Information Minister, Patricia Kaliati, speaking in Thyolo at a ruling DPP political rally is reported to have called on government authorities to award business contracts only to ruling party officials and to deny the same to those who support opposition parties.
“These officials worked hard to have the party win the 2009 elections so this is our to eat and reap the benefits,” said Kaliati
“We cannot allow this to be happening to you. Government must give you business contracts at all cost because you are the ones who worked tirelessly to put the party into power,” said a charged Kaliati, and immediately phoned some government officials passing on the instructions.
Her remarks were echoed by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Kingsley Namakhwa who also said priority in the awarding of development projects will first be given to DPP members.
“Awarding business contracts or development projects to opposition members is unacceptable,” said Namakhwa.
These remarks, already widely condemned as divisive, underline what business owners not seen to be towing party line have been complaining since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) attained a majority in parliament in the 2009 General elections.
On top of not awarding them contracts, the DPP led government has used state organs like the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to harass businesses deemed hostile to the DPP.
As Malawi edges nearer to the 2014 General Elections, commentators are warning the DPP that it may live to rue these remarks as it (the DPP) would need the support of those it is side-lining in awarding contracts and developments projects today, to carry the day in 2014.