Tonse Alliance partner, Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Enock Chihana, has blamed President Lazarus Chakwera and his deputy Saulos Chilima for socio-economic woes besetting Malawi.
Chihana said Chakwera and Chilima are the legitimate leaders who were chosen to lead the country, hence they have to shoulder the blame for Malawi’s current predicaments.
He said this at a rally he conducted at Rumphi Boma on Tuesday, where he likened Chakwera to a bus driver and Chilima to his conductor.
Chihana said he and the leaders in the Tonse Alliance only play advisory roles; hence they should not be dragged into issues related to current challenges.
Speaking in a separate interview at his residence in Mzuzu Wednesday, Chihana said his sentiments were meant to distance Aford from accusations that all Tonse Alliance leaders have failed to govern the country.
“This was just an electoral alliance and people are supposed to know that because they might think that we make decisions. Decisions are made by [Lazarus] Chakwera; we only provide pieces of advice which I don’t know if he uses or not.
“We are limited to making decisions because Cabinet ministers are appointed by him and if we can push our members into Cabinet, then we are breaking provisions of the Constitution [of the Republic of Malawi] because it is only the President that has the mandate to appoint [members of the] Cabinet,” Chihana said.
State House spokesperson Anthony Kasunda and Tonse Alliance spokesperson Kamuzu Chibambo are yet to comment on the matter
However, political analyst George Phiri said Chihana might be saying the truth because policies are made by the President with the Cabinet.
Phiri said leaders in the Tonse Alliance have limited powers on government affairs and their contributions might not be attended to.
“People look at the President and not people surrounding him. Therefore, Chihana might not be wrong in pushing the blame on the President because he makes final decisions on all the policies that have to be implemented,” Phiri said.
In his New Year address, Chakwera conceded that 2022 was a difficult year for global economies, with a sharp rise in the cost of living triggered by disruptions in the supply chain and high inflation on imported commodities.
He then thanked the people for being part of solutions to challenges the country faced.
Chakwera further asked Malawians to work together in addressing economic challenges the country is facing.