The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) says once voted into power on May 20 it will focus on wealth creation for Malawians who still survive on handouts 50 years after independence.
The party’s president Atupele Muluzi observed it was a pity for Malawians, who despite priding in enormous natural resources, to continue languishing in abject poverty.
Malawi will, in July this year, attain 50 years since claiming her independence from the colonial master, Britain, but remains one of the world’s poorest nations.
Muluzi, speaking to hundreds of people who gathered at Mzimba Boma Wednesday during his whistle stop tour of the Northern Region, noted that Malawians continue suffering because previous leaders focused on self-enrichment.
Among the country’s previous leaders, his father (Bakili Muluzi) led the country for 10 years (1994-2004) under the UDF. Late Bingu wa Mutharika ruled Malawi from 2004 -2005 (UDF) and 2005-2012 (DPP). The incumbent Joyce Banda came into power form 2012.
”This is the key message in our manifesto, we want people to have food on their tables and money in their pockets so that they stand on their own economically,” he told the crowds.
He added: ”It’s a pity that Malawians are still surviving on handouts despite the country clocking 50 years of self-rule. This is not a time for distributing cows, shoes, blankets and T-shirts to people.”
Ironically, President Joyce Banda who is also leader of the ruling People’s Party (PP) has gone flat out distributing cows, shoes, blankets, among others, to the needy people.
The UDF president, who is also the party’s torch bearer during the May 20 Tripartite Elections, said once voted into power his party would scrap the subsidy input programme and instead lower fertilizer prices so that every Malawian access it and maximize crop production.
He also promised to introduce safety nets for the elderly and jobless people for them to make ends meet.
The youthful leader, who turned 35 last August, then attacked political party leaders for their “prostitution” in search of self-enrichment at the expense of the local Malawians.
Muluzi noted that political prostitution was what has led to the now infamous cashgate scandal where billions of kwachas have been looted at Capital Hill.
The UDF leader said the new agenda for change entails that he will lead Malawi to create its wealth while protecting its poor by managing public resources better and ensure that poor people including the youth have a say on how the country is run.
He said Malawi has failed to create its own wealth for all Malawians and to manage its economy and a political system that allows the privileged few to consume resources for their own use has not helped matters either.
As such, the young Muluzi said it is incumbent upon those trusted with responsibility to ensure that there is conducive environment in order to generate people’s confidence.
“Creating wealth for this country rests on our ability to provide an enabling environment for this to happen. This means generating confidence of the private sector to invest in small, medium and large scale initiatives.
“Guaranteeing our farmers that they will get their crops to the market safely, providing appropriate skills to all especially our young men and women to get decent jobs in a market friendly environment,” he said.
Atupele also focused his message on education, saying the best way to develop Malawi is to give its citizens, especially the youth good education.
He said Malawi should have equitable distribution of wealth, development and access to education.
The UDF leader said the north has been given a raw deal with quota system of education- sugar coated under the term of Equitable Access to Education- saying he will ensure that is abolished.
“It is not right for higher education institutions to admit students based on where they come from. Students should be selected in merit,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :