DPP’s Scholastica geared to transform Blantyre Rural South West

With less than five months to the much touted Malawi tripartite polls, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) parliamentary candidate for Blantyre Rural South West constituency Scholastica Naphiyo Chidyawonga has vowed to transform the area once voted into power on 20 May 2014.

In an exclusive interview, Naphiyo said the poverty and underdevelopment of Blantyre Rural South West constituency have been her major concern cognizant of the fact that the constituency is very close to the Blantyre Central Business District (CBD) hence deserves quality standard of living.

“Blantyre Rural South West constituency is very different from other rural constituencies because it enjoys proximity to the city. For that reason, I fail to understand why the previous legislators have failed to take advantage of the location and transform the area for the better.

Naphiyo: Shadow MP
Naphiyo: Shadow MP

“The constituency needs a determined and decisive leader who has the capacity, commitment and conviction to take command of the situation and lead from the front and that’s exactly what I’ve come for. I know people in my constituency have lost trust in their own parliamentarians but I have come to restore the credibility and the people’s confidence in legislators,” said Naphiyo amid chuckles of unfeigned delight.

Naphiyo bemoaned on increased school dropout rate a situation she attributed to lack of good infrastructure in many schools in the constituency.

“I will embark on achieving quality education by making sure that the schools are in good condition. Education is very important in every aspect of life; therefore, it is imperative to  invest a lot of energy in it.

“Most schools need extra school brocks, toilets and learning materials. Housing for teachers should also be provided to ensure we have enough teachers in our schools in the constituency so that our children should be learning in safe environment,” she said.

She added: “I will lobby for Provision of technical training for the youth who have completed secondary school education and cannot find any employment.  This will be done by making sure that community day schools have the capacity to provide technical training in woodwork, plumbing, tailoring, cookery to the youth and they should be able to start own businesses in the skills they have been trained.”

Naphiyo continued to say that she will implement a lot of projects with emphasis on empowering the people in the area so as to help them getting out of the bondage of poverty. She said this will be possible as she is a woman with adequate track records of public policy.

“I will make sure that agriculture is being done as business. Agriculture is first important step in achieving rural development because food insecurity and rural poverty are closely linked.

“Improved agriculture production does not only result in more food, but also in more jobs. As farm incomes increase, so does the demand for non-farm goods and services, and this too leads to more local employment. Cottage industries of processing soaps will be introduced, adding value to agriculture products,” she said.

Naphiyo is also geared to address deforestation in the constituency without compromising the needs of the people.

“I will Work with communities to address deforestation especially Mpemba Mountain.  People cannot be expected to abruptly stop cultivating on the mountain but should gradually be given alternatives, that is, they can grow Moringa trees which will eventually provide them income,” she said.

Asked on whether the underperformance of the incumbent parliamentarian Juliana Mphande is a challenge to her candidature considering that people will feel betrayed by a woman, Naphiyo was quick to say women are different just as Men are.

“I’m not vying for the position because I’m a woman but rather as an eligible candidate who has the capacity to help the people in the area realize their potential and achieve their aspirations. I’m sure people will judge on 20 May 2014 based on my policies not what my fellow woman has done in the area,” she said.

Scholastica Naphiyo-Chidyaonga, Kamuzu Academy alumnus, is a Bachelor of Commerce degree holder majoring in financial management attained at University of South Africa.  She has worked for several organizations as a secretary in United Kingdom.  Currently she is an entrepreneur running an agro-dealer company and a nursery school.

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