Malawi’s immediate past former president Joyce Banda, who is People’s Party (PP) torchbearer in next year’s elections has intesfied her engagement with the electorate, travelling the breadth and width of the country addressing rallies and has accusing the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration of being “woefully” out of touch with economic reality for people living in poverty.
Banda has been to Mzimba South Constituency on Friday where its legislator Maquenda Chunga has defected to United Transformation Movement (UTM) and also on Sunday she addressed a rally in Mangochi at St Augustine Primary School ground.
She told the two political rallies that if elected as president in next year’s election, she will have the willpower to fight poverty.
The former president, 68, said she cannot sit in the comfort of her home, while many Malawians out there struggle to afford even one meal a day and that she will continue building decent housesfor people in a country where three quarters of the people still live in grass-thatched houses.
She pledged to continue with Mudzi Transformation Programme by constructing or rehabilitating houses for the elderly and the disadvantaged across the country.
“I know how painful and pathetic it is to live in a grass-thatched house. I will always dedicate my life to helping the underprivileged move out of poverty,” said Banda.
She told her jubilant supporters that while she was Head of State from 2012 to 2014, her government made many social and economic development strides, particularly in economic empowerment of the rural masses.
Banda – only the second woman to lead a country in Africa – then announced that she would abolish the “selective” Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) and introduce universal fertilizer subsidy programme so that every farmer benefits and therefore improve security at both household and national levels.
The former president said she has already identified funding for the implementation of universal fertilizer subsidy programme.
She said when she will roll back “people-centred social and economic policies” in order to take Malawians out of abject poverty.
Banda also pledged to improve the health and education sectors, saying she would ensure that teachers and health workers work in better conditions and that conducive learning and teaching environment is created in all education institutions at all levels.
The PP leader said education is an indispensable tool for the achievement of meaningful socio-economic development of any nation and hence her government shall give education special attention.
Malawi, one of the world’s poorest and aid-dependent countries, will hold presidential, parliamentary and council elections on 21 May 2019.
Banda founded the People’s Party (PP) in 2011 after splitting from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is led by President Peter Mutharika.
She came to power in 2012 when Bingu wa Mutharika, the current president’s brother, died in office.
Recently, President Peter Mutharika said his late brother Bingu told him he regretted picking Banda as her running mate.
But PP secretary general Ibrahim Matola said Banda is a flag carrier and a true ambassador of 50-50 campaign for women leadership being championed by civil society organizations and all other relevant stakeholders in the electoral matters.
Her downfall from power in 2014 elections came in part from the so-called “Cashgate” scandal, the biggest financial misconduct in the country’s history.
Banda says she did nothing wrong and that the allegations against her are politically motivated.
After she returned to the country in April, police said an arrest warrant against her was valid, but up to now she has been neither charged nor arrested.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :