Vice President and UTM party leader Saulos Klaus Chilima has said he will form Council for the elderly once he becomes the country’s president as part of an old-age social security arrangement to ensure the growing population does not plunge into destitution.
Chilima is in the northern region and has been addressing meetings in Chitipa and Karonga on Saturday and Sunday.
“It is within UTM constitution to introduce Council for the elderly, we don’t want the elderly to be beggars, W e will soon come out clear to Malawians on what this council shall comprise,” he said.
Chilima maintained his pledge to introduce pension scheme for all Malawians aged 65 years and above so that it mitigates the hardships associated with the elderly.
The UTM leader said the expected scheme would cater for every person regardless of whether they were employed or not.
“We need to put everyone over 65 years of age on pension. There’s already money for that within government. We need to take care of all our elders,” said Chilima.
Accoridng to Dr Benjamin Kaneka in his published article, although the elderly constitute only four percent of the country’s population, the count is growing. Censuses show the population has grown from 450 000 in 1998 to 650 000 now.
“As the number continues to rise, the most prevalent challenge facing the senior citizens is poor health. With old age comes reduced physical ability and increased vulnerability to diseases and stresses.
“The elderly are increasingly prone to degenerative diseases that subject them to chronic illnesses requiring long-term medication and more specialised healthcare support,” he wrote.
During the UTM meetings, the Vice-President also bemoaned that the Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP) led government has not made any making effort to help coffee farmers in Chitipa to have access of exporting their coffee which is their cash crop.
He then promised to make sure that coffee from Misuku is exported to other countries just like Mzuzu Coffee.
Chilima also said his government would promote mechanized farming where cooperatives would access farm machinery such as tractors to be used at cooperative level.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :