Atupele proposes ‘new plan’ for Malawi in parliament

Presidential aspirant and United Democratic Front (UDF) deputy leader in parliament,  Atupele Austin Muluzi, on Monday brought his ‘agenda for change’ campaign in parliament when proposed what he called a ‘new plan for Malawians.’

In his speech, in response to the State of the Nation address by President Bingu wa Mutharika when he opened the House last Friday, the 33 year-old son of former President Bakili Muluzi,  made the call on government to strictly commit itself to good governance, accountability and respect for the rule of law.

He told the National Assembly that Malawi need to look at the longer term solutions and presented his proposals.

Atupele Muluzi: We believe we can!

New plan

“The first thing must be to see gainful employment as a social, economic and political good. Something of value in and of itself,” the soft spoken Machinga North East parliamentarian said.

“This requires a concept of the market economy which sees people as both a central resource for and a vital beneficiary of the market place. Markets like democracy are made by and for the people,” he said.

Atupele said Malawi’s economic policies “must be people centered and this requires a concept in which people are partners in a process of wealth creation and not simply another factor of production.”

He said what the society needs most in the short and long term is gainful employment; that economic activity where real value is created.

“We need a clear vision on how we can turn Malawi from a predominantly importing nation to a predominantly exporting one,” he said.

The vision

Outlining his vision, Atupele said: “ Mr. Speaker Sir, Malawi needs to build new communities to accommodate its people. To contain rapid urbanization as life is getting tougher in our rural areas. These communities can be used as a basis of economic growth.”

He said the world’s great nations have been built on family values, education, law and order.

“We need to focus on re-establishing ‘the family’ as the core of our society,” he said, adding “To achieve this; as many citizens in Malawi as possible, need to own a real home within well planned communities, as it is only in the home that the discipline, respect and structure of family life can be entrenched.”

National Service

The younger Muluzi proposed the introduction of National Service Corp. to convert restless, angry and disenfranchised in society into nation builders.

“We can utilize existing and in many cases derelict facilities as well as existing infrastructure of training colleges and the military skills base. Many retired military men and women would jump at the opportunity to help,” he said.

“Youths with no qualifications, tertiary education or a job would be enlisted to join the service corp. for up to three years. Senior citizens would also have a programme designed for six months to a year,” he suggested.

He said the first 4-6 months for the youth could include basic training, fitness, instilling discipline and the respect necessary to becoming valued members of society.

Atupele said they would follow “a modular and practical training in different skills to ensure that on leaving the service corp. they are able to find permanent employment.”

He said service corps have worked in other parts of the world, saying in the 1930’s German Model and other post war economies proves that success from establishing a service core is inherent.

“In our own history many benefited from the de militarized version of it. They learnt many skills we are benefitting from till today. Members will be equipped with skills and will then join the mainstream economy.”

He said more employment opportunities will need to be created to meet the needs of new entrants into the economy.

“Our target as a nation must be 500,000 jobs, in 5 years, in construction and manufacturing industries supporting products needed to enable Malawians to enjoy a quality lifestyle.”

Housing programme

He also talked of establishement of a national business development and housing programme.

“We could create a sustainable new housing programme offering every citizen the right to own a good quality home over the next 15 years,” he said.

“Assuming that the national housing needs are some 750,000 units, a target of this programme should be to build an initial 20,000 houses/annum, growing to 100,000 houses/annum within 5 years.

“Jobs will be created – direct and indirect jobs will be created commencing from 50,000 jobs in 1 year up to 500,000 jobs within 5 years in the construction and support industries.”

In his speech, Atupele said: “Is the creation of up to 500,000 jobs worth looking into? We believe it is!”

He added: “Can we create a Business Development and Housing Association co-owned by the people for the benefit of the people? We believe we can!”

And went further to say: “Can we create new industries across the country? We believe we can.

“Can we create a healthy nation built on principles of honesty, family and care for each other?We believe we can!.”

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