Atupele Muluzi, the United Democratic Front (UDF) 2014 presidential hopeful, on Sunday took his new Agenda for Change campaign to Lumbadzi, Mponela in Dowa and Ntchisi, central region of Malawi which saw thousands of people come out to listen to the youthful presidential candidate with his promise to create jobs and spread wealth.
In his speech in all the meetings he addressed, Atupele said he is prepared to form a government that must do more to address poverty and seek policies that help the country’s poor share in economic growth.
His emphasis was on delivering a new agenda for Malawi, 50 years after independence.
Atupele in his speech maintained that the New Agenda for Change is growing into a powerful movement aimed at uniting Malawians accross all generations, young and old.
“For it is the older generation that understands our past, where we are coming from. They are the custodians of our history and we have a lot to learn from them. The younger generation understands the future.
“My job is to bring these two generations together. To work together by bringing in new thinking and new ideas of how we intend to transform Malawi,” he said.
Atupele, who received the greated honour amongst the Chewa where the Gule Wamkulu came out to perform for the youthful presidential hopeful with his roots in Lilongwe as a Chewa, the home of his mother and in line to the Masula chieftancy, insisted he would practice civilized politics focusing on issues relevant to voters.
“My job is to inspire all Malawians to aim higher as a nation. Together we can end poverty. Together we can improve our infrustructure; our roads, bridges, accessible portable water and electricity,” he said.
“We need to improve the quality of our education. Improve our health care systems through better governance,” added Atupele, who turns 35 in August this year.
The UDF president said he was keen to see “politics of action” rather than just rhetoric, saying that is why the UDF will in the coming weeks be unveiling its policy proposals to the public.
On jobs and private sector growth, he stated that it was important to empower youths and women.
“Often times we have heard the cliché phrase that ‘private sector is the engine of growth’. I would like to propose that the Government begins to equip and support our entrepreneurs and businesses to compete on a global platform and in order for them to create much needed jobs for our school leavers and young people,” said Atupele, who is also Machinga North East parliamentarian.
The son to former president Bakili Muluzi, who resigned as Minister of Economic Planning in Joyce Banda’s government last year, suggested four point strategy for job creation;
He said there is need to reduce the heavy Government borrowing that is crowding private sector growth.
“The resultant base lending rates upwards of 35% per annum currently prevailing in the country’s banking sector are not conducive for the private sector,” Atupele pointed out.
“Secondly, we need to liberalize the power generation sector to bring down the cost of production. In particular, by ensuring the availability of cheap and reliable power for the manufacturing sector,” he said.
“Thirdly, we need to reinvest in trade and technical schools to support Industries with the appropriate human resources. The manufacturing sector needs to be supported with the appropriate technology and skilled labour force to enhance and maintain the competitiveness in the long term. This will also enable the youth to participate in building a robust and competitive economy for future generations,” he said.
Atupele also suggested the need to actively attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by eliminating bureaucratic red tape and corruption.
He also spoke about food security and agriculture, specifically agro processing as an area that can generate much need jobs and forex.
On Governance his emphasis was on empowering local communities and local leaders. He also wants a discussion on delvoved government.
Atupele said UDF party wants to deal with “relevant” issues other that insults on political platform , reminding the crowds that his party has organized a National Policy Conference in April, a first for a political party in Malawi, to confer with Malawians on some of its policy proposals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :