Bingu’s Speech in the Eyes of JZU
Amid a standing ovation from the opposition lawmakers, Malawi’s Leader of Opposition, Mr. John Tembo walked slowly but majestically towards the podium.
This was time for the leader of opposition to respond to the president’s state of the nation address titled the parliament as agent of development.
“Mr. Speaker, Sir,” he started, the voice sounding horsy and deep. “I stand before you and the whole house to deliver my response to the address which was made by the President on Friday 3rd February, 2012 on the occasion of the opening of the 43rd Session of Parliament.”
Mr. Tembo said he was surprised that what the president delivered in the house was termed as “State of the Nation” address when in fact, according to him, it was just a mere speech.
“Even as a mere speech, what we listened to last Friday fell short of the expectations of most of us on the opposition side and, indeed, fell short of expectations of most Malawians out there,” said the Opposition Leader.
He said Malawi is sailing through troubles waters and that he expected the president to outline strategies that would make the country swim across.
“And every one of us was expecting the Head of State to mention some of those problems and challenges and outline the measures that government is putting in place in order to alleviate those problems,
“This is what could have given hope to this nation that government is aware of the problems that people are facing and also that government is working both tirelessly and seriously in trying to solve those problems. And I want to submit to you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Speech which we listened to here on Friday last week, did not inspire hope,” said Tembo
In his address, President Mutharika went to town on the country’s Civil Society Organizations, accusing them of being agents of external forces that would like to topple his government.
“These external forces are encouraging our detractors to bring chaos, lawlessness, and disobedience so as to foster regime change in our country,” said the President.
In his speech, the President proposed introduction of a law that will ensure accountability in funding for local Non Government Organisations.
“Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me now talk about accountability by CSOs. To whom are they accountable? I would propose that parliament must find effective means of providing legislative oversight on the NGOs utilization of resources they receive from donors. In other words, legislation must be passed to make CSOs accountable. This is one of the aspects parliament can introduce as the agent of change,” said Mutharika.
But reacting to the call Mr. Tembo said his party, MCP, and the entire opposition, will oppose any attempts to pass laws aimed at curtailing or frustrating activities of CSO’s.
According to Mr. Tembo, the kind of laws proposed by the president should only be enacted by regimes which are autocratic in nature, and not by those that profess to be democratic.
Mr. Tembo said the opposition doesn’t want to be part and parcel of a House that passes what he called bad laws, which would later be challenged in the courts.
Throughout this week the Malawi parliament is debating the president’s state of the nation address.—Zodiak online
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