Vice President and UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Chilima on Sunday signed off his campaign at the political mecca Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre in a spectacular fashion when he announced removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on water, electricity and airtime when he wins the presidency next week Tuesday May 21.
An energized Chilima, 46, read his record crowd so well and hit the sweet message at the right time and right moment.
Considering his audience was urban based, Chilima told them good news they have been expecting other contestants to assure them.
“When we take over government next week, we will remove VAT (16.5%) on water, electricity and airtime to make these basic necessities available,” announced Chilima attracting a loud applause from the huge escatic crowd that attended the rally.
“We also want those who pay tax to have something to smile about. We will have tax free week where you can import your goods into the country without paying any duty.
“We could have these tax free weeks maybe two times a year but you should be registered with Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and have tax certificate to enjoy these benefits,” said Chilima.
The Vice President also announced that his government will lower duty on luxury vehicles especially the 4X4 which he argued most do not pay duty and the government loses out on revenue.
“We also want to assure our friends who sell vehicles in our towns and cities that we will construct proper car showrooms with proper facilities. It has happened in other countries and this will happen here in Malawi,” said Chilima.
He also promised to build ‘proper housing apartments’ in some townships in the country’s three cities so that people should own decent accommodation.
However, Chilima warned public officers engaged in corruption that they will answer for their deeds starting from next week.
“Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) which is just across here is in a project to construct hostels and in your contract you are buying a bag of cement at an equivalent of US$100 per bag (approximately K75,000). This is stealing and we have all this information, we will see each other next week, you will have to explain this,” said Chilima.
A normal market price for a bag of cement costs less than K7000.
Chilima also thanked Malawians for believing in UTM Party ideas, 10 months after its establishment.
“We want to thank you for believing in us and for allowing us to form the next government. We are sure we have delivered our message and Malawians have responded positively.
“So I am inviting you to my inauguration at Bingu Stadium next week, you are all welcome. Any by the way, we will hit the ground running because I am announcing the new cabinet next week,” said a confident Chilima to the ulululating crowd.
The Vice-President broke ranks with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on June 6 2018 and declared he will challenge President Peter Mutharika in the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Chilima—whom President Peter Mutharika picked as running mate in January 2014 where he served as Airtel Malawi managing director—had a visibly rosy relationship with the establishment until his declaration and the President subsequently stripped him of his Cabinet portfolio of Minister Responsible for Disaster Management Affairs and in-charge of National Public Events.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :