Chakwera promised heaven to Malawians during campaign

MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-Karonga Diocese based Loose Cannon Bishop, Martin Mtumbuka, of the Catholic Church has taken a swipe at the Tonse Alliance government and its partners to work with President Lazarus Chakwera in fixing the country’s economy which is now in bad shape.

Speaking at the weekend during the annual New Year’s Day Special Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Karonga District, Bishop Mtumbuka said the country’s economy is nosediving and Malawians are suffering.

While emphasising much on social economic challenges facing the country, Bishop Mtumbuka said the state of the economy is negatively affecting the welfare of people, especially the rural masses who are mostly poor.

“It is no secret that people in 2021 struggled to make ends meet due to economic challenges the country is going through. Let us join hands to pray for the country.

“But also, the Tonse Alliance leadership must work to fix the economy for the betterment of the poor. Leaders of the other political parties in the Tonse Alliance government, who seem to have abandoned Chakwera, must come out of their cocoon and help the President with solutions to the country’s financial challenges,” said Mtumbuka.

Nevertheless, Mtumbuka praised Chakwera for his humility and stand towards people’s concerns over harsh living standards, but said more ought to be done to ease people’s suffering.

He added: “I, therefore, urge his fellow Tonse Alliance government partners to work hand in hand in 2022 to bail Malawians out of their miserable economic challenges.”

The bishop also hailed the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) leadership for fighting corruption in the just ended year.

He advised the ACB, the Judiciary and police to continue to deal with corruption which he said is pulling development down.

There are nine political parties in the Tonse Alliance administration, which include: Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM Party whose leader is the country’s Vice- President, Saulos Chilima, People’s Party of former president Joyce Banda and Alliance for Democracy (Aford) just to mention afew.

Commenting on the Bishop’s remarks, Aford president, Enock Chihana, said the problem was that partners have little say in the affairs of running government as they are only part of the political system.

He said in as much as they are in government, the key responsibility of advising the President on policies and the economy lie in the hands of Cabinet ministers and presidential advisers.

“There is one President at a time. Our role as partners is to advise him at individual level, but his ministers conduct routine caucuses which we are not part of.

“We are part of the political system and not government system, so, we can’t make any meaningful contribution,” said Chihana.

Concurring with Chihan, University of Malawi political commentator, Ernest Thindwa, agreed with not only Chihana, but also Mtumbuka, saying Cabinet ministers have a bigger role to play.

He said: “Bishop Mtumbuka is right. But I wouldn’t fault the leadership of the nine political parties in the Tonse Alliance government. I feel most Cabinet ministers have slept on their jobs.

“There is poor service delivery and so far, there is no significant change through service delivery which this horde of ministers has miserably failed.”

But Minister of Information Gospel Kazako on Monday, January 3, 2022 said government is mitigating the “pain created by the negatively-altered economy”.

He said time without number Chakwera has acknowledged the cries, pain and discomfort that the people are passing through due to the economic challenges.

Kazako, who is the official government spokesperson, said: “Much as this is a global economic malaise, we are doing all we can to ensure we mitigate the pain created by the negatively altered economy.

“This is why the President designed a Social Economic Recovery Plan which is meant to be a two-year blueprint that will escalate the process of realigning the economy by recalibrating several sectors inter-agriculture, infrastructure development, mining, manufacturing, value addition, creation of youth employment and tourism. All this will be done to inject an active adrenaline in the economy.”

He said government hopes that the plan will increase Malawi’s exports to stimulate the economy.

In 2021, the economic situation in the country worsened, sparking protests from concerned civil society groups who asked government to address the problems.

The highlighted problems included rising cost of living, unemployment and need for the Tonse Alliance administration to implement campaign promises.

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