Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has denied that it is copying and borrowing the ideas of the newly formed United Transformation Movement (UTM) ahead of next year’s tripartite elections.
This follows the announcement by MCP that immediately after being voted into power, it will implement a National Service Programme aimed at creating employment to Malawians particularly the youth.
UTM leader and State vice-president Dr. Saulos Chilima was the first to announce his vision of creating about one million jobs in his first year in office.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times on Saturday, MCP National Campaign Director Moses Kunkuyu denied copying UTM’s electoral pledges.
“As much as we agree that it is possible to create one million jobs or above as stated by one of the presidential hopefuls, it doesn’t necessary mean that we decided to come up with the idea of National Service Programme aimed at creating employment for our youths because of that.
“MCP as a party, if you go back and to almost all our previous manifestos, we have always emphasized the need of creating employment as a catalyst for national development,” said Kunkuyu.
“Our benchmarking visits to other countries were carried out in 2017 and that was way before this issue came out …People are tired of promises, they are asking ‘How’? And MCP is answering that …be assured that once elected into power, MCP will reverse the declining trend in Socio-economic and state infrastructure that grows and provide jobs and make life better for all Malawians regardless of their political, ethnic and religious affiliations,” he added.
According to Kunkuyu, time has come for all Malawians to objectively take stock of political, economic and socio development that have taken place since the dawn of multiparty democracy.
“MCP is well equiped with the necessary sound insights, strategies and policies to make Malawi a better nation for all. We therefore appeal to all Malawians to rise and restore the pride of our nation again” Kunkuyu said.
He also reminded Malawian citizens that as the country searches for prosperity and new opportunities, they should remember with pride that it is MCP under the leadership of Lazarus Chakwera that the citizens of this country have had issues concerning them presented and defended in parliament including the exposing of rampant theft of public resources in Government.
“It is against this background that the MCP stands ready to contest in 2019 elections as it has a lot to offer in areas which Malawians have found hardships” Kunkuyu said.
Economist Henry Kachaje said job creation should be one of the deciding factors for the potential leaders wishing to take Malawi out of abject poverty and set it on the sustainable socio-economic path.
Kachaje, who in 2014 introduced an ambitious plan to create one million jobs by 2017, said this will be a tall order though not impossible.
He said in quotes reported by the press: “Creating a million jobs within a year might be a tall order, especially considering the current macroeconomic environment.
“Where will the jobs be created? In the public sector or private sector? If it is public sector, will this not increase the burden on the national budget? If it is private sector, which industries and sectors will be identified? Private sector response to a change in government policy might not be fully registered within a year, thus achieving this ambitious goal within a year might be a tall order, though not impossible.”
Kachaje said his programme was being implemented but faced challenges, including lack of support from government, a rough macro-economic environment and lack of cooperation from small and medium enterprises.
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