The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has defended Malawi President Joyce Bandaâ€™s administration, arguing it is premature to call for its resignation based on the current economic problems facing the country.
PAC publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali, in an e-mail response to a questionnaire on Tuesday, observed that while it appreciates the economic hardships Malawians are going through, it is also important to note that the late president Bingu wa Mutharika left the economy in bad shape.
PACâ€™s position comes against a background of a call last week by the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) that the Banda administration has failed to defend Malawians from economic and social challenges in the aftermath of the 49 percent devaluation of the local currency; hence, it should step down.
During the March 15-16 2012 PAC All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, Munthali said some participants had observed that Malawians needed to tighten their belts as devaluation of the kwacha was the only direction to take.
Mutharika, who died of cardiac arrest on April 5 2012, refused to devalue the kwacha, arguing that doing so would hurt the majority of Malawians who are poor.
No quick solution
Said Munthali in his response on Tuesday said: â€œI do not think there are quick solutions to the situation. Let us be realistic on these issues. No one should expect economic miracles within this short period of time.â€
He said during the follow up conference which PAC, a civil society inter-faith organisation comprising the main protestant, Catholic and Muslim faith groups in Malawi, is expected to convene, stakeholders would be expected to express their views on the current leadership.
Said Munthali: â€œIn short, with due respect, we believe Malawians will still have to go through such hardships given our economic status. There is no short-cut to economic recovery. To this end, PAC would be reluctant to quickly join calls for the leadership to step down. We are not protecting or defending any leadership but simply being objective after analysing the way things are progressing.â€
Munthali, however, said the leadership should be seen to be suffering together with the rest of Malawians by reducing expenditure.
Last week, Cama executive director John Kapito saidit was not wrong for the government to devalue the kwacha, but argued the authorities did not understand the implications, thereby failing to put in place mechanisms of mitigating the effects of such action.
Presidential press secretary Steve Nhlane argued Kapitoâ€™s advice might not be in good faith, claiming he was speaking like a bitter man after he was not re-elected into the Malawi Human Rights Commission.