President Joyce Banda has labelled 2013 as a year of hope for Malawians that will see the country realizing the fruits of resilience in undergoing tough economic reform and vowed to continue travelling despite her government enacting austerity measures.
Banda, who has come under heavy criticism for failing to prove her austerity measures by obeying persistent public outcry on her never-ending internal traveling, has since urged her vice, Khumbo Kachali to travel across the country to celebrate with her on achieving recovery.
She made the remarks on Thursday during a Safe Motherhood Initiative event in Madzanje, Ntcheu where she officially opened a Cash Transfer Programme in the presence of visiting global delegates from Safe Motherhood Initiative Organization.
“Ife a PP chaka chino ndi chonjoya, ndipo tiponda paliponse(This year is for PP to enjoy and will travel everywhere). We have to celebrate and enjoy for the economic achievements we are making. And I ask the vice-president to visit every corner of the country and celebrate with PP,” said Banda.
Ironically, Banda’s instituted economic reforms have sparked debate with life in the country becoming hard to bear as the cost of living is high with inflation now at 33 percent.
Some quarters of the society are supporting the reforms while other sections are against them.
During the rally, the President vowed to never stop traveling and doing her charity work, which are said to be costly to the government especially at the time the country is under economic problems.
The PP regime last year put up what is called Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) to bring back the ailing economy back to its tracks but with the presence of Kwacha floatation and automatic fuel pricing method, the recovery plan is failing to achieve its intended purpose.
Government last year announced austerity measures such as a ban on external travels as controlling measure of the government expenditures.
Meanwhile, the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) joined by Council for Non-governmental Organizations of Malawi (Congoma) and some unnamed community based organizations are planning demonstrations, citing issues of floating of Kwacha, the need to sell the controversial presidential jet and Mercedes Benz cars used cabinet and reduction of presidential convoy, presidential and cabinet travel, corruption, declaration of asserts and bloated cabinet and executive arrogances.
In November 2012, Cama’s Executive Director, John Kapito gave President Joyce Banda two conditions if he is to call off the demonstrations. He asked Banda to reduce her continuous international and domestic traveling and stop aligning the local currency with other major foreign currencies.
However, Banda vowed not to stop floating of Kwacha and stop her internal travels before later admitting to have underestimated effects of devaluation.
She pointed out that 2013 will see Malawians “realize the fruits of their resilience in the tough economic reforms that we are undertaking.”
The Malawi leader said her administration wants to “eradicate poverty through creation of wealth and jobs; that’s why this year we will be counting how many jobs are being created monthly and at the end of the year we will consolidate how many jobs we have created.”
President Banda also reiterated her position that Malawi will stay the course so that results can benefit the whole nation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :