Malawi President Mutharika under fire

Malawi President Mutharika under fire

LILONGWE (Muchanakhwaye Khwepeya, Malawi NewsNow )- Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have asked Peter Mutharika to abdicate from his office , accusing him of failing to take charge of the affairs of the nation which they noted is on the brink of collapse.

The CSOs’ made their demand for Mutharika to go ein a statement they issued at a presser in Lilongwe on Wednesday October 14,2015.

The CSOs who signed the statement include Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Human Rights Defenders Forum, Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Civil and Political Space Platform as well as human rights activists Martha Kwataine and Billy Mayaya.

Others are Moses Mkandawire from Civil and Political Space Platform, Charles Kajoloweka of Youth and Society, Desmond Mhango of Centre for Youth an Children’s Affair and Bright Kampaundi from Forum for National Development.

They argue that the sad state of the country’s democratic and economic governance, water as well as electricity crisis, attest to Mutharika’s failure.

“Of late, we have witnessed with alarm large-scale challenges such as water and electricity crisis, ills in the education and health sectors and a cloud of uncertainty over the Farm Input Subsidy Program [Fisp] in the agriculture sector,” reads the statement.

“We have also seen a country fast receding into an old-age political and economic malaise: A country where pursuit of corrupt cases alsia Cashgate is highly skewed towards offering immunity to those in power while coming the hardest on the weak.”

The CSOs also argue that Mutharika is compromising interests of the general public “to serve vain, selfish and partisan interests.”

“Many Malawians are enduring the effects of poor governance under the current administration, yet the President has chosen to plunder hard earned taxpayers’ money with an air of unbridled entitlement. This is an insult of the highest order, and not befitting the high office of the land,” state the CSOs.

On Public Service Reforms, the CSOs argue gains being made are only on paper and nothing substantive is being achieved on the ground, further branding the programme “a window-dressing exercise aimed at gaining cheap political mileage”.

“The mere fact that the establishment and functions of the Public Reform Programme Commission by-passed parliamentary approval calls the legality and legitimacy of the body itself into serious question,” the CSO’s claim.

Among other recommendations, the CSOs have urged Mutharika to reduce local as well as international travels and revise the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme budget and adjust downward the newly introduced fees in schools.

They have also urged Mutharika to respect and protect media freedom, by among others, signing the much-awaited Table Mountain Declaration, and fully supporting the enactment of the Access to Information Bill (ATI).