Opposition political parties and the civil society have described as empty President Joyce Banda's state- of-the-nation address during the opening of the 44th Session of parliament, Friday.
However, British High Commissioner Michael Nevin has applauded the President for stressing on staying the course to economic transfor¬mation.
In her speech, the Presi¬dent stressed that desperation which was in Malawians is slowly ending.
"Mr. Speaker, Sir, steadily the dark clouds of despair are lifting, giving way to our season of hope. Our country which for sometime has bled from a thousand wounds is progressively moving towards healing.
"The continuing process of social, economic and political emancipation, to which we are all subject, constitutes an evolving act of self –definition. At the dawn of our recovery, our practical actions must ensure that none can challenge us when as a nation together- we shall say: We have recovered!" Banda said.
She then spent most of her time regurgitating the Economic Plan (ERP).
The optimism continued in her concluding remarks of the speech, themed "Unity of purpose towards economic recovery".
"Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I conclude, allow me to assure this August House and Malawians that our country is poised for transformation. We have passed the dangerous zone and we are just about to realise our destiny. In this regard, the choices we make today are critical in determining the future we desire to have," she said.
In his reaction, Leader of Opposition John Tembo, while describing the President's speech as well-prepared, he said there is nothing new in what Banda said.
"She has delivered a well-prepared speech but for a full analysis, I have to read it. But from what we have heard, it is clear that she centred on issues she said already. She said nothing new," he said.
Leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the House George Chaponda, described the president's speech as too general.
"The speech was too general and lacked substance. In her preamble, there was a lot of sweet-talk. But when you talk about the issue of unity for instance, we continue seeing many people being fired from their jobs in government. They are in return claiming damages for unfair dismissals," Chaponda said.
While describing the speech as a replica of the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) document, United Democratic Front (UDF) chief whip Clement Chiwaya said the President missed an opportunity to explain to the nation important issues affecting the country.
"She dwelled much on the projects we already know. She failed to clearly explain how the country is progressing on its journey to economic recovery. Instead, she missed out on important issues affecting the country like the issue of artificial hunger she created. Why did she have to say there is hunger in the country, yet there are revelations that we have enough food? " Wondered Chiwaya.
He however said his party was impressed with the way the President reacted to the issue of drug shortage in the country.
Council for Non-governmental Organisation (Congoma) board chairperson Voice Mhone said the President's speech failed to clearly explain how in the past six months, government has tackled the issue of corruption.