Has Malawi’s President Mutharika run out of ideas? On Monday he failed to answer a question on how to solve the on going fuel crisis that has hit the poor southern African nation and almost paralyzed industry, stoking inflation which may hit double digit figures if the situation continues.
Mutharika, arriving from his two week vacation in Hong Kong’s gateway exotic city of Macau, told journalists that he was in good health but failed to answer a question on the fuel shortages when asked.
“How would you suggest we solve this problem,” Mutharika asked a journalist who had asked him for solutions to ending the shortages.
“I know files are waiting on my table, after reading through the files I will call you journalists to another conference probably at the New State House,” he went to say giving no indication of when the shortages will stop and what he has to offer.
The news conference conducted in an intimidating atmosphere saw police officers protect the journalists from angry party cadres who accused the scribes of spreading the lies that Mutharika was critically ill in China.
As the president was answering questions from journalists angry ruling party cadres kept on booing and jeering the journalists with some of them shouting Achoke! Achoke! ( leave this place) while others shouted Abodza inu! Abodza inu! (Lairs!)
The hostility towards journalists started soon after the President arrived with some DPP women singing songs like Amanyuzi Suja Mmanena Kuti Sabwera (Newspapers you were saying he is not coming).
Speculation had been rife that Mutharika had been taken ill. His presidential spokesman Hetherwick Ntaba fueled speculation when he refused to disclose the location where the President was said to be on vacation.
Earlier Mutharika told his supporters who thronged the airport to welcome their beloved leader that contrary to rumours he was well saying that he is Chitsulo Chanjanji. (has strong has steel)
“As you know in the last weeks there were stories that I am sick, that I was on a coma. And then there were stories that I am dead,” he said. He again accused the media and the opposition of just wanting to tarnish his image through such stories.
Malawi’s year on year inflation is on the rise. In the last two months, the figure has risen from 7.6 percent in August to 7.7 percent. Early this month government increased the pump price of fuel by an average 27 percent a move likely to trigger inflation.