Malawi’s Joyce Banda government has not failed, says Mutharika

Peter MutharikaMalawi’s former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) acting President Peter Arthur Mutharika has suggested that it is too early to judge that the Joyce Banda led government has completely failed. “It is too early… it is just nine months since they are in government and to conclude that they have failed at this point in time is difficult,” observed Mutharika.

Dr. Joyce Banda ascended to the presidency in April last year after the demise of professor Bingu wa Mutharika, elder brother of professor Peter.

Speaking on Tiuzeni Zoona, an interview radio programme on ZBS, Sunday February 16 2013 evening, the DPP acting president was however quick to point out that the current government needs to take the responsibility of reviving the sick economy and refrain from wasting time in blaming the past regime.

Mutharika, who challenged that he is optimistic that a DPP led government would change Malawi to a better nation, expects the current administration to face reality and take charge in solving the problems the country is going through.

He pointed out that Malawians are going through economic hardships with prices of basic needs escalating anyhow mainly due to the sudden implementation of the devaluation and floatation of the Malawi kwacha against the United States dollar.  “Prices of goods have gone up. Malawians are facing hardships and it is surprising that the country continues facing economic crisis when we are told that there are donor inflows,” he wondered.

Professor Mutharika claimed that he has assembled a team of seven economists working on how to put the Malawi economy back on track but said that could not make the document public until the party’s convention.

Mutharika advised the Joyce Banda Peoples Party led government to go back to the drawing board, challenging that if nothing is done it gives the DPP hope that the party would bounce back in government since Malawians are noticing the flaws.

The DPP acting flag carrier disclosed that the party will change the exchange rate because the floatation of the kwacha is greatly affecting the economy.

The economic hardships that the country is going through have forced the country public service to go on strike since last week.

Last month Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA), a consumer’s rights organisation held a peaceful match and petitioned the government on 10 major issues, devaluation and floatation of the kwacha, being one of them.

CAMA warned that if the demands in the petition which happens to be grievances, frustrations and views from consumers throughout the country; within 14 days from January 17 2013 the consumers will resort to continued demonstrations.

And just last week, civil servants after failing to reach an agreement with the government negotiating team on a number of concerns that included the high living costs, went on strike.

Although the Joyce Banda government boasts of having introduced an economic recovery plan among other fiscal measures many economic commentators believe that the government has a lot offer and a long way to turn around the Malawi economy.

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