In a rare show of active citizenship, an ordinary citizen from Rumphi – Elbow Kamtungawa – on Saturday evening decided to hold the Tonse Alliance accountable by demanding an outline of plans and programmes the Tonse Alliance government is employing to address socioeconomic problems the country is going through.
Kamtungawa, who sounded highly charged and occasionally used obscene words against Kazako, accused the government of lacking political will to address problems emanating from the rising cost of living.
But the minister remained calm and steadfast in responded to the questions as they flowed.
The courageous and inquisitive citizen sought Kazako’s explanation on why government should be spending millions of kwacha on presidential trips to cultural festivals.
“I have heard you, Honourable Kazako, telling Malawians that you are listening to people’s concerns and complaints about rising cost of living. But I am very worried because I don’t see any action the government taking to address them. How long should we wait for you to implement programmes that will cushion Malawians from the financial problems?” he asked.
Kamtungawa also demanded to know why taxpayers should finance President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s trip to United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Summit in New York, United States of America.
He wondered if the trip is of any value to the poor Malawians.
“You, Honourable Kazako, speak for the President. How do you justify President’s trip to United Nations General Assembly at a time public health facilities have no drugs? Can’t you channel those resources towards procurement of drugs to save lives?” he asked.
In his response, Kazako said this year’s UNGA is a must-attend for President Chakwera, stressing that the summit enable the Malawi leader to engage various bilateral and multilateral partners in discussions to find solutions to some of the challenges the country is facing.
“As government, we really feel the pain every Malawian is going through because the cost of living has gone up. But I can assure you that your government, under President Chakwera, is exploring various ways of cushioning you from these problems. We are working day and night to find a lasting solution to these problems and very soon we will celebrate the victory of overcoming them,” assured minister.
Kamtungawa also asked the minister to clear the mist surrounding the Affordable Input Programme (AIP). He said he was worried with the silence on the issue despite the rainy season fast approaching.
“Up to now, farmers do not know if they are going to by the inputs or not. Can you tell me what the government is doing on this programme?”
Kazako assured Kamtungawa that the Chakwera government remains committed to supporting resource-constrained farming households with the inputs.
The conversation ended with Kamtungawa apologizing to the minister for using obscene language.
“I am sorry for the bad language I used against you. I am very happy that you have addressed my questions and I am sure we’ll keep on talking,” said the citizen.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :