The erstwhile governing party has issued its own response to the SONA thus breaking the tradition, which has been there in the Malawi Parliament.
As a party that sponsored Nankhumwa to parliament, it was unexpected of the DPP to issue its own statement in response to the State of the Nation Address.
In the statement, DPP spokesperson Shadric Namalomba assesses the current government based on a number of areas, which include macroeconmic outlook for the country, monetary policy and fiscal performance, agriculture, trade and industry, tourism, education, mining, reforms, foreign affairs, health and fight against corruption, among others.
“The President’s SONA is empty. It has failed to tackle major issues affecting the majority of poor Malawians who were looking up to the President to provide solutions and direction as to how the country will get out of its current quagmire,” said Namalomba in his statement issued on Monday evening.
“So, painfully for all Malawians, the message we share with you is that your sufferings are far from over. This president cannot be the president you voted. He is not the president you want right now. We want a president who says what he does and does what he says,” he declared.
But his statement has drawn mixed reaction from Malawians, with others questioning rationale behind the decision by the former ruling party to ignore a response by its Leader of Opposition in parliament.
An Area 26 resident in Lilongwe, Kanyangala Nkhoma, said it had never happened in the history of Malawi democracy for an opposition party, which sponsors the Leader of Opposition to issue a contrary statement in response to the State of the Nation Address.
“I believe it’s a sign that cracks are deepening in the DPP. Otherwise, there is no wisdom in the party to release its own statement when the Leader of Opposition comes from its own member,” said Nkhoma.
Renowned governance and human rights advocate Undule Mwakasungula asked for more time to analyze the DPP statement before commenting.