Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera, Sunday went to town with a litany of promises in new policy direction once his party is ushered into power saying, among others, he would construct a state-of-the-art Joyce Banda International Convention Centre in Blantyre and that he would decree that time to start work in both government and private institutions be at 8:30am and not 7:30am.
Speaking at Njamba Freedom Park in the commercial capital Blantyre, Chakwera, a pastor-turned-politician claimed he was a Blantyre man who even owned a house in the city, and that he knew the problems of people in the commercial city inside out.
Standing on a ‘Chakwera Hi 5’ slogan, the MCP presidential hopeful said his administration would strive to provide servant leadership, promise unity, prosperity, rule of law and end corruption.
According to Chakwera, once ushered into power, he would transform Blantyre into an ultra-urban city, and beyond recognition.
He promised to demolish Kamuzu Stadium and replace it with a 6 000 seater international conference centre.
“I will construct a modern convention centre in Blantyre, and it will be named the Joyce Banda International Convention Centre,” promised Chakwera amid clapping and drumming.
“We plan to construct a modern stadium here at Njamba which shall replace the old Kamuzu Stadium,” added Chakwera.
Apparently, Joyce Banda, former head of state and People’s Party (PP) president, has gone into an alliance with MCP and attended the rally where she also drummed up support for Chakwera’s presidential bid.
Another, Banda’s deputy during his two-year rule, Khumbo Kachali, has also joined with his newly formed Freedom Party (FP).
Chakwera also promised that amongst some of the reforms he would institute once he assumes the reins of power would be to restructure the time for which people begin to work.
“I will change the time people begin to work from 7:30 to 8:30. This will be a deliberate move to give you time so that you can drop your children in time and also report to your places of work on time,” again promised Chakwera.
On this, Chakwera reiterated that he would keenly make sure that all people work hard to achieve robust economic results.
He said he would raise the minimum wage to K50 000 so that a majority of Malawians who earn less than K100 000 are not strained.
Commenting on the change of time to start work, social commentator, Dave Namusanya, said:”He should have brought forth a better argument. If the parents drop their kids at 7:30 who will be taking care of them since the teachers will also be reporting for work at 8:30? Who will be taking care for these children in the one hour in between?
“And will knock off time be 2:30pm? Because it means the parents will also have to pick up their kids from school. Chakwera should simply stick to his party’s manifesto and not this,” opined Namusanya.
But one of the MCP strategists told Nyasa Times that the policy is in line with the party elections manivfesto where it is introducing compusolry education from September 2019.
“The liability to ensure kids go to school for any child under the age of 16 is with the parent… so changing the starting time for a working day for public officers it give them time for parents to take all their children to school then parents rush to report for work on time,” said the strategist.
“For the staff in frontline services such asa police officers, army officers, teachers, nurses, medical personnel, border control officers an other categories to be determined, will be paid a special anti-social allowances for having a difficult working pattern,” he added.
MCP said this will be a massive policy shift which will be linked to city transport system to be introduced to improve civil servants travel to work.
Productivity monitoring system for civil service performance us also on the cards to ensure that each person delivers on their tasks instead of just spending 8 hours at work.
Nyasa Times has learnt that government offices opening hours in Africa, workers report at 9am in Egypt, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia at 8:30am and Malawi at 7:30am.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :