Kachali to blame on Atupele’s resignation


A renowned economic commentator has backed Atupele Muluzi’s resignation as Minister of Economic Planning and Development, saying Vice President Khumbo Kachali’s outburst against him could have compromised Muluzi’s effectiveness in the implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP).

In his statement of resignation, Atupele cited “uncomplimentary public comments against him by some members of PP [People’s Party], including Vice-President Khumbo Kachali” among grounds behind his decision.

“If the reasons he has cited are indeed true, then I believe his effectiveness to implement the Economic Recovery Plan would have been compromised had he remained in his position as Minister for Economic Planning and Development under the PP-led government considering the fact that the ERP was launched by the same vice president,” said Henry Kachaje, who is Managing Director for Business Consult Africa.

Kachaje, however, pointed out the need for stakeholders working on the ERP to avoid politicking and instead pull in the same direction if the country is to move out of the economic mess.

He said Malawi is at a critical point where all relevant authorities working on the task of turning the economy around must be united and work as a team.

He said it was important for President Joyce Banda to fully understand the importance of the now vacant Ministry of Economic Planning and Development for the recovery of the country’s fragile economy.

“I am sure she is aware that her government’s performance will largely be judged by how well she manages the economic recovery process,” said Kachaje.

He said the resignation of Muluzi should give the president the opportunity to appoint someone who is also competent and fully knowledgeable in the field of economics and strong enough to do what is right, not what is popular, to stay on course for the economy to recover and start growing and developing.

Meanwhile, government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu said yesterday the ERP will not be affected in anyway by the resignation of Muluzi.

Kunkuyu said the ERP is a Malawi government concept and that the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development is simply an implementing agent.

“Malawians need to appreciate that the whole government machinery is still there and that it is only a single individual who has moved out,” said Kunkuyu.

Muluzi announced his resignation from the Joyce Banda Cabinet barely six months after being hired to resuscitate the ailing economy.

The UDF national chairman cited the castigation that leaders of the governing People’s Party (PP) reportedly treated him through at the weekend when the president addressed rallies in Zomba and Mangochi as the reason for his resignation.

Atupele said he was “appalled and mortified” by the public comments that the PP members uttered against him.

“I therefore, as a matter of principle, do not believe that I can continue to serve as a member of the cabinet with the honour and dignity that is requisite for the performance of such duties and responsibilities incumbent with such a position,” said Atupele in his resignation press release.

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