Malawi Opposition Leader Nankhumwa Pledges 'Constructive Criticism'

Newly unveiled Leader of Opposition in Malawi Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has Malawians are anxiously awaiting to see a new opposition, which engage the new government led by President Lazarus Chakwera constructively as he announced he would not indulge in opposition for opposition's sake.

Nankhumwa said said in Parliament on Tuesday when he presented his maiden speech as Leader of Opposition that he will use the "constructive criticism" approach.

"Let me take this opportunity to assure our colleagues on the government side that we, on this side, will provide the new government the necessary support as it embarks on the momentous task of managing the economy and re-uniting Malawians against a backdrop of serious tribal, ethnic and regional divisions. Indeed, we will ensure that we engage constructively with government without deliberately opposing for the sake of opposing," the youthful politician said.

Nankhumwa, who is also DPP Vice President for the South, said Malawians are anxiously waiting to see a new opposition that does not pander to narrow political interests, adding that he would ensure that as parliamentarians, they be positive examples and true representatives of their constituents in the way they behave and conduct business in the House.

"As the House rises this afternoon, I want to assure you that the opposition will in future meetings conduct itself with responsibility and not ruin the game for the sake of the prize," he said.

Nankhumwa told Parliament that it was important to acknowledge that the DPP administration under former president Peter Mutharika has been integral in keeping the Malawi economy in shape and improving people's lives, even in the midst of various challenges, including the recent coronavirus pandemic.

'We will therefore draw from that experience to provide checks and balances to the new government to ensure that only representative policies are implemented for the benefit of all Malawians regardless of region, tribe, creed or colour. Malawi is a country that we all call home," he said.

On his appointment, Nankhumwa said he accepted the challenge "with utmost humility".

"I am honoured and privileged to stand before you this afternoon as Leader of Opposition. I wish to convey my deepest gratitude to His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for yet again entrusting me with such huge responsibility. I know there are others who are equally deserving of this honour, but His Excellency Professor Mutharika appointed me, for which I am grateful to God the Almighty.

"As I perform my duties and responsibilities, I will rely on teamwork to succeed. I am hugely aware that teamwork is important and essential in order to accomplish the overall objectives and goals of this House so that we satisfy the expectations of the people we duly represent," said the Mulanje Central legislator.

In his address, he congratulated President Lazarus Chakwera and vice-president Saulos Chilima for winning the June 23, 2020 court-sanctioned fresh presidential election.

"I wish to congratulate His Excellency President Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and State Vice President Right Honourable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima for their victory.

"I am well aware that His Excellency Dr. Chakwera is a capable leader having worked with him in Parliament for many years when he was Leader of Opposition. As such, I have no doubt that the country will be in good and able hands," he said.

Nankhumwa also acknowledged "the outstanding contribution" made to the Malawi nation by the outgoing President Mutharika during the period that he has been in office.

"Mutharika is a true definition of 'Statesmanship'. The former president will go down in history books as the most tolerant leader who remained calm, amidst serious political provocation and personal denigration." pointed out Nankhumwa.

"Professor Mutharika stands out as a bastion of diligence and respectable national leader who, despite serious electoral irregularities in the recent election, including intimidation and physical attacks on DPP and UDF monitors, he called on DPP-UDF Alliance supporters to remain calm and peaceful and to accept MEC declaration of the final winner," said the Leader of Opposition.

Meanwhile, there was drama in Parliament as opposition lawmakers kept mocking Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu as he moved a motion to pass a financial resolution to allow government develop a provisional budget.

The new budget has allocated K169.8 billion as development budget of which K119.8 billion will be foreign financed while K50 billion will be financed by domestic borrowing.

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