By Elijah Phompho- Contributor
Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera will this morning deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) during the opening of 49th session amid high expectations from Malawians and Civil Societies.
According to a statement from State House Press Officer Brian Banda, the address will start at 10 O’clock in the morning at New Parliament building in the capital city Lilongwe.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa is expected to officially respond to the president’s address on Monday followed by leaders of other opposition political parties present in parliament before opening the floor for general debate on the SONA.
During this parliament sitting, Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu is also expected to present the 2020/2021 national budget.
Meanwhile, Civil Society leaders under the platform of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for the consolidation of Democracy, has said they expect inclusion of Tonse Alliance campaign promises in its maiden budget.
Speaking during an interview, one of the civil society leaders Luther Mambala said since June when the new administration was put in place, not much of their promises have been fulfilled.
Mambala said some of the Tonse Alliance campaign promises are policy in nature wondering why government has not implemented them till now.
Mambala sighted adjustment of minimum wage to 100 thousand kwacha, raising of a tax band to Mk50, 000, reduction of passport fees to MK 14,000 and free connection of utilities like water and electricity as some of the Tonse Alliance campaign promises which ought to have been fulfilled by now.
“Government has been playing double standards on its promises. They promised Malawians of Universal fertilizer subsidy to all only to change tune by fixing up the number of beneficiaries.
Government also backtracked on implementation of 50 thousand kwacha tax free band bill passed in the July provisional budget,
I think it is high time government ought to start walking the talk, “said activist Luther Mambala.
On his part, another activist Billy Banda of Malawi Watch faulted President Chakwera on not walking the talk on ‘Tonse Philosophy’ in his political appointment saying they are based on political appeasement, tribalism and nepotism.