Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader John Tembo on Tuesday accused President Bingu wa Mutharika of exceeding his mandate on the devaluation of the kwacha.
Mutharika, during the opening of the 43rd Session of Parliament on Friday, said it would be difficult to devalue the kwacha unless there was a guarantee to protect the poor from high commodity prices resulting from devaluation.
He said devaluation was not a panacea for solving MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s problems, but used only as part of the solution.
But Tembo, speaking to Capital Radio, said the decision to devalue the kwacha rested with the Reserve Bank of Malawi as enshrined in the Constitution and not Mutharika or State House.
Section 185 (1) of the Constitution reads: Ã¢â‚¬Å“There shall be established by an Act of Parliament a central bank of the Republic known as the Reserve Bank of Malawi which shall serve as the StateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s principal instrument for the control of money supply, currency and the institutions of finance and shall serve generally in accordance with the normal functions of a central bankÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Tembo argued that MutharikaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s statement, in essence, stopped RBM from doing its job.
Presidential spokesperson Dr Hetherwick Ntaba said Tembo is just politicking because Mutharika is the overall in-charge of everything that goes on in the country.
Said Ntaba: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tembo should not pose as a champion of democratic process because his knowledge is based on the one party rule under MCP.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mutharika listens and gets advice from RBM, the Ministry of Finance, economists, business people before he makes policiesÃ¢â‚¬Â.
RBM spokesperson Ralph Tseka said he could not comment on political debates.
An IMF technical support team which visited Malawi in December last year to help government get back on track with its Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Programme called for a devaluation of the kwacha to about K250 per dollar to solve the prevailing acute shortage of forex that has crippled the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s economy.