Former president Joyce Banda, who is also opposition People’s Party (PP) leader, has announced she will introduce universal fertilizer subsidy if she is given the mandate to rule the country again.
Banda, 68, recently returned home after four years of self-imposed exile when she lost power after being embroiled in a massive graft scandal in which government officials siphoned off millions of dollars of public money.
She has since described her two year tenure of office from 2012 to 2014 as most successful and better as compared to the current regime of President Peter Mutharika.
Banda, who is popularly attributed to ending power outages, said this at a public rally she addressed at Mataka ground in Machinga Central East constituency where she also promised to bring back power in within a short period of time.
She said the way Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) is being administered leaves a lot to be desired.
Apart from accelerating corruption, Banda said the program has also helped to bring hatred amongst members of the community.
“I hear people are getting about 30 coupons per village, I will introduce subsidy for all,” she said.
At this point, Banda said her government had done a lot of development activities in just two years some of which include improvement in the economy, fuel and electricity.
Banda who started her political rally with introduction of new members from other parties said she is touched with the poverty levels in the country, accusing Mutharika and his government of failing to govern.
She has bemoaned the hunger problem that has engulfed some of the districts in the country, including, Machinga.
The former president has challenged that she will continue with development programs including construction of houses for the needy.
Speaking earlier on at the rally, PP Treasure General Yusufu Matumala 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.
Matumula said Banda and her People’s Party, have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that it is possible for a woman to be a leader.
“We have a leader who has shown the people world over that it is possible for a female leader to lead and perform wonders just like Joyce Banda. JB is a gender issue, we are a gender issue,” said Matumula.
The former President is currently in a crusade addressing a series of political meetings indicating her political stance.
She has since been to Zomba, Blantyre and Machinga before heading north through Nkhotakota.
Banda founded the PP in 2011 after splitting from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is led by President Peter Mutharika.
She was Malawi’s first female president, serving from April 2012 to May 2014, but analysts say she stands little chance of victory in the next polls.
“Her chances of winning are very slim. Her party is in tatters. The decision to leave the country for so long eroded trust of Malawians in her leadership,” said Henry Chingaipe, a political scientist at the University of Malawi.
Her downfall 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 two months later she has been neither charged nor arrested.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :