Malawi’s President Mutharika asked to “come out of hiding” and solve the political stand off

July 31, 2019
| Report Focus News

Political and social scientists in Malawi have asked President Peter Mutharika to intervene in the southern African nation’s political standoff before the situation goes out of control.

Malawi has been on fire since the announcement of the May 21 general elections results where Mutharika was declared a winner.

While human rights activists and other quarters claim the elections were rigged, two presidential candidates contested in the polls have challenged the results in court.

Thousands of protesters have been marching across the country demanding for the resignation of Jane Ansa, the Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), accusing her of messing up the results of the election.

Some of the government and private property have been damaged in the process by the protesters who have threatened to engage an extra gear on the already volatile situation of Ansa continues on her position.

President Mutharika who has remained quiet on the situation has not been spared, protesters who recently blocked him from passing through the road from Mangochi state lodge to Lilongwe.

A Mzuzu city-based Political and Social commentator Paul Mvula told Report Focus News that the thousands of protesters marching on the streets is a big signal to Mutharika to take action on the calls of the people.

“People from all walks of life have been coming in large numbers to defend their rights through the demonstrations, this is signal to authorities about the wishes of the people.

“What we are expecting is for the appointing authority to excise his powers and remove Jane Ansa from her position because the reparations are just too much on our economy,” Mvula said.

Enerst Thindwa , a political scientist at the University of Malawi says the country’s current political challenges need immediate and proper management before exploding into civil conflict.

“The current political challenges have both negative and positive impact,” he says, “Negative in the sense that it is affecting the economy since investors are not willing to do business in conflict zones , and positive in the sense that Malawians have refused to be taken for granted, and are feeling for their rights.

“Unfortunately, I don’t see much of leadership in our president, I was expecting him to come out of the hiding, accept that we have political challenges and provide ideas on how to address them .”

Thindwa feels that Mutharika’s silence on the matter is rather fueling the standoff.

Malawi’s central bank a few days ago warned the current political impasse would likely affect the “already fragile” economy where the majority live in rural areas and survive on less than US$2 per day.

But a governance expert claims Mutharika would not fire Ansa in the wake of an elections results case currently in court. He also thinks Ansa fears of losing her retirement benefits if she may resign before the end of her contract.

“If indeed the results were messed up in favour of Mutharika, the evidence is likely to be exposed if Jane Ansa is fired or resigns,” said the governance commentator who denied to publish his name for fear of reprisals.

“Even Ansa might have these fears as well, this is why she can’t resign and Mutharika does nothing even now when the situation is heading towards out of control,” he claimed.