President Peter Mutharika is under pressure to fulfill his promise of reducing presidential powers as promised in his 2014 manifesto.
Mutharika became popular with his manifesto in 2014 especially on reducing presidential powers, which many thought it was indeed a new era for Malawi which has been in multiparty democracy for twenty four years now.
Four years down the line, the promise seems to be the usual political rhetoric which politicians always make to gain popularity among ordinary people in the run up to a general election.
The DPP highlighted the trimming of presidential powers once in power as among priorities it would do to ensure that the president doesn’t have too much power.
Capital FM’s observation is that DPP is reluctant to reduce presidential powers despite several calls from opposition political parties as well as civil society organisations.
For instance, the appointment of the Anti-corruption bureau director, the Auditor General, Clerk of Parliament, the Director of Public Prosecutions and many other important positions in are still being made by the president.
In the last quarter of 2015, Mutharika used his presidential powers to veto the recommendations of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) for the position of Clerk of Parliament and a messy court battle followed between the executive and members of parliament.
According to Section 16 of the Parliamentary service act, the position is advertised by PSC, which also carries out interviews but CoP is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the commission
Meanwhile United Transformation Movement (UTM) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are calling for the reduction of presidential powers.
The MCP spokesperson Maurice Munthali claims the DPP is obsessed with power and such being the case, it cannot attempt to start trimming presidential powers now.
Munthali assures people that MCP will do away with such powers and bestow them on ordinary people.
“The country has been badly governed by people that do not think of ordinary people more especially when it comes to delivering their promises they made during campaign period in 2014,” said Munthali.
The United Transformation Movement spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga suggests people should hold to account political parties that made such promises because by staying idle they abuse them.
Malunga reiterated the Movement’s commitment to ensure its leader Saulos Chilima adheres to rule of law by trimming presidential powers once ushered into government in 2019
However Nicholas Dausi, who is both the DPP and the government spokesperson attacks President Mutharika’s critics arguing the Head of State has expressed willingness to trim his powers by among other issues letting parliament decide on crucial matters.