Leader of Opposition (LoP) Kondwani Nankhumwa has said it is disheartening that the Tonse Alliance-government continues to inspire no hope for the people of Malawi, as “the past ten months have been characterized by cumbersome delivery of campaign promises.”
Tonse Alliance is a partnership of 11 political parties in the country, that dislodged the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in last year’s June 23 Fresh Presidential Elections, and the major partners are Malawi Congress Party (MCP)—led by President Lazarus Chakwera—and UTM Party, led by his vice Saulos Chilima.
In his response to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that President Chakwera delivered last Wednesday, Nankhumwa—who has a huge following in the DPP and might become the party’s president at the next convention—said it was now an open secret that the Tonse administration wasn’t being practical in terms of linking its promises to its current delivery and what it intended to do in the future.
The former journalist pressed on President Chakwera to start walking his talk, saying Malawians were eagerly waiting to hear from him especially on how the promises were being implemented so far.
“Among a litany of the promises, the youths were promised 1 million jobs within the first 12 months, and Malawians are waiting to know how many jobs have been created so far as we near the end of that timeline.
“This is equally the case with other telling promises such as free electricity and water connections; cheap cement; affordable passports; and duty-free week for businesses, among others.
“Would the President come out clear about which manifesto his government is implementing? Is it the MCP Super Hi-5 or an amalgamated manifesto from Tonse Alliance partners?” wondered Nankhumwa amid applause from opposition benches.
High cost of living
According to Nankhumwa, following a statement by Chakwera during last parliament’s budget review meeting that he would bring about radical improvements in their social and economic status it was sad that “very little has changed on the ground.”
He said: “Today, 10 months since the Tonse Alliance came to power, the cost of living has risen tenfold. Today, Malawians pay K12 000 for a bottle of cooking oil, up from K5 000 a few months ago; the prices of sugar, salt, matches and other essential commodities have also gone up. Rural farmers and ‘Kabaza’ operators now buy a bicycle tyre at K6 000 from K3 000.”
The Mulanje Central legislator also alleged favoritism in the disbursement of National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) which, he said, were only benefitting MCP members.
“The President submitted that his government is currently rolling out these loans, but I can challenge anyone here to take a brief walk on the streets and ask how many people have accessed these loans. You would be shocked with the stories from the angry people as only those that support the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are able to get the loans,” said Nankhumwa
He said the youth of Malawi, who make up 70 percent of the population, were interested to know if they would indeed get a fair share of the loans as promised.
President Chakwera is expected to return to Parliament next Wednesday where he is expected to take questions from Members of Parliament (MPs) on issues of national concern.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :