Former president and Peoples Party (PP) leader Joyce Banda has called for 2019 to be “the year when change comes to Malawi”, with a definite promise to transform the country once elected into office at the May 21 2 ballot.
Banda is running for presidency under the PP banner and told thousands of ecstatic supporters at Songani Ground in Zomba on New Year’s Eve, that Malawian voters should rise to the challenge and bring change of leadership.
She unveiled in detail her ‘Phase Two’ agenda which she says will rectify the many problems being faced by Malawians.
JB, as fondly called by her supporters, said this 2019 year will offer voters with a “choice between the future and the past”, saying PP is offering a modern vision based which include promises to abolish the renewal of driving licences and ending electricity blackouts within 100 days in office.
Banda also promised a K10 billion revolving fund for loans targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to improve people’s livelihoods.
She told the gathering that her PP has a six-themed agenda to drive her policy direction once in office. These are Environment & Energy, Education, Health, Agriculture, Wealth Creation and Social Protection.
The former Malawi leader said her government will solve the electricity problem once and for all, the first step being ending blackouts within the first 100 days from the day of assuming office.
In the same vein, she said the PP-led government will introduce free electricity for millions of poor Malawians on top of adding 3000 megawatts to the national power grid. Currently, Malawi produces a meagre 280 megawatts to cater for residential and industrial use.
On education, Banda said her government will ensure there is proper free Secondary education with emphasis on quality. This will also apply to Primary level which has lost a great deal of quality despite being free.
JB further told the gathering that her government will first focus on giving university students good accommodation, quality learning material and qualified staff before venturing into constructing more universities
“It does not make sense for college students (like you Chanco students) to be residing in townships such as Chikanda. We must first give you proper accommodation for you to concentrate on your studies. Coupled with other factors, this will make education meaningful to university students,” she noted.
On agriculture, she promised a universal fertiliser subsidy programme to enable all farmers access farm inputs. Further to this, she said her administration will create conducive markets for farmers for them to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
The PP leader told the rally that once voted into office she will end problems faced in the Health sector such as lack of medicine, food, portable water and electricity.
“Our health system is in shambles because there has been little commitment to sort out basic problems. During my two-year reign we stocked all our pharmacies in hospitals and people got the right treatment for any ailment,” recalled JB.
Pondering on her trademark “wealth creation” and social protection policies, JB remained defiant that she will continue empowering poor people through her many programmes.
“Some quarters despise Social Protection forgetting that it takes place even in developed economies to cater for the marginally poor. I will never stop empowering poor people through these policies.”
Among her focus areas are free housing, free electricity, free livestock and free fertilizer for chiefs.
During her term as President’ JB constructed thousands of houses for poor people across the country and distributed thousands of cows to low-earning families under Mudzi Transformation Trust and Presidential Initiative on Hunger and Poverty Reduction respectively.
The rally was attended by among other groups 320 chiefs whose representative spoke highly of JB’s able leadership skills evidenced by her two-year tenure between 2012-2014.
Since returning from her four-year stay in the United States in six months ago, the former head of State has crisscrossed the country holding mass rallies to consolidate her brand which is the symbol of pro-poor governance in Africa and beyond.
A recent survey conducted by Zomba-based Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) between August and September this year showed that JB is the most trusted leader.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :