Former president Joyce Banda, who is also a People’s Party (PP) torchbearer in the May 21 Tripartite Elections, has challenged traditional leaders in the country to stop living in perpetual fear, of being dealt with by politicians mainly the ruling administration, when discharging their duties
Banda made the assertion at a political rally she held at Kapili school ground, in the area of Inkosi Chindi in Mzimba district.
The PP leader said she is well aware that some chiefs are afraid to attend rallies organised by opposition party due to fear of being dealt with by the current government administration.
”I am well aware that traditional leaders you are afraid to attend rallies by MCP, PP or UTM that you maybe deemed affiliated to opposition parties,” the former Malawi leader said.
Banda said chiefs must realise that their position is God given and cannot be taken away by politicians and also disclosed to the gathering that she is not afraid of anyone in the country as she stands and fights for poor Malawians.
”Traditional leaders you can attend any rally that has been organised in your area, you are not bound to any political party but your participation in developmental issues can significantly foster development in the country,” the PP leader said.
She however stressed that various government programs and initiatives such as Farm Input Subsidy Program (Fisp), are meaningful to the citizenry if traditional leaders take full participation.
The former president, however,said it is disheartening that currently chiefs are being subjected to public scorn and humiliation due to governments continued negligence on promotion of chiefs as well as empowering them on various programs.
”How can you give the whole traditional leader 10 coupons when he has a lot of people who are beneficiaries of the program, how can he explain the situation to his subjects,” wondered Banda.
Banda also sold PP manifesto at rally, where she said the former ruling party has took time analysing the status quo and has come up with strategies to bail Malawi from its overdue abject poverty.
”PP will prioritise agriculture by introducing universal farm input subsidy that every Malawian should afford applying fertilizers in their fields,” she said.
The PP President said besides the universal farm input subsidy, her government will reintroduce a fertilizer loaning program, will will allow people to borrow fertilizer and settle the loan after harvesting.
She also added that farm produce will be purchased at reasonable prices as it was during her two year tenure.
”as a leader I was calling all farm produce buyers to a discussion on minimum prices and they all were obliging because I was being clear that Malawians are not hoes,” Banda told the rally.
The former leader also stressed on wealth creation, saying she will introduce a K10 billion loan scheme targeting the youth and women.
Banda said PP is coming with a “second phase” which is a continuation of her two years regime.
She said if voted into office her administration will purge the current power outage within 100 days and will increase Malawi’s energy production with 3,000 mega watts, which will significantly improve the dwindling economy.
The PP leader said she is well aware of the challenges that are crippling public hospitals as well as public universities and her party has already come up with solutions to improve the two essential sectors.
Banda said her government will also introduce a free electricity to rural areas as a remedy to deal with cutting down of trees for fuel, which currently is a big problem.
“You cannot arrest charcoal burners without first offering a lasting solution on fuel as most people rely on charcoal and firewood”, she said
However, the former Malawi leader bemoaned on national development agenda, saying the ruling DPP is playing politics on programs and projects she championed whilst in office.
“It is worrisome to note that most of the projects left during my time have been abandoned. We need to take responsibility of our development agenda regardless of political affiliations,” she said.