Former president Joyce Banda, 68, has said Malawians are tired of being trapped in abject poverty and that the only way is to bring about transformational leadership that will improve their lives beyond May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Banda, who was given the nod by her People’s Party (PP) members during last month national convention to be the party’s torchbearer in the 2019 elections, said she is concerned with the levels of social-economic distress among Malawians, especially women and youth in rural areas.
Addressing hundereds of her party supporters at Mangochi Lutende on Monday, the former president said many people are trapped in abject poverty are tired of being poor.
“It is unacceptable to me as it should be to every reasonable Malawian, that we have children continuing to suffer from malnutrition; that they yearn to learn, but have to sit under trees rather than in proper classrooms,” said Banda.
“It is unacceptable that a mother should die while giving birth because the nearest health center is far away. Or that thousands die of diseases that we have answers for,” said Banda who championed Safemotherhood when she governed Malawi from 2012 to 2014.
She observed that the youth have few opportunities to realize their potential and that they are not guaranteed a society where they can speak their minds and influence policies that affect them.
Banda also deplored that farmers and workers continue to toil to make the best of what they have but do not get the fruits of their labour due to lack of modernization, a supportive policy environment and access to markets.
The PP leader also attacked the DPP administration for duplicating developmental projects she initiated while in office, citing a water project in Dowa and the Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga Road construction project where the DPP administration was laying foundation stones which she had already done.
In her speech, Banda, who political analysts say will certainly claim some significant votes in the South and that is likely to eat into the DPP stronghold , said she developed her mission statement “to assist women and youth gain social and political empowerment through business and education”.
She said: “In realizing my mission in life, I did learn that leadership is falling in love with the people and the people falling in love with you. This philosophy enhances servant leadership that is critical to any transformational agenda.”
The PP president said she has vision is to transform and free the people from the yoke of underdevelopment.
Banda became president in April 2012 as a constitutional requirement after the death of then president Bingu wa Mutharika.
In the 2014 Tripartite Elections, she came third behind MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera and left the country immediately after Mutharika was sworn in May 2014.
Despite some good strides she made, her tenure was characterised by the plunder of public resources in government known as Cashgate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :