News / Africa

    Malawians Hope Ruling Party Has New Governance Style

    FILE - Newly elected Malawian president Peter Mutharika greets supporters after he was sworn in at the High Court in Blantyre, Malawi, May 31, 2014.
    FILE - Newly elected Malawian president Peter Mutharika greets supporters after he was sworn in at the High Court in Blantyre, Malawi, May 31, 2014.
    Lameck Masina
    People in Malawi say they expect in a change in the governing style of the Democratic Progress Party (DPP), which returned to power this week under a new president, Peter Mutharika.  During the previous DPP administration, the country faced economic challenges after donors withdrew their aid, citing poor governance.  The new president has promised that will change. 

    The challenges Malawians faced during the leadership of late president Bingu wa Mutharika included acute shortages of fuel, scarcity of foreign exchange and ever increasing prices of goods and services on the market.

    This may explain why more than 60 percent of Malawians did not vote for his younger brother during last month's elections, which Peter Mutharika won with just 37 percent of the total presidential votes.

    The new president directly addressed those concerns in his inaugural speech Monday.  He promised Malawians a change in leadership style.

    “Those of you who have been worried I can assure you that the DPP has changed.  And therefore we have learned from the past, as I said at my brother’s funeral [two years ago] that maybe he made mistakes in the past, it was out of judgment and not out of evil.  But of course we will make different decisions,” he said.

    But he added that his administration will renew some policies of the former DPP administration, including initiatives for greater food production, development of rural areas, and empowerment of women.

    President Mutharika takes power after the corruption scandal known as "Cashgate" and a disputed election that was challenged by the outgoing president, Joyce Banda.

    Mutharika called for unity among Malawians in helping him to rebuild the country.

    But human rights campaigner Timothy Mtambo tells VOA that it might be hard to fully trust what the new president says, because citizens were sorely disappointed by the administration of his older brother.

    “For instance, during the first term in office of Bingu wa Mutharika, he had a lot of pressure from the opposition and delivered what Malawians expected," he said.  "And the nation thought if they would give him full mandate with the majority, he will do better but to the expectations of the citizens it worked to the opposite.”

    President Mutharika invited all 11 other presidential candidates to help him rebuild the country, promising to approach them one by one in the near future.  He also said his administration will have a 20-member Cabinet, half the size of previous governments, to cut down on spending.
     
    But political science lecturer at the University of Malawi, Ernest Thindwa, says Mutharika's inaugural address lacked seriousness on various issues.

    “I do not think that really we are going to see significant changes in the way we have done our politics, in the way we have managed our economy.  I mean there is nothing special and unique in the speech, and on that basis I am inclined to believe that there will not be significant changes in the way we run our government,” he said.

    People on the streets of Blantyre who spoke to VOA had a wait-and-see altitude on how the new DPP leadership would differ from the previous one, which, for the most part, they said had let them down.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.