President Lazarus Chakwera has said there is a “false narrative” that Malawi is one of the impoverished countries in the world, saying poverty in southern African nation is “man-made” and “must be unmade.”
Chakwera said on Friday in Parliament when he delivered his maided State of the Nation Address (Sona) since his elected as President during the June 23 2020 fresh presidential elections.
The President said his intent in delivering the Sona was to tell the truth, “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”
He said the truth is Malawi’s most potent weapon for development, as well as the defence against the “false narratives” often told about the country.
“For example, you may have heard it that Malawi is a poor country, but we must reject this lie,” said Chakwera.
He said the country has been intentionally mismanaged in the past and that Malawi has suffered decades of bad government policies, stressing that Malawians are tired hence ushering him into power.
“Surely, my country, with 85 million dollars in gold exported to the Middle East every year, is not poor. My country, with a freshwater lake and multiple rivers capable of generating 100 million dollars a year in revenue, is not poor. My country, with soils fertile enough to grow the food needed to end hunger for good, is not poor. My country, home to the coffee-scented hills of Misuku in Chitipa and the tea- covered plains of Satemwa in Thyolo, is not poor. My country, home to the silhouettes of zebras and elephants grazing against the backdrop of a golden sunset, is not poor,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera stressed that Malawi is not a poor country, but an impoverished one.
“Ours is a country stripped of its God-given wealth and potential by syndicates of people in the public sector who exploit decades of bad government policies and practices to enrich themselves and their private sector accomplices,” he said.
The President said Malawi was “intentionally mismanaged” to sustain and commodify a perpetual state of economic misery that affords certain entities, especially political parties and organizations, “a raison d’etre at the expense of Malawians.”
He said: “ In short, the poverty of our people is man-made, which means it can and must be unmade.”
Chakwera said the presidential elections which ushered him into power in June, Malawians showed that they are tired of the human causes of their impoverishment.
“They are tired of electing people to public office who use public funds for personal enrichment, not public service. They are tired of a civil service overrun by the rubble of unprofessional cronies who are neither civil nor of service.
“They are tired of parastatals ran by incompetent boards and careless executives. They are tired of governance institutions driven by layers of wasteful bureaucracy. They are tired of paying the highest taxes in the SADC region, only to see them wasted on pet projects that add no mileage to our pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals.
“They are tired of Parliament sessions that produce budget after budget to pay for the status quo without changing it. They are tired of hospitals without care, schools without desks, families without food, roads without tar, homes without electricity, communities without water, courts without justice, crops without markets, markets without capital, skills without jobs, jobs without wages, and wages without value. They are tired of the biting long winter of economic hibernation,” said Chakwera attracting hand-clapping from the government benches.
Chakwera said in order to get Malawians out of impoverished state, there is need for reforms in all the three branches of the government which he described as too corrupt.
He said the reforms would enable the three arms to serve the people of Malawi better.
The President also gave an economic, labour, education, health and tourism outlook for the country and the measures his government is putting in place to improve the sectors.
Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa said he would have a detailed response to Sona when parliament reconvenes on Monday.
According to International Monetary Fund, Malawi 50.7 percent of the Malawi population lives below the poverty line and 25 percent living in extreme poverty.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :