Leader of the opposition, Lazarus Chakwera, has used his New Year message to say that only a truly caring and transformational leadership can exploit opportunities for a better and prosperous Malawi.
In his New Year message, Chakwera piled on the gloom, telling Malawian that they face the worst cost of living crisis in a generation, saying “this festive season has probably been the most difficult ever, for most families in Malawi, due to lack of money.”
“The root causes of the economic turbulence Malawi is reeling from are well known. Most of them are man-made, and can easily be reversed,” said Chakwera
The opposition leader, who has vowed to fight for better living standards, said the welfare of Malawians has become the least in the government’s priorities.
He said adding to poor governance, a penchant for non-essential expenditures and lack of political will in the fight against corruption; means that Malawi should brace for continued poor service delivery in health, education and social welfare.
Chakwera also said there will be hunger, continued electricity blackouts, intermittent availability of water and a private sector that can no longer create wealth or jobs let alone produce enough to reduce our export deficit.
MCP president said the nation should brace for continued “skyrocketing cost of living,” as families are struggling with bills that are growing faster than their income.
However, Chakwera said Malawi needed profound “change and that government must rise to the challenge in the year ahead” to prevent the country going further in the wrong direction.
“As MCP, we insist that fiscal prudence, better prioritisation, inculcating efficiency and effectiveness in the use of funds collected via taxes, and curtailing wastage and corruption; will all help to reduce budgetary pressure,” said Chakwera.
He continued to implore everyone to join hands in reminding government “on the need to improve spending efficiency and contain future spending pressures, within the confines of reduced support from development partners.”
Said Chakwera: “This should focus on spending levels, spending composition, and spending outcomes; for both development and functional spending (ORT).”
He said rationalised low spending levels, with the attendant budget discipline would thus ensure sustainability in addressing poor social outcomes such as high incomes inequality, poor health, and education service delivery.
Chakwera said other than demanding better governance, more prudence, transparency and maximum accountability; citizens should continue working hard by diversifying crops and diet.
He urged people to start conserving food and where possible making the most of the rains by engaging in rain-harvesting to raise the water table.
Chakwera’s message comes after President Peter Mutharika said in his New Year’s message that he is hopeful that the local currency kwacha will stabilise, more jobs opportunities will be created and new businesses will be opened in 2016 as Malawi moves towards becoming a producing and exporting nation.
Mutharika also called on all Malawians to be positive and start with a collective resolution to believe in themselves and in government.
Striking an optimistic note, President Mutharika said government started the journey of making Malawi a predominantly producing and exporting country and it is entering 2016 with the firm belief that investment is the new road for Malawi’s economy.
Mutharika said he is looking forward to a better 2016 where government will continue to create a favourable environment for private investments and development.
Reacting to Chakwera’s statement, government spokesman Jappie Mhango accused MCP of being “addicted to pessimism.”
He said MCP has been peddling its message of doom ever since it lost the 2014 elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :