Former finance minister, Friday Jumbe announced Tuesday, the launching of his party now transformed from his faction in the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) and he is calling it Labour Party.
Jumbe made the announcement at his Superior Hotel in Blantyre that he has formed Labour Party to “transform” Malawians economically and socially with main focus on workers,youth empowerment and donor aid independence and re-distribution of wealth and land ownership.
His party’s rank and file included Ziliro Chibambo, Joseph Kubwalo and Nicholous Kachingwe.
He assured the nation of equal justice, gender equality, respect to human rights and proper regulation of countries minerals and natural resources and other social and economic amenities.
The party has not put in place interim executive committee of which Jumbe said will be announced in days to come in another press conference after putting legal registration, party colours and slogans in order.
The visibly composed Jumbe told the press, while highlighting reasons that led to the formation of LP, that at mean time his party was not in agreement to the legalization of homosexuality, and thus after he asked the party members present at the function o their views on the issue.
Why Forming Labour Party?
Jumbe said was forced to form own party because they failed to solve the on-going wrangles that had ensued in UDF, saying the party is old and could not cope up with changing times.
“It’s known fact that we were born and raised in UDF and even our blood was yellow symbolizing UDF. But it was hard to try solving the wrangle that created the two factions when our friends have already held the convention ignoring us. We reached a point to part ways, band yagawana zida (disbanding).
“We had three options to ignore the wrangles and persist under the unfair situation, keep on fighting or quit the party and form another. And based on advice and thoughtful considerations, we have decided to form a new party that has interest of people at heart,” explained Jumbe.
He however said his party will not focus on fighting with other existing political parties but rather put much interest in the welfare of the nation.
“If I wronged anybody in UDF or Dr. Bakili Muluzi and his family in anyway, I say am sorry and forgive me and if they know that they wronged me, they should do the same. This is not time for fighting each other or engaging in political war with any other party. Its time to change things and put focus on people’s need,” said Jumbe.
Jumbe said his party has set several ideologies it believes would help to transform the country in a manner that the nation wealth is enjoyed by all.
He said the party will have national face unlike other parties that are based on tribe, region, family or certain section of a society, adding LP will embrace everyone regardless of region, region, tribe and profession whatsoever.
“We are the party for all. Some parties are regional, religious and tribalistic in nature but Labour Party is for everyone and people are free to join because our doors are open. In 30 to 45 days we will have everything in order and our convention is on next year,” he said.
“65 percent of Malawians are poor and 80 percent of people live in rural areas. Our party will look into people’s need, its centre leftist party. It’s about power, opportunities and wealth for all not only few individuals.
“We believe in redistribution of wealth. Only 2 to 4 percent of people benefit from the national wealth in Malawi. Once in government, we will put mechanisms that ensure equal redistribution of wealth to all people,” he said.
He also said the party believes in welfare of State, provision of free social amenities to everyone, adding it will fight and represent the rights of workers in the country.
“It will fight for better salaries for workers kuti nawo akagule Bonya (so that they too could afford Bonya). But this will be done in the way that will foster growth of businesses and ensure that employers are paying their workers well deserving salaries,” he added.
Jumbe also said his party believes in job creation as one of its main focus and that it will ensure, once in government, there is proper policy to foster job creation.
“Instead of government crating jobs, it is busy closing companies. Many companies were closed and we are saying no, we need jobs for people. There is a need for economic transformation and that will only happen if we develop our industry and trade and create more jobs. We need to grow our export base if we are to earn more forex”.
LP according Jumbe will put much focus in poverty reduction, regulation of mines, natural resources, and structure agriculture sector, foster irrigation farming and ensure country’s citizens are empowered.
He also said the party will put youth issues at heart by introducing comprehensive policies that will empower the youth and nurture them into responsible, discipline and productive citizens.
On agriculture, he said the current fertilizer subsidy programme will continue but with focus on equal distribution of coupons and farm inputs to benefit everyone.
“The politics in coupon distribution will end. We want everyone who is supposed to benefit from subsidy should indeed get the needed farm inputs. We will enhance irrigation farming and diversify crop production to ensure that e grow more crops apart from maize, tobacco and rice.
“On education, we will put up policies that will enhance primary, secondary and tertiary education so that our nation is educated nation. On health, the ministry of health gets more funding but there are no drugs in hospitals. We will ensure that drugs and other resources are found in hospitals and that aside we will ensure we train more experts to deal with different medical problems unlike sending patients outside the country for treatment,” Jumbe explained.
Jumbe while saying he is just leading the party until the interim leaders are elected, said Labour Party will develop the tourism sector and turn it into one of forex earners apart from empowering the trade and instruct sector as well as infrastructure development and transport system.
Donor Aid and Independence
Labour Party, Jumbe said once it gets in power will ensure the country maintain its cordial relationship with donor countries but with a focus on transforming it into independent country.
“For how long are we going to depend on donors? We need not to change the focus and if we need donors, they should only come on issues that are necessary not that we should be making our plans based on donor promises. Donors should always be priority.
“On land redistribution, we feel most of our land is owned by foreigners a thing that does not happen in other countries like England and German where land belongs to natives. We feel Malawians should be the ones owning land and we will put in place registration that controls and ownership,” he further explained.
Party Funding and Manifesto
Jumbe said at mean time the party was being run on support from members and other well-wishers, arguing the party’s manifesto were formulated by its members unlike other political parties that hire expatriates to write manifesto for them.
“And our ideologies are not similar to UDF and we could not implement them while we were there because that party is old and denies people to exercise their freedom. Other parties are failing to deliver despite having good manifesto because most of them their manifestos are written by people in UK, but we have formulated the manifesto that has value for all Malawians”.
The formation of Labour Party comes just a week after UDF, the party Jumbe and his colleagues were once members, held its national convention where it elected Atupele Muluzi, son to former president and UDF chairman, Bakili Muluzi as its chairperson and 2014 torch bearer.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :