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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid