President Peter Mutharika has warned ruling DPP followers not to politicize the newly launched Decent and Affordable Housing (Cement and Malata) Subsidy Program by painting the houses blue – the party colours.
“This is a Government project therefore these houses should not be painted blue. Though the project was part of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) campaign manifesto, it is being implemented using tax payers money following parliament approval. I do not want to see or hear that the houses are being painted in DPP colour,” said Mutharika during the launch held at Msampha 1 village in the area of Traditional Authority Chadza in Lilongwe.
Mutharika further said the project is based on the principle of equity to ensure that 79 percent of the country’s population as revealed by the 2008 Housing and Population Census who live in grass thatched houses can have a decent house.
“I deliberately instructed my Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Honourable Bright Msaka to design the project in a way which ensures that the programme is guarded from any form of political or partisan manipulation and reach to all low income Malawians irrespective of their political affiliation, religious backgrounds or tribe,” said Mutharika.
Member of Parliament for Lilongwe Msozi South Vitus Dzoole Mwale in whose constituency Msampha 1 village falls said the project has started well as there have been no cases of political interference during the pilot phase of the DAHSP.
“The project has started on a good note. The identification of beneficiaries has so far been transparent. By including a village which falls in the constituency of a Member of Parliament from an opposition party and having the launch here shows that the president is non partisan when it comes to development. I urge all of us to emulate the President by not politicising this project or any other being implemented by governments,” said Dzoole Mwale.
According to Msaka in whose ministry is implementing the project, the program intends to construct between 15400 and 21000 houses per year with the aim of to bridge the gap between demand and supply of houses in the country in the next ten years.
“Decent housing is a human right, without improving housing conditions Malawi cannot develop. It is for this reason that the project was initiated. Through Village Housing Committees which will be based at gazetted Group Village Head will identify deserving beneficiaries who will access building materials for construction of decent and affordable houses at a loan repayable in monthly instalments of K3000 over a five year period,” said Msaka.
During the Mudzi Transformation Trust of former president Joyce Banda, the house which were dubbed “mbyofo mbyofo” were being painted orange- the colour of People’s Party.