Opposition in the country have gone to town, lambasting President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera over contradictory remarks on his powers as Head of State.
Both Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa and the main opposition party in the country, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are describing Chakwera’s contradictory remarks as hopeless and shameful.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Nankhumwa has described the remarks Chakwera that his job is not to lead the country, as disturbing and hopeless.
Chakwera made the remarks on Monday when he was officially opening Conference on Separation of Powers which in Lilongwe.
In his remarks, Chakwera said Malawians should not be expecting that he has powers to fulfill all political promises.
However, Nankhumwa says the remarks are disturbing, noting that they have made Malawians hopeless that government will address socioeconomic challenges the citizens are facing.
Meanwhile Nankhumwa, has said what Chakwera said indicates that the country does not have anyone on the steering wheel to run the affairs of government.
The Leader of Opposition has since challenged Chakwera to take the responsibility of running government affairs and not to change the job description in the middle of the journey.
On the other hand, the DPP says it is “dismayed and horrified” by President Chakwera’s statement.
In a statement, the DPP observes that if Chakwera understood the duties placed upon his shoulders by the Constitution, he would have understood that the buck stops at his doorstep.
“The DPP wonders that if the President is not responsible, then who is? The DPP has always maintained that this country is on auto-pilot.
“There is nobody in charge. That is why everything is going wrong, and the Chakwera administration does not seem to care,” reads the statement signed by DPP spokesperson Shadric Namalomba.
The statement says for clarity of the Republican Constitution, Chakwera is the Head of State comprising of the Executive, Legislature and Parliament.
“The President provides executive leadership by among other tasks appointing a cabinet to manage government ministries and state companies, appointing Secretary to the President to supervise the civil service, appointing the Inspector General of Police and Army Commander of the Defence Forces, and the Head of the Judiciary, the Chief Justice and appointing heads of institutions such as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, the Commissioner General of Malawi Revenue Authority, the Chairperson of Malawi Electoral Commission etc,” reads the statement.
The party says although the President does not appoint the Speaker of Parliament, he exercises significant influence over the Legislature by approving meetings of the assembly as well as assenting to bills passed by same house.
“A president is responsible for ensuring that there is separation of powers in this country, and that each of the separate branches of state are discharging their functions in the manner expected of them.
“Malawians are asking; if Chakwera is not responsible, why did he present himself for election as President? We have countless examples of bizarre things happening in this country for which nobody seems to be in control,” Namalomba said.
DPP cites the East Bridge Estate fertilizer deal, rampant corruption, price escalation, runaway inflation, forex scarcity, food insecurity, as some of the alleged bizarre things happening in the country which require a person at the top to be concerned, take control and find solutions.
While describing him as a failed man, the former governing party says Chakwera knows that he must resign now for causing untold sufferings to Malawians.
“When you listen to Chakwera’s utterances and promises before election, he said he would change everything and that if he does not change anything in two years, he will resign.
“Now he says it is not his job to change anything let alone everything.”