Despite President Peter Mutharika giving a conciliatory speech during the opening of Parliament on Friday, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) claims government has an axe to grind with the opposition backed Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya.
But Leader of the House, Francis Kasaila, dismissed MCP’s fears on Msowoya as unfounded.
Commenting on whether the conciliatory speech by Mutharika has eased fears of an impending political fight with reports of a mooted Speaker impeachment, Kabwila said in an interview on Saturday that on the contrary, the party has received more information, indicating that the ruling party has not changed heart on the matter.
The MCP spokesperson said the party was concerned that the DPP-led government has not relented in its attack on the institution of Parliament and in particular the office of the Speaker.
“They have now turned against another arm of government. They are up in arms against a constitutionally enshrined office and even the President has joined the bandwagon, attacking the Speaker at a rally.
“We are afraid that just one speech in Parliament cannot ease
our fears because we continue to receive information indicating that they are still advancing ambitions to remove the Speaker in this sitting of Parliament.
“We will remain on the guard, but we hope common sense prevails and hope government instead turn its focus on issues affecting Malawians,” said Kabwila.
But Kasaila said MCP’s fears were unfounded.
“They [MCP] just want to remain relevant. They have nothing to say. We are planning nothing of that sort. As a party, we have not discussed this; we have no idea where this is coming from,” he said.
MCP, whose president and leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera is Monday expected to give an official response to Mutharika’s speech, has faulted it for its failure to address concerns of Malawians on the economy and impending hunger situation.
Kabwila, while welcoming the announcement by Mutharika that his government will finally table the Access to Information (ATI) Bill, faulted the President for failing to articulate clearly how government intends to steer Malawi from the current economic situation.
“The speech was not comprehensive enough; it was too short and lacking in substance. It was almost like a Whatsapp text. It failed to clearly say how government intends to save many millions of our citizens facing hunger despite bold declaration that no one will die of hunger.
“It was out of touch and cannot relate to the common Malawian suffering on the street. On one hand, the President is optimistic about everything and paints a rosy picture on the street. Hospitals are telling people they cannot feed the patients and we wake up to newspaper headlines about worsening food situation,” said Kabwila.
Mutharika delivered a 24-minute speech welcomed by donors as sincere assessment of the country’s situation on Friday while opening the 46th session of the Malawi Parliament.