UTM Party has announced that it has resolved to form an electoral alliance with main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) aimed at defeating President Peter Muthatika in the first ever fresh presidential election tentatively set for May 19.
Opposition leaders have vowed to field one candidate for the MCP-UTM alliance who will face President Mutharika in the fresh elections.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, UTM secretary egenral Patricia Kaliati and director of publicity Joseph Chidanti Malunga s confirmed the alliance after “reaslising that there us groundswell of support for a united front among Malawians discontented with the sad state of affairs in the country.”
In the UTM statement, the party said its leader State vice-president Saulos Chilima, has been mandated to conclude the “final details” of the alliance agreement on behalf of the party.
“It is further hereby announced that signing ceremont of the alliance agreement shall take place at Bingu International Centee on 19th March 2020 at 10.00 hours,” reads the statement co-signed by Kaliati, who was leading the UTM technical team in talks with MCP.
To date, MCP president Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM counterpart Saulos Chilima—the duo that secured the landmark judgement by the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court that nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election on February 3 2020—has not dropped hints on how they may share power in the event of an alliance.
In the run-up to the annulled presidential election, Chakwera partnered former president Joyce Banda and her People’s Party (PP) as well as the country’s former vice-president Khumbo Kachali and his Freedom Party. The partnership between MCP and the two is still intact.
Talk of the MCP and UTM Party electoral alliance is coming a week after President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) unveiled a partnership with United Democratic Front (UDF), a move some commentators have argued exerts pressure on Chakwera and Chilima.
Both MCP and UTM Party developed their manifestos which they touted as geared towards bailing Malawians out of abject poverty, drive away deep-rooted corruption and create job opportunities for the youths, among other issues.
The UTM manifesto clearly indicates how it will deal with corrupt leadership, saying that the party shall empower the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) in the enforcement of the Construction Industry Act and the code of ethics.
The manifesto further hints that the party supports civil society initiatives such as those under the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) in working with State enforcement agencies such as the Anti–Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Auditor General and the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) to ensure accountability and transparency in awarding contracts.
UTM also promises that the sitting president shall be stripped of immunity so that he or she should be prosecuted whenever found to be involved in corrupt practices while still serving as the State president.
On agriculture, UTM promises a universal fertiliser subsidy with a 50 kilogramme bag pegged at K4 500. The party also promises to introduce mega farms to ensure mass production of crops such as maize, cotton and rice as well as employment.
Further, Chilima passionately pledged to create one million jobs within the first 12 months in office.
In its manifesto which party officials described as a “diagnosis of the problems Malawians are facing and a prescription to the economic and human development ailments Malawians are going through”, MCP focuses on challenges facing the agricultural sector.
Specifically on agriculture, MCP promises farmers a universal subsidy programme which according to officials will see all Malawians regardless of their status having access to cheaper prices of farm inputs.
Both MCP and UTM, through their manifestos, fault the design and implementation of the targeted Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) which for the past 15 years has been providing subsidised inputs to ultra-poor Malawians.
The two parties speak a similar language, particularly on agriculture and anti-corruption fight drive.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :