President Mutharika was reacting to the 27th April protests that were organised by some leaders of the civil society in the country, in his State of the Nation Address delivered in Parliament on Friday. This was the first the President has commented on the matter.
Said the President: “They wanted to create a state of chaos, panic and fear to make Malawi ungovernable. While we are rebuilding the economy, there are people who think of destroying it. This is unacceptable. We enjoy our freedom of expression. But our political freedom must never bring disorder in this country. We want to develop this country.”
The demonstrations, among others, were in protest of the MK4billion Bill discussed and passed in the last sitting of Parliament.
And in an apparent reference to the Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera who participated in both the passing of the bill and demonstrations, President Mutharika urged leaders in the country to start respecting the pillars of Malawi’s governance system.
“There are people who cannot respect the principles of our governance. Our respect for governance must begin with our respect for this August House. We cannot be Parliamentarians who make laws in this House and go out to demonstrate against our own laws. This spirit of lawlessness cannot be accepted,” he said.
In the statement, which was under the theme: delivering sustainable development. President Mutharika further maintained that his administration has rescued the economy from falling on top of putting the country on the path of development again.
“The question is not whether Malawi is developing or not. The question is: which way is Malawi developing? Every time I come to address this House, we all want to know the policy direction we are taking this country,” he said.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera is expected to lead the opposition block of Parliament into responding to the SONA on Monday.