VP outlines People’s Party’s vision for ‘better’ Malawi

The newly-registered and recently launched People’s Party (PP) will actively promote the principle of “constructive engagement” in order to bring back the culture of debate, discussion and negotiation among Malawians in a bid to promote and consolidate political settlement of disputes and observance of good governance and human rights, its leader Joyce Banda has announced.

Speaking at a news conference held at her official Mudi Residence in Blantyre on Sunday, Banda, who is also the state vice president said that in order to achieve this and as part of its political programme, PP will continue to entrench the principle that its political leadership is based on the spirit of Umunthu as stewards of the people.

The VP was accompanied at the media conference by the party’s secretary general Henry Chibwana, national director of economic affairs, Dr. Jerry Jana, national director of publicity Stephen Mwenye, national director of women Clara Makungwa and national director of youth, Lawrence Mpofu.

Also attending werenational director of social services Gloria Chingota, national director of international affairs Wallace Chawawa, administrative secretary Reverend Peter Kaleso, deputy administrative secretary Joseph Chikwemba, first deputy treasurer general Noah Chimpeni, NEC member Flora Chirwa, deputy national director of women Ettinor Koloviko and deputy publicity secretary John Chikalimba among others.

PP leader and state vice president Joyce Banda and her troops at a news conference. Photo: Lusubilo Sichali/Nyasa Times

Banda said PP would provide a strong political leadership to deliberately promote a highly skilled public service that is backed up by effective systems, which will be able to provide steady national direction for sustained growth.

“PP will ensure equitable distribution of national resources; PP believes that Malawi has a vibrant Constitution and PP will endeavour to ensure that all rights and freedoms that the Constitution enshrines and guarantees are promoted and protected,” she pledged.

Banda also said that PP also believes in the devolution of power to local authorities so that people can define their priorities, enforce social services delivery, promote participatory development and realize the spirit of self reliance.

On the economic front, the first woman vice president in Malawi said PP is of the conviction that Malawi needs to diversify the export generating base of the economy and that therefore, among some measures, PP will strategically pursue industrialization programmes in mining, energy, agriculture, science and technology, fisheries and livestock, forestry and eco-tourism.

Banda said PP shall implement a strategic programme of private sector development in order to facilitate development of the middle class that is vital to a stable and progressive society and creation of jobs, adding her party looks at job creation as a “benchmark for our poverty reduction policy agenda”.

“PP will ensure the expansion of access and improvement of quality education at all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary,” said Banda, adding that they will also foster strategic market linkages with “some strategic” African countries as a “local model of BRICS” in a bid to help the economy strategically link with and tap into regional economies for tourism, technology, markets and skills development.

On its social programme, the state vice president said that in line with the Republican Constitution, PP will give attention to “the growing phenomenon” of urban poverty by ensuring provision of basic needs and services like potable water, electricity, sanitation and housing.

She disclosed that PP also intends to strengthen the social security sector by bringing more innovation to food security interventions, nutrition and to HIV and AIDS prevention, mitigation and treatment, among other measures.

The PP submitted its registration papers with the registrar of political parties on April 4, 2011. After a series of court battles, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered its immediate registration on July 29, 2011.

The party was officially launched on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at a glamorous public and open-air event held at Nyambadwe Lions Primary School Lower Ground in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre under the theme “Moving into the Future with Hope”.

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