Malawi Congress Party (MCP) deputy secretary general Catherine Gotani Hara has encouraged the opposition Tonse Alliance under the leadership of MCP president Lazarus Chakwera to push for indigenisation and economic empowerment policies that will have black citizens in the country to have real opportunities to enter and participate in the economy.
Gotani Hara, who is also Speaker of Parliament, said at a televised Tonse Alliance opposition rally in Blantyre that Chakwera leadership should liberate Malawians from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation and economic inequality.
She said the MCP government should economically emancipate its people from living below the poverty line and ensure economic empowerment through participation in government procurements fairly.
“Malawians are lamenting that we are treated like second-class citizens in our own country,” she said.
Gotani made her point using a lamenting line in which she mimiced an Asian boast: dziko ndi wanu, ndalama ndi wathu (you, Malawians, own the country but we, Asians, have the money).
She said if Chakwera is elected Malawi President in the fresh elections, it should be: “Dziko wathu, ndalama wathu (Our country Malawi, and we have the money).
The government business, according to information seen by Nyasa Times, shows most of the contractors are of Asians from the Indian subcontinent.
From supplying materials to government to supermarkets to shopping malls, Malawian Asians have the prominent role in the country’s economy.
In 1970, President Kamuzu Banda during the one-pary dictatorship of MCP ordered Asians out of local trading centres including rural areas and restricted them to Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu cities.
Critics say foreign businesses with cheap imports and shady practises have been given the free reign to push locals out of business. The also accused the Asian business community that they externalize foreign currency, they hardly ever invest tangible in-country infrastructure, they pay the locals slave wages, they dodge paying taxes, and they leave Malawi much poorer than they found it.
The odds are stacked against Malawians in favour of Asian and, lately, the Chinese.
Former legislator Frank Mwenifumbo, who is backing the Tonse Allaince, is on record saying government should ensure there is a deliberate policy, “where we should make sure that a certain percentage of those procurements must be given to Malawian businessmen, that is only when we can grow this economy. “
He said the economic hardships that Malawians are going through are “uncalled for and unnecessary.”
MCP official Nick Yiannakis is also on record for taking it to Facebook to attack Asians that they are looting the country’s resources, land and property .
But Yiannakis provoked many when he inserted the religious card to his post, calling on Malawians to “remove all Muslim Asians” from Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :