Vice-President Saulos Chilima told a United Transformation Movement (UTM) mass rally in Chiradzulu on Sunday that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be foiled from rigging the country’s Tripartite election next year.
Speaking at Ndata Primary School ground in Traditional Authority (T/A) Ntchema in Chiradzulu which was televised live on Times TV, Zodiak and Mibawa TV, Chilima said they have heard reports of some DPP officials recording voters details but warned that they will fail in manipulation of the election results.
“We are following it up but let me assure you that I am absolutely confident they will not succeed to steal (the people’s) choice of leaders in 2019,” said Chilima.
“We will not allow them to subvert the will of the people,” he added.
“They are succeeding in stealing public funds but on the votes, if they think they will steal using technology then they must forget it,” he said.
Chilima also complained of violence and harassment against his supporters, saying DPP were “brutes” practising uncivilised politics in a democracy.
Just like in all places Chilima has launched UTM, he elaborated what he will do if ushered into power next year.
He condemned the DPP for the usual sins of executive arrogance: greed, nepotism and corruption, saying it is worsening poverty in the country.
Chilima told the crowds that UTM administration will replace the scandal riddled Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) with a programme for cheaper fertiliser to promote agriculture and ensure household and national food security.
Fisp is dogged by political and logistical problems and many Malawians have expressed frustration with the subsidy programme.
The programme is increasingly missing its goal of promoting household and national food security through government’s provision of quality seeds and subsidised fertiliser to smallholder farmers.
Chilima said a cheaper subsidy programme could best replace the Fisp programme, which is not serving its purpose as it is only benefitting a few.
“We need to promote agriculture and end this shameful history of poverty in Malawi. Fisp is good but it has to benefit all farmers if we are to end hunger in this country,” said Chilima, who dumped DPP in June and is seeking to run for presidency against his boss President Peter Mutharika.
Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) president Alfred Kapichira Banda agreed that Fisp – which is expected to benefit one million smallholder farmers this year – is a failure and needs to be replaced.
Banda said Fisp has become a scandal because its budget is drained right from the coupon-printing stages to project officers’ expenditure on air tickets and fuel and personal allowances outside and inside the country.
During the first few years, after its introduction 13 years ago, Fisp proved effective to poor farmers who enabled Malawi to retain its earlier status of feeding itself after many years of food insecurity.
Chilima said the country need to promote modern farming technologies, revamp agriculture market and invest in value addition to grow the country’s economy.
He added that UTM government would ensure of good and stable markets for farmers.
In her remarks, UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati laughed off government’s move to order Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) to buy pigeon peas at K230 per kilogramme, saying the move is meant to benefit a few greedy tycoons and not smallholder famers.
The order came after smallholder farmers had sold their produce cheaply, at between K20 and K70 per kilogramme.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :