The ruling People’s Party (PP) has fired back at its predecessor Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) describing it as “fitted with a broken thermostat”.
This follows the latter’s criticism of the failure of the Joyce Banda administration to address a range of observations it says it put forward as an opposition party.
The DPP released a statement last week in which it accused the Banda administration of executive arrogance by not responding to issues of concern.
It said the government is restricting press freedom and has been unresponsive to the plight of Malawians.
In the statement, the DPP also pointed out lack of economic prudence and governance, lack of respect of women by some top officials in the Banda government as well as the messing up of this year’s subsidy programme.
But the PP has lashed back through a strongly-worded statement signed by Publicity Secretary, Hophmally Makande.
According to the PP, the DPP has no moral ground to accuse President Banda and her government on executive arrogance and on the many other issues it has outlined.
“The [DPP] statement … confirms abundantly the fears of all sensible Malawians that the DPP is fitted with a broken thermostat, which is why the party lacks in variables of self-regulation…,” reads the scathing PP statement in part.
Tackling the specific issues raised, the PP turns the issues head on indicating the DPP was a worse performer in those issues.
“The DPP deserves the favour of reminding, like any small child, that executive arrogance has known parents in Malawi. Their names are Bingu wa Mutharika (may his soul rest in peace) and the DPP. The former is the father and the latter is the mother,” reads the statement dated November 4, 2012.
The PP says it was Mutharika’s arrogance which caused Malawi a lot of problems including severing of ties with key donor partners and led to the current economic challenges.
“President Banda does not need to take lectures from the DPP’s school of urgency because she graduated into understanding and responding speedily to people’s needs long before leaders of the DPP enlisted into that school,” argues the PP.
According to the PP, there is no lack of press freedom and rule of law as was the case during the former regime which introduced draconian laws which the current government has repealed.
Against accusations of dismissals of government officials without proper grounds, the PP says none of the officials has been removed illegally.
“There is no known law that has been violated by shifting people around,” it says.
But a political analyst from University of Malawi Blessings Chinsinga has described the tussle between the two political parties as unnecessary, saying such confrontational outburst will not benefit Malawians.
Chinsinga said while it is common knowledge that people had concerns with the DPP on a number of issues, it is unfair on the part of the PP to condemn the DPP’s observations on issues of governance.
He said the PP government should understand that as a party in the opposition, the DPP has an obligation to criticise and offer the necessary checks and balances.
He advised the PP adminidtration not to use the DPP’s performance as a benchmark or justification for its conduct and actions while in power.
“What matters at the end of the day is not which party emerges stronger in this fight but whether the life of an ordinary Malawian has improved,” he said.
He added that PP needs to understand that it will be judged on whether people’ lives have improved or not.
“The PP has that opportunity to demonstrate that they can be different and are willing to improve the welfare of Malawians,” said Chinsinga.
He advised the DPP to concentrate on what it would do differently if Malawians were to give it a second chance to run the affairs of the country.
In its 13-issue statement, the DPP raised concerns on the handling of the Malawi-Tanzania dispute on Lake Malawi border, government’s apparent bending on the Economic Partnership Agreement without critically assessing it and reluctance to implement Section 65.
It also questioned the executive’s inaction on calls for it to declare assets, the increase in public university fees from K25,000 to K55,000, lack of respect for women and lack of economic prudence.
The DPP went out of government suddenly in April this year following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika.