In his State of the Nation Address (Sona) yesterday President Peter Mutharika touched on most pressure points the country needs to urgently address if it is to move forward.
Mutharika talked about how government intends to tackle corruption, grow the economy, improve health delivery service, education, put food on people’s tables, improve transport infrastructure, energy and mining sector and the need for peace. He also stated how his government intends to actualise what they have promised the people.
Another breath of fresh air in the Sona was the emphasis to end policy discontinuities and what he termed short-termism in “our thinking in this country”. Hence the establishment of the National Planning Commission to see to it that when governments change, policies and national strategies must continue beyond an outgoing government.
But, unfortunately Mutharika’s audience were members of Parliament from his political party. Opposition legislators walked out because they do not recognise him as President.
What Mutharika needs to do now is to reach out to everybody. He needs to devise a system that would enable him to get mandate from the people.
It is against this background that we urge the President to sober up and desist from demonising opposition leaders. His assertion that “two political leaders discussed the possibility of exploding Kamuzu Stadium on the day of his swearing-in ceremony” is totally misplaced and out of sync with efforts to unite the country. This is a serious allegation. If Mutharika has compelling evidence that there are some political leaders who planned to bring Al-Shabaab to cause anarchy in Malawi, why not allow the law to take its course?