, instead was busy blaming Covid-19 and DPP for its failures.
The DPP outbursts come less than a month after its leader Peter Mutharika jointly held a rally with United Democratic Front president Atupele Mukuzi where he challenged Chakwera to demonstrate leadership by resolving the deteriorating socio-economic status.
At the time, Kazako said the Chakwera administration was reconstructing the economy.
He said: “We have to reconstruct the economy and the process is painful. It is a curve that when we successfully negotiate, Malawi will have something genuine and not a dummy as was the case in [DPP] time”
“We will not be tempted to be disturbed by any amount of negativity.”
Chakwera has since unveiled a two-year K580 billion Socio-Economic Recovery Plan that seeks to revive the country’s economy through various interventions.
While DPP cites availability of forex during its tenure, it emerged last year that the government at the time went into currency swap deals which were abruptly terminated prior to the change of administration, resulting in the local currency getting battered.
The International Monetary Fund also faulted the Malawi Government under DPP of misreporting on some key economic indicators. The Malawi Government has since taken to court former Reserve Bank of Malawi governor Dalitso Kabambe and former minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha over the issue.
Ironically, DPP’s own Functional Review Report said the party’s supporters were dismayed by the tribalism and corruption, stressing that those in top leadership were prioritising their tribal allegiance more than their nationalistic posture when in government.