ROAD TO 2025: Daggers drawn as Mutharika presses pressure on Chakwera for the ballot


Former Malawi President Peter Mutharika has for the fifth time running set the tone for the 2025 general polls as the evident challenger for the incumbent Lazarus Chakwera whom he vehemently accuses of ultimate poor governance and a spiral of underdevelopment.

Mutharika, who is also leader for the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has made the fresh intent for the ballot in the wake of alleged attacks on members of his party by youths assumed to belong to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), a party that Chakwera leads.

Until now, Mutharika has been thumping the Chakwera administration following the devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha which has in turn eroded the incomes of most Malawians while at the same time causing a sharp increase in the prices of basic commodities.

“They [MCP] tried to bring criminal charges against me but they failed. They tried to steal the DPP from us through other agents in DPP but they also failed. Now they are trying to bring age capping bill in Parliament to stop me from contesting in 2025 but they will fail again. I am coming back to rescue Malawi from destruction. I did it before and I will do it again. I will contest in 2025 and I am going to win the presidency because the work of my hands will testify for me,” he said.

He called on Malawians to “wake up” to the return of the MCP’s brutal tactics, vowing “We will never allow the brutal MCP to bring back the oppressive, abusive and blood-thirsty autocratic rule again in this country. Never!”

But, the MCP has not taken Mutharika’s remarks plainly. The oldest party’s spokesperson Ezekiel Ching’oma described Mutharika’s sentiments as laughable and baseless.

He is quoted as having said:  “Mutharika’s party is the one party that has a history of underwriting violence, promoting hatred or rabble-rousing conflict in this country. We have noted that the former president is surrounded by fortune seekers and they will lead him into the wrong way. Isn’t this the time for him to retire?’’

The 83 year old Professor of Law who lost in the 2020 fresh presidential elections after his initial win was annulled by the courts has meanwhile launched a daring call for Malawians to vote for him in the polls due in September next year.

“I am also urging all the well-meaning Malawians to support our efforts that are aimed at reclaiming power and restore Malawi’s dignity because Malawi is in current bad shape because of the current clueless government,” he said.

The Southern African nation has been embroiled in an economic downturn which is heavily as a result of the devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha by 44 percent, which has led to bloated pricing of goods and services which has been detrimental to the economy.

The nation has also been on a failure to create jobs for the youthful population, a situation that has led to a labor export deal involving over a hundred thousand youths to Israel.

Before assuming the office of the President, Chakwera and nine other leaders of other political parties came to full popularity at the back of a promise to create more jobs for the youths, who form the country’s largest population.

In his more recent, State of the Nation Address, Chakwera insisted that his administration has created over nine hundred thousand jobs, which he says is a good target towards the intended one million goal.

But, the figures are being described as unrealistic by human resources related industries.

The Employers Consultative Association of Malawi through Executive Director George Khaki feels the figures are not the actual presentation.

 “The economy is still facing significant challenges. Besides Covid-19, I think we have supply chain disruption and high inflation rate which is depressing demand of supply of goods and services, making companies not to sale more of their goods and services,’’ says Khaki.

Recently, the Pan African Visions also reported a story in which a state agency admitted in a statement that some people are attempting to backdate their dates of birth so as to earn slots in the police and army departments.

The unemployment rate in Malawi decreased to 5 percent in 2023 from 5.10 percent in 2022.

The figures averaged 5.02 percent from 1991 until 2023, reaching an all-time high of 5.80 percent in 2021 and a record low of 4.60 percent in 1997, according to the International Labor Office.

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