No more govt tenders monopoly, JB aide warns

Days are gone when a single business person would be awarded multiple government contracts a practice that led to widening of gap between the rich and poor in Malawi, President Mrs. Joyce Banda’s senior advisor has warned.

Rev. Malani Mtonga, a special aide to the president, was speaking on Tuesday when he addressed crowds of ruling People’s Party (PP) supporters that gathered at Lunzu in Blantyre for a public rally.

He observed that among the reasons that contributed to the unprecedented economic meltdown as evidenced by soaring inflation, shortages of forex and fuel were partly due to tendency by the previous regime to award almost all government tenders to a handful of party cronies.

Rev Mtonga: Equitable wealth distribution

This, he added, brought misery among many Malawians who were left with no choice but to be pushed out of their small businesses.

Mtonga therefore assured Malawians that President Banda’s government would ensure that there is equal distribution of wealth and that all government contracts are being awarded to deserving companies across the country irrespective of tribal or political affiliation.

“Every Malawian has right to make wealth and it is the duty of President Banda’s government to enable the citizens realize that. As far as this government is concerned, no single tribe or company will monopolize contracts in Malawi.

“Time has come for all Malawians to reap from fruits of their hard work. There will be equal opportunities for all companies willing to secure contracts with the government,” said Rev. Mtonga amid ululations and cheering from the crowd.

Fight against corruption

The presidential advisor went further to disclose that government would not shield any official in present or past regime involved in corrupt practices.

He said it is disheartening to learn that the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration abused public institutions like Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) for self aggrandizement at the expense of poor masses.

“There are several enquiries currently going on and once the results are out the government will ensure that all wrong doers are brought to book. It is no secret though that huge sums of money were accumulated illegally and that will soon be exposed, corruption will no longer be treated with kid gloves because we all have seen how such practice has choked the economy,” Mtonga added.

Stalled projects to resume   

Meanwhile, Mtonga also hinted that government has already acquired funds through traditional partners to be used for resumption of all major projects that stalled abruptly some years back.

This was in direct reference to projects like second phase of Chipembere highway, Jali-Chitakale-Phalombe road, Karonga-Chitipa road among several others that were halted due to the meltdown of the economy.

“As we’re talking now, the President has ordered immediate completion of all major projects that stalled. Not only that but also the government in the 2012/2013 budget has included a number of development projects to spread in all the regions of the country and that most of the districts would be elevated to a municipality status. But for all these things to happen the country needs to defeat envy by rallying behind our leader,” added Mtonga who is also PP’s Religious Affairs director.

Meanwhile, in a post rally interview with Nyasa Times, Mtonga also reiterated President Banda’s commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year 2015.

He said following the fruitful trip the President had to United Kingdom and United States of America, strategic development partnerships were discussed and included realization of MDGs dream in years to come.

“If you listen to what the President has been doing since taking office it has always been the issue of eight MDGs that were set by UN. I’m optimistic that by 2015, we would have done something tangible on ending poverty, maternal and child health, gender equality, access to universal education, global partnership, combating HIV/Aids and environmental sustainability. If you look at the initiatives the President has taken they are all in line with the MDGs, so all things being equal yes, we will achieve that,” concluded Mtonga.

Among the senior figures that attended the rally include People’s Party  deputy director of women Etna Koloviko, regional governor Ali Mbalaka, his secretary Nankhuni, director of women Irene Liabunya, director of youth Lemani Chapitapansi and several others.

Over the recent weeks, PP officials have been touring the country in what the party’s secretariat say is a bid to strengthen the party’s grass root structures.

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