Erstwhile governing People’s Party (PP) says its leader Joyce Banda Is winning the heart and minds of the electorate with bumper crowds she had been having across the country, saying those underrating her chances of winning the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections will be doing so on their own peril.
The political ground appears to be shifting and the 2018 Institute of Public Opinion (Ipor) ranks Banda as the “most trusted” political leader in Malawi.
Banda was leading in being a trustworthy politician ahead of the current president Peter Mutharika and other political party leaders as she received only 32% trust rating.
The 68-year-old former president has been attracting crowds since she returned from the country in April after four years absence as she had been living in the United States, serving as a distinguished fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Centre and the Centre for Global Development in Washington DC.
PP spokesman Ackson Kalaile Banda said the former president has been travelling the breadth and width of the country and is gaining support, saying her latest rally at Traditional Authority Malili in Lilongwe on Sunday, marking PP’s eighth anniversary since its establishment proved she cannot be wished away.
The PP president said genuine leadership makes sense particularly in the provision of lasting solutions to socio-economic problems facing the citizenry.
“As leaders, we need to be very careful on how we manage state affairs because the country’s destiny belongs to us. It’s like a driver with 75 passengers in a bus. When the bus is involved in an accident, people don’t ask if the passengers were making noise or not. They question if the driver was either drunk or dozing at the time of the accident. So leadership is so critical and sensitive in that aspect,” said Banda.
Banda took time unveiling a package of developmental plans under what she termed as second phase of the party’s progressive initiatives aimed at bailing out majority poor Malawians out of stinking abject poverty.
On mining and energy, Banda observed that the nation was not doing enough in generating income from the mining sector which she said had potential to resuscitate the country’s ailing economy if well managed.
“The poor have not benefitted from the country’s mining sector. It’s sad when you have a government arresting citizens extracting mines in Lilongwe and Mangochi. Please, release these people now,” said Banda.
Banda credited in ending the power crisis in her two-year stint as Head of State from 2012 to 2014 promised to end blackouts immediately when it is voted back into power.
“And this time around, we want to extend the electricity programme to remotest areas. Having electricity is no longer a luxury but a necessity this time,” she said.
On agriculture and food security, Banda said she will introduce a universal subsidy programme to cater for all at an affordable price and end the current Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) arrangement which riddled with corruption hence benefitting a few politically connected Malawians.
The PP leader further bemoaned growing attacks and insults targeting the country’s women; describing the development as uncalled for and unacceptable in this democratic dispensation where women should have an active role in developing the nation.
In an interview with Nyasa Times on Tuesday, PP spokesman Kalaile Banda said the former president is the change that Malawian need now because she demonstrated that already.
“Just for example look at our health sector now, nothing is working, hospitals are operated without medicine, pregnant women travelling long distances to access assistance he maternal mortality is high yet during Dr Joyce Banda’s reign which was just two years she managed to reduce the maternal mortality from 600 per every 100 000 to 327 women dying while giving birth,” said Kalaile Banda.
He said Banda managed to construct more than 27 guardian shelter to aide expectant women.
“Our hospitals had medicine and she championed pro poor agenda. Every person that love this country knows for sure that Dr Joyce Banda is the right answer for this country, let me advise my fellow Malawians that in 2014 you might have made a mistake but it’s not too late to correct it this time, voting wisely for Dr Joyce Banda the only trusted leader not by word but by proved action,” he said.
Kalaile said Malawians should refrain from “trial leadership” saying it is costly “look now what we are going through under this failed leadership of DPP.”
Chancellor College political analyst Joseph Chunga basing his opinions largely on the recent Ipor survey and the 2017 Afrobarometer surveys shows PP is a key stakeholder in
Banda – founded the PP in 2011 after splitting from the DPP.
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