"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Malawi needs responsible politicians—Envoy
by George Ntonya, 03 January 2006 - 06:19:35
Outgoing British High Commissioner David Pearey has said the country’s political situation is worrying and would not change unless political leaders shift from politics of personal benefits.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in his Lilongwe office on Thursday, Pearey said Malawi needs political leaders who can bring about real democratisation in political institutions.
“It’s a worry. It’s one of those things that are dragging Malawi back,” observed the High Commissioner, saying the country would not move fast in national development if it does not have political leaders who are ready to bury their differences and work together for the interest of the poor masses.
“What I see at the moment is that key party leaders are failing to work together responsibly [and] the effects of this can be a detriment to the development of the country. The current political situation worries me. I think it worries many others too,” he added.
Since President Bingu wa Mutharika resigned from UDF, the party that sponsored him in the May 2004 general elections, the former ruling party has mounted pressure to have him impeached, with support from main opposition MCP.
Attempts by civil society groups, the clergy and international mediators to bring the government and opposition to a negotiating table are failing to yield intended results.
In his New Year message to the nation broadcast on the public media Mutharika reiterated that he is not ready to meet the opposition for reconciliation talks unless they give up their fight to oust him.
Pearey said Malawians deserve responsible politicians who are ready to forget their personal interest to lift Malawi from the discomfort of abject poverty.
“They should put aside their political differences and come together to discuss issues that matter most to all Malawians,” he advised, adding that he could not point a finger at any politician or political party for the current political impasse.
He said he was hopeful that as people move into the New Year, the political heavyweights would be able to sink their differences and avoid personalising political decisions.
“Politics is probably too personalised in Malawi so there is more emphasis on persons than institutions,” said Pearey, whose term of office has been cut short by two years and is expected to leave the country within two weeks.

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