Former ruling People’s Party (PP) has called on President Peter Mutharika to resign within the next 30 days.
Among others, PP says “high level of nepotism and tribalism, favouritism and ill-will in dealing with corruption, introduction of tax on water and hiking university fees and maize price” are the reasons behind the call.
The party has since warned that failure to resign or call for a referendum will force it to call for civil disobedience.
But government has hit back, saying PP has no moral ground to accuse Mutharika on corruption fight.
PP, through administrative secretary Joseph Chikwemba, who is also leader of its youth wing, Orange Partners, also accuses Mutharika of failing to introduce policies that would build investor and donor confidence.
In a statement on Thursday, Chikwemba said the party is of the view that majority of citizens have lost trust in Mutharika, hence he cannot continue exercising presidential powers but to resign with immediate effect or seek a fresh mandate.
“The President and his government have demonstrated favouritism and ill-will in the way they are handling issues of corruption. Malawians are aware how the case of [former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George] Chaponda is being handled. President Peter Mutharika defied a court order by sending Chaponda to Germany as a minister while the High Court injunction was in force,” he said.
Chikwemba also argues that the social and economic rights of Malawians are deliberately being violated, citing raising the price of a 50 kilogramme bag of maize from K5 000 to MK12 500 and university tuition fees “to amounts disproportionate to people’s ability to pay”.
Adds the statement: “President Mutharika has introduced tax on water and other essentials. Malawi has limited access to potable water and the introduction of tax on water will make it even harder for most Malawians to access water and most of these individuals will resort into drinking from unprotected wells or directly from polluted rivers.
“President Mutharika is failing to employ teachers, doctors and nurses trained through the tax payers money. He is also failing to resolve the issue of continuous black-outs by Escom and erratic water supply. We are condemning high level of nepotism and tribalism practiced by Peter Mutharika.”
Meanwhile, government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who is also Minister Information and Communications Technology, laughed off the accusations.
Said Dausi: “This mess we are in started during their [PP] time, and we are trying hard to clear the mess. There was morass of corruption and total disregard of State protocol during their time, so they have no moral ground to talk about financial prudence.
“It is the duty of this government to ensure that anybody involved in corruption is taken to court, and we must let the Anti-Corruption Bureau do its job with independence. PP has no moral ground to talk about this.” n