Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has hit back at President Peter Mutharika over a statement he made on Thursday during a news conference in Lilongwe regarding his two-week trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA.
Mutharika accused MCP of misleading people about the trip and asked the party to apologise.
Speaking at a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Lilongwe on Saturday, MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said the party will not apologise because it has done nothing wrong.
She said it is, actually, government that should apologise for using taxpayers’ money for a bloated entourage to UNGA.
Kabwila said: “MCP cannot apologise and will continue to criticise Mutharika’s government whenever it performs badly. President Mutharika is the one who should apologise for abusing taxpayers’ money by taking a bloated entourage to UNGA. We know that even a chief that once criticised MCP accompanied the President. What was the chief doing at UNGA?”
Kabwila gave government five days to release the list of people who accompanied the President and the names of organisations that sponsored them, saying if government fails to do so MCP will consult Malawians.
Kabwila did also not spare Mutharika on his statement that he was already a millionaire when he returned to Malawi from the US where he was a university professor.
“If he has a lot of money, let him use it to help poor Malawians. For example, at KCH [Kamuzu Central Hospital] the scanner is not working. It needs K25 million to repair it. Let him use the money to solve this problem,” she said.
But Mutharika’s press officer Gerald Viola said in an interview that MCP just wants to disturb Mutharika.
“This is laughable. MCP is just doing this out of frustration. The party always says DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] rigged the vote hence no wonder they always criticise Mutharika’s government even when it does nothing wrong. MCP has leadership crisis as three people are eying for the presidency. Therefore, let the party solve that leadership problem instead of disturbing Mutharika’s leadership,” said Viola.
He said the five-day ultimatum is uncalled for. He said government is not shaken and will continue concentrating on important issues that can develop the country and its citizenry.