Atupele responds to JB’s speech: Tips Malawi govt on economic revival

Leader of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF), Atupele Muluzi, says time has come for Malawian politicians to shift their focus from short term to long term imperatives that are at the heart of the country’s transformation.

Responding to the State of the Nation address delivered by President Joyce Banda last Friday, Muluzi lambasted the politicians’ love of their short term approach to issues which he observed were largely driven by the need to secure another term in office.

The UDF president urged the politicians to shift their approaches to long term which he said were about leaving behind a legacy of having delivered public goods during one’s tenure of office.

“My response acknowledges the need to focus on the actions required to stabilize our economy but also the urgent imperatives for us to invest in long term transformational change which underpins the recovery and growth of our economy and society. This will indeed be a period of great challenges but we are a nation that transcends,” Muluzi said in Parliament on Monday in his response to the State of the Nation address.

Atupele Muluzi: Long term investments can stabilize country's economy
Atupele Muluzi: Long term investments can stabilize country’s economy

He said politicians’ ability to deliver on their development aspirations was underpinned by their sense of clarity that they own and drive their path and objectives.

Muluzi said the country’s development partners will only take them seriously if seen to be leading and driving their own agenda by finessing the art of balancing domestic and external consultation which was a critical parameter.

“We have no option but to respond to domestic political imperatives which beg us to really listen to what Malawians want and need,” he told the House.

The Machinga East lawmaker also reminded the politicians that Malawians need a government that is answerable to how it prioritizes uses and allocates its resources.

“Malawi’s problems are not so much around lack of resources. It is in the way that we have allocated, used and accounted for these resources that are problematic. In most times, they have been diverted for other uses and not to deliver public goods and services. This is a symptom of weak capability,” observed Muluzi, son to former President and founding leader of UDF, Dr Bakili Muluzi.

He said Malawians do understand that the Joyce Banda administration was not responsible for the economic mess currently being experienced as it was inherited from the previous regime but that was not an excuse for slackness and irresponsibility.

The parliamentarian said government must take full responsibility of restoring the efficiency and productiveness of the public service by not focusing on setting up a myriad of systems and processes but focusing on actual delivery.

“An absence of the latter illustrates weak accountability… Malawians would like to see their government focus all its energies demonstrating tangible results and verifiable deliverables especially in the delivery of public goods and services. This is a core tenet of responsiveness,” Muluzi, a lawyer by profession schooled the governing elite.

The UDF 2014 presidential candidate also reminded the politicians that collective action was the only basis for resolving most of the country’s problems and that it was possible to reach out across the broad political spectrum to deliver on the objectives.

“Ownership is part of our efforts to build Malawi as a nation with an identity as well as one of proud and dignified citizens,” said the youthful leader.

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