Judge Mbadwa: Mr Lubwalubwa Banda, everyone is excited by groundbreaking ceremony after groundbreaking ceremony that Mapuya is presiding over, signalling how far the People’s Demagogic Party (PDP) has gone in trying to change the infrastructural landscape of the country. At least that is what PDP fanatics are saying.
Why should someone, therefore, want to stop the gravy train of development that Mapuya and his henchmen have set in motion?
I have noticed that you have filed an application, asking the court to stop the groundbreaking ceremonies. What are the grounds for your application?
Lubwalubwa Banda: My Lord, I have to begin by stating that I am not unprogressive neither am I impervious to change. I am all for development, but the manner in which foundation stones are being planted left, right and centre, without adhering to the economic and development blueprint that the PDP government set when it assumes power, should be questioned.
My Lord, I think this knee-jerk implementation of development plans is setting a very bad precedent and I am rising on matters of principle that when a political promise is made, it has to be fulfilled first before jumping onto hitherto unknown promises, especially when they are only few months before the country goes to the polls.
Do we need stadia, new dual carriageways and bypass roads? Of course, we do, My Lord, even though everything is being fast-tracked.
Mbadwa: What is wrong with starting mega projects close to the elections?
Banda: My Lord, that is exactly the reason I am not comfortable with what is happening as it smacks of dishonesty. It is as if the very survival of PDP hinges on implementation of those projects, but an honest audit will tell you that over three years of its rule, Mapuya’s government is yet to fulfil promises made in its Towards Anthu-centred Government 2014 manifesto.
If only the PDP government had managed to upgrade and repair old school buildings as well as build new ones even without meeting the ambitious promise of ensuring that no pupil walks over five kilometres to school, I would have been applauding the decision to build stadia and dual carriageways.
My Lord, what is there to celebrate about when public hospitals look like museums and stories of drug stockouts are still synonymous with the health delivery system under PDP?
And talking about foundation stones and the promise they hold, one has just to look at the case of Mobera University, which remains inexistent years after a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted.
Good governance is not about erecting infrastructure. A good leader should be principled to remain true to what he said he will do in terms of policy reform as well.
But My Lord, you and me know that every time Mapuya is reminded of his promise to remove presidential powers, especially on appointing and removing heads of accountability institutions, he acts as though somebody put words in his mouth yet it is in black and white in the PDP manifesto.
I can go on and on listing promises he has reneged on and to preserve his integrity, it will be an honourable thing for him to first fast-track implementation of campaign promises on reducing presidential powers and its attendant pledges on improving life of ordinary Malawians.
Mbadwa: We have heard your arguments and will grant you an injunction ex parte, barring Mapuya and his associates from breaking new grounds in the name of foundation stones. He can apply to have this injunction vacated if he feels he has a right to be economical with truth by not honouring campaign promises.