By IOMMIE CHIWALO
While from the myopic look of things President Lazarus Chakwera’s last night national address carried some sense, commentators feel it was one of the useless and untimely “bragging show” that ought not to be tolerated in the twenty first century.
People are confusing the current approved US$174 Extended Credit Facility by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with the 2006 scenario whereby Malawi had her debts cancelled.
Commenting on the last night’s address which was delayed for an hour after Chakwera heard of the ECF approval and returned his prepared speech to include the news from the Britton Woods Foundation, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) says it was a bragging show whereby Chakwera stoop so low to brag about the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF).
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa has since called on Malawians not to celebrate and instead get worried more especially because no country in the world ever developed using aid.
“Sad that this day and age, our leader would like us to join him in celebrating loans and aid. Apparently, he is not aware that Simply put what we call aid is someone’s hard earned money in a form of tax. A serious leader would not maintain the larger than life cabinet while shamelessly going around with a begging bowel to donors to feed his people,” says Namiwa.
The CDEDI Executive Director says what Chakwera has done is technically to validate the assertion that he prescribes bitter pills to everyone save for himself and his cronies.
“From his address, it is clear that he would like to maintain the bloated cabinet, crowd of advisors and his huge salary. He said nothing on what will benefit Malawians from the previous 25 percent devaluation and he heartlessly justified the evil 44 percent meltdown without thinking of the majority poor that have been pushed into poverty overnight,” he said.
CDEDI maintains its stand that Chakwera is a threat to the survival of the very people who he was supposed to protect in the first place.
“Sadly, his address was the usual rhetoric coupled with blame game typical of a failure,” noted Namiwa.
In a related development, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has said what Chakwera said in his speech inspires hope but asked him to move away from empty rhetorics and implement what he said by walking the talk.
Giving impression that he is siding with the locals, President Chakwera assured the nation that no one, including himself, will be spared from the pain that Malawians are going through.
He has since announced a suspension of all his international trips up to March next year, citing the next COP 28 in Dubai as an example.
Apart from slashing fuel provisions by half, Chakwera has also suspended all international travels for all cabinet ministers, senior government officials, as well as those in statutory corporations.