Southern region vice president (VP) for the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Kondwani Nankhumwa on Tuesday branded the United Transformation Movement (UTM) as making empty promises to excite people, saying it will not surive beyond December.
Nankhumwa speaking at a rally he addressed at Mpemba Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) ground in Blantyre noted that “new movements and opposition parties are promising Malawians the moon” and that this has created some euphoria among the people.
“However, I am certain that when the dust finally settles, in the not-too-distant future, it will be evident that it is only the DPP and its leadership who pursue pro-poor growth policies to sustainably reduce poverty and inequality across the country,” said Nankhumwa.
“DPP has made tremendous strides in fulfilling our manifesto pledges since 2014. We have remained faithful to our pledges such as the 20 member cabinet; consistent fuel supply; and fuel price stabilization.The economy has been growing steadily since 2014, achieving single digit inflation rate and stable exchange rate.
“We have also recorded good performance in implementing other programmes such as the FISP, Malata and Cement subsidy, establishment of community technical colleges and improved roads and other infrastructure development. DPP’s track record speaks for itself; we have been tried and tested,” he said but also acknowledging that they have also faced various developmental challenges, including poor electricity situation.
“I can, however, assure the nation that blackouts shall be history soon as a result of the solutions the DPP government is currently implementing. DPP is also formulating workable solutions to address other challenges that have derailed socio-economic progress. Our elections manifesto to be unveiled in due course shall contain these solutions in detail,” he said.
He also acknowledged the “invaluable” role free press plays in positively shaping a nation’s social, economic and political direction.
“The media plays a commendable role in the social, economic and political development of this country. The media plays the watchdog role; it holds us accountable for whatever we do as government and by so doing, we attempt to make favourable policy decisions,” he said.
In a demonstrated departure from the usual acrimonious relationship between politicians and the media, Nankhumwa said in the political context, the media is a vital tool for creating awareness about the electoral process.
“In the run-up to the 2019 elections, I wish to encourage my fellow politicians to avoid either abusing journalists for their selfish interests or attacking them physically or otherwise. As DPP, we shall not attack or harass journalists from any media house.
“Journalists must work in a free environment as long as they do so within the bounds of professional ethics and the law. Journalists must report the truth and not outright lies to mislead the public,” advised Nankhumwa, who is also local government and rural development minister.
He told hundreds of DPP supporters that DPP is “a very big institution; a very strong and capable political party, which is not easily shaken by politics of castigation and sheer propaganda”.
“All members of DPP must, therefore, be proud to be associated with a political party that has strong grassroots base, including a mature and experienced leadership. It will therefore be important that strong as it is, members of DPP should avoid acts of political violence but instead coerce and encourage members of opposition parties to support DPP and President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika,” he said.
He said “there is strength in unity” and that DPP members must always be united “in the face of fierce propaganda from the opposition”.
“When the late President Professor Bingu wa Mutharika died, the party remained united and it was, therefore, not a surprise that DPP and President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika wrestled power from the political party and leadership that was in power that time,” said the VP.
He recalled that in 2009, DPP led by the late Mutharika won with a landslide.
“As VP, my overriding responsibility will be to help Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and the party to repeat the 2009 feat. But that can only be achieved if the party is united, from bottom to top. Let all office-bearers work hard to ensure that the party is united and that everyone goes to work. DPP members must avoid petty backbiting and jealousy,” he said.
Speaking earlier, DPP Regional Governor for the South, Charles Mchacha advised people in the district to avoid being carried away by some opportunists describing such people as ‘political whirl winds.’
Mchacha said in the run up to 2019 general elections, there is likely to be many aspiring people coming to beg for votes. He appealed to DPP supporters to remain loyal to the DPP and its torch bearer, President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.
Other notable leaders in attendance included senior Chief Somba, MP for the area, Kennedy Kachingwe and DPP Blantyre Bangwe councilor and Blantyre deputy Mayor, Joseph Makwinja.
The event was spiced up by traditional dances and a live music band performance by superstar Dan Lu.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :