Activists in Malawi have trashed claims that the just ended by elections in Mzimba successfully served as the litmus test for Joyce Banda’s popularity.

The ruling People’s Party won one seat in the two parliamentary by-elections conducted in Mzimba district.

This made other people to conclude that Joyce Banda has scored a 50% on the litmus test.

However, one well-known activist, Billy Mayaya, argued that the by-elections come far behind serving as the litmus test.

Mayaya, popular for standing against the autocratic regime of Bingu wa Mutharika, wrote on his facebook profile.

“Economic recovery and not by-elections will be PP’s Litmus test!!”, declared Mayaya.

The current regime is facing fresh calls for poor economic recovery plans, and mismanagement of public resources.

Earlier this months, this blogger revealed that civil society organisations in Malawi have ganged up in demanding austerity measures to limit unnecessary government spending.

However, the president has responded that she will not give in to pressure in coming up with economic recovery plans.

As such, commentators have said that Joyce Banda’s administration is reluctant and not ready to suffer together with Malawians or to start respecting people’s rights.

The recent Integrated Household Survey, which quantifies socio-economic development in Malawi, revealed that one third of the country’s population is living under ultra-poverty with extreme deprivation of human basic needs.

The Malawi president also revealed that poverty levels have increased to over 85% from 50% last year.

However, as reported earlier on, the extravagant president declared that she will not reduce her life-size cabinet or her convoy. She also vowed that she will not give to public cries to limit her globetrotting.

Such critics include Rafiq Hajat, John Kapito, Undule Mwakasungula and have been joined by CONGOMA, PAC and HRCC.

These organisations played a key role in standing up against Mutharika.
Joseph Mabvuto Kachali, an independent candidate won the seat in Mzimba Central while Mzimba South West went to Raymond Nkhata of People’s Party.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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