President Arthur Peter Mutharika says he believes that with resilience and focus from all Malawians, 2016 is going to be a better year than 2015 which was more of a formative year of his government’s long-term development plan for the nation even in the absence of donor support.
In his new year’s address to the nation, the President noted that running government with meagre resources has not been easy for his government but it has helped in cementing the belief that everything is possible if the citizens pull in the same positive direction.
“We are not proud of the reasons why donors withdrew, but we are proud that we are learning to walk on our feet as a nation. And this is the year we survived and managed with our locally generated resources,” said the head of state while referencing Cashgate which was the main cause for donor withdrawal of aid.
Mutharika added, “This is a reason for national pride for every patriotic Malawian who aspires for our economic sovereignty.”
Besides Cashgate, other factors that made 2015 a hard year for Malawians were natural disasters such as heavy and destructive rains which culminated into floods. The calamity killed more than 106 people while close to 200 people went missing. In addition, almost 25 percent of farming land in the country was swept away affecting the expected output mainly for the staple food.
The President was however quick to assure Malawians that his government has put all necessary measures to ensure that no single citizen dies of starvation between now and harvest period even beyond that.
“We have enough food for all the 2.8 million people, to take them into the next harvest period. Out of these, a total of 1.9 million people from 168 Traditional Authorities will be given food, while about nine hundred thousand people from 58 Traditional Authorities will be given cash to purchase food commodities,” said the President.
Despite the challenges President Mutharika still finds hope by looking at what was achieved in the just ended year.
“In spite of the challenges, development programmes never stopped. Within our limited means, we kept government running. We kept building roads. We have been renovating university campuses from our local resources. We have been building community colleges and developing skills for the youth because this is one way of creating jobs. We kept fuel flowing. We continued investing in the health infrastructure and re-organized the drug delivery systems to keep the health of the people improved. We have completed a new district hospital in Nkhata-bay among other facilities. And much more has been happening”
The Malawi leader pleaded with those who oppose him for political motives to take time and see things from a neutral and pragmatic angle so as to appreciate the progress being made in transforming the country.
“Those who wrongly think of transformation as an event will be impatient and disappointed. But those who understand transformation as a process, sometimes a slow process, also understand that Malawi is moving forward.
“ I can also understand those of you whose political job is creating misinformation, creating doubts, pessimism and hopelessness in our people; and scoffing at everything your Government is doing, because you think that is how you win the hearts of the people. But the people will always be the better judges”
Among some of key achievements by President Mutharika’s government include construction and opening of community technical colleges, strengthening of financial management systems to avert theft of public money in government, upgrading of several roads, commencement of construction of the Mombera University in Mzimba.
In addition other achievements in 2015 are expedition of Cashgate cases in courts, reforming and recapitalization of water and electricity utilities to improve service delivery.
Another key area in which government put in so much effort was courting foreign investors to bring their capital into the economy either as sole investors or under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative which is being managed by government. In his forecast for 2016, the President said his government will work hard to turn around the economy by bringing in more investors who in turn will facilitate massive job and wealth creation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :