By Chisomo Phiri
Former President Arthur Peter Mutharika, who is also leader for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has demanded that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera should immediately fix the country’s ailing economy like the way he did when he was leader of the country.
Speaking at a press briefing he organized on Friday at his Page House in Mangochi, Mutharika said during his time as president, he managed to improve the economy tenfold unlike Chakwera’s government, which is spending money through frequent traveling.
The former Malawi leader blamed Chakwera’s government for allowing the 44 percent devaluation, saying it is not a solution, but is killing Malawians who are very poor.
“This agony, misery we are facing is intolerable and we need solutions with immediate effect,”said Mutharika.
He said the Tonse Alliance government is bent on nothing but self-enrichment and nepotism.
He said: ”The Chakwera administration has mismanaged this economy as the 44% is coming at the back of another 20% devaluation done last year.
“The Malawi kwacha has become a valueless currency.We are buried under the rubble of poverty.”
The former president accused President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration of being clueless, saying so far it has borrowed K8 trillion against DPP’s 1.8 trillion in six years.
Mutharika further said the current administration is busy borrowing and spending on trivial things including unimportant foreign trips.
The DPP leader said the party left an import cover of 6 months but now is at 10 days.
He said the Affordable Inputs (AIP) Programme is currently in a mess and there is need for President Chakwera to quickly provide solutions to the challenges affecting the programme.
Mutharika also described Chakwera’s recently announced austerity measures in the wake of the harsh 44 percent kwacha devaluation as merely cosmetic.
He said nothing will come out of these measures to rescue the poor citizens; stressing Chakwera only talks but fails to implement.
Mutharika then advised President Lazarus Chakwera to reduce the number of presidential advisors from 23 to five, saying advisors are a complete waste of money.
“The advisors do nothing. I was there when Bingu was president and I was president for 6 years and I did not receive a single memo on any matter from an advisor,” said Mutharika, adding that he had five advisors and 20 ministers when he left the government.
Among other DPP senior officials that attended the briefing include former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe, DPP Eastern Region Vice President Bright Nsaka and Administrative Secretary Francis Mphepo.