Despite growing threat to his presidency in the forthcoming fresh polls, President Peter Mutharika continues to exude a character of a president going nowhere, talking politics in the short to long term.
Speaking in a pre-recorded State of the Nation speech in Parliament yesterday, Mutharika took a swipe at the judiciary for being party to a section of society wanting to subvert the will of the people by removing him from power before the lapse of his 5 years mandate.
The Malawi leader pledged continued development despite enormous challenges brought about by political unrest and the COVID-19 crisis.
Mutharika said although post-election violence and Coronavirus has shaken the economy in the post fiscal year, the economy will remain defiantly resilient under his leadership.
He added that the country will continue to do well because his government will continue standing on solid economic fundamentals.
“We will maintain recording low interest rates, stable currency, single digit inflation rates and low budget deficits”, he explained.
On trade and Industry Development, Mutharika said government will continue to undertake several reforms to facilitate an enabling environment for investments.
He cited the electronic permit system that has reduced the time such as business residence permit and temporary permit from six months to five days as another enabler.
On health, Mutharika has pledged to continue providing enough resources for pocurement, storage and distribution of medical supplies in the country.
He condemned political violence in the country and asked for unity saying that is what will develop Malawi.
Mutharika then asked Members of Parliment to do their job right as they are proceeding with their deliberations in the August house.
On COVID19, Mutharika said pandemic is real and asked Malawians to stop politicizing the pandemic and work together in fighting against its further spread.
He added his government’s commitment to work on improving food security, infrastructure development, fight against corruption, strengthening bilateral relationships with other countries, among others.
Although, President Mutharika addressed the assembly in a recorded speech , members of parliament from the opposition were against the recorded address.
According to Leader of Opposition, Robin Lowe, Mutharika was supposed to avail himself to parliament as per the Constitutional provision.
“Mutharika should have given the public the reason he has not addressed Parliament physically,” observed Lowe.
But speaker of the House, Catherine Gotani Hara said while the Constitution requires Mutharika to address the August house physically, the recorded speech is still acceptable in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which requires the house to hold some meetings virtually.
Meanwhile, Parliament has issued COVID-19 Prevention measures among which old people such as Mutharika are encouraged to stay at home.