The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) through its Spokesperson, Dr. Jessie Kabwira says the party has been vindicated by the findings of Afrobarometer’s Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR) which revealed that the President Peter Mutharika is not trusted and Malawi was in wrong direction under his one year rule, saying the party was really robbed victory in the 2014 Tripartite elections.
Dr. Kabwira was reacting to the recent study by Afrobarometer’s IPOR led by Boniface Dulani of University of Malawi released on Monday June 16, 2015 which showed that President Mutharika is not trusted even at his home district, Thyolo but rather in Rumphi district.
In an exclusive interview with the Maravi Post on Sunday, June 21, 2015, Dr. Kabwira said was not surprised with the outcome of the survey considering the way DPP robbed victory in the tripartite elections which finally MCP has been vindicated on its earlier general outcry of the elections’ results.
“This is very interesting just a year in office, even people from your own home which a person gets more support, you are not trusted, what more with those who don’t know you, will they walk with you?.
“This just shows DPP are ruling behind back door by stealing MCP’S victory. Even, Malawi Human Rights Commission’s reports stated that elections were not credible. Isn’t the same Afrobarometer which predicted victory to DPP, now is saying something different?
“MCP is the party Malawians must trust. We will be monitoring very closely on other critical issues such as the MK92 billion report which government is failing to release in parliament as reports show that DPP gurus are implicated in the saga”, says Kabwira.
With the report’s title, “Democratic Governance and People’s Assessment of President Peter Munthalika’s One Year in Office”, the survey was conducted in three districts, Rumph, Salima and Thyolo established under political assessment that there are low levels of trust ratings for Mutharika in Thyolo and Salima.
The study had a representative sample of people 18 years and above and used quota system through face-to-face interviews in their Chichewa, Chitumbuka, or English in few cases as interviews were done between March and May 2, 2015.
The key findings of the study are negativity where seven in ten (70%) respondents from the three districts say the country is heading in a wrong direction under Mutharika. More than three quarters of Malawians in the three districts say that the country’s economic situation is bad or very bad while nearly seven in 10, about 69%, rate their current economic situation was equally negative.
In the report, Dulani said the survey on the aspect of trust was conducted in view of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Election Manifesto, 2014, on page 17 tilted Principles of Good Governance which states that the DPP will strengthen a government that is accountable to the people and that can be trusted and will engage the best men and women who have the highest integrity to implement government programs.
“During this year under review there has also been lack of leadership on critical issues including salaries for ministers, failure to resolve the NAC funding to First Lady’s body-BEAM TRUST, Judicial strikes, MSB sale and their focus on trivia.
“Much as the President said we focus on trivia, we would also want to point out that they have also been focusing on trivia like painting of the police cell at Lumbadzi in Lilongwe.
“Government has also failed to demonstrate on accountability and transparency to whom considering the ambiguity in the asset declaration law which requires that on should apply in order to access the so called public information.
“Another interesting observation not related to the survey is that there are still lingering questions about liberalization of the public media such as MBC while no major progress on promises to trim presidential powers has so far been made.
“However, it might be too early to pass judgment on the Muthalika presidency from a democracy and governance perspective after only a year in office but it was still important to acknowledge that there have been a few promising sign, but some not-so- promising ones as well but people have passed their judgment which is mostly negative”, concludes Dulani in the report.
However, Presidential adviser on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Mabvuto Bamusi said the results are not true reflection of what is happening on the ground as the survey has largely depended on politics.
“Performance ratings show that majority of Malawians, 59% are happy with the President however, on mistrust can be a result of where the country is coming from in terms of leadership”, defends Bamusi.