Africa-Press – Malawi. Malawians are poorer today than one year ago under the Tonse Alliance Government of President Lazarus Chakwera and that it is an insult to the intelligence of Malawians, especially those that live in extreme poverty, to always blame Covid-19 for this government’s failure to fix the economy and improve people’s livelihood, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has said.
“I am fully aware that Covid-19 has indeed negatively affected the Malawi economy but it is during hard times like these that leaders must be innovative and come up with solutions for the people.
“This is the second Tonse Alliance National Budget since this government was ushered into power. For the past one year, fuel prices have gone up almost twice with negative ripple effects on the rest of the economy and pushing many Malawians further into poverty,” he said when he addressed Parliament in Lilongwe on Friday, July 7, 2021, at the end of the 2021/2022 Budget Session.
Nankhumwa said Malawians are “suffering in silence”, demanding that the President and his Tonse Alliance administration must “urgently find genuine solutions to skyrocketing prices of basic commodities in order to arrest the poverty cycle”.
The opposition leader noted that unemployment continues to increase at an alarming rate and that “the huge turnout for police recruitment interviews a few days ago should be a wake-up call for this Tonse Alliance government”. He said most families are suffering from mental health and stress issues due to the dwindling disposable incomes.
“Parents can hardly afford to pay children’s school fees. People are struggling to pay rentals, while workers walk on foot to and from work because they cannot afford bus fare. Prostitution is on the rise as poor girls and women strive to make ends meet, risking their lives in the midst of HIV/Aids and Covid-19 pandemics,” he said.
According to Nankhumwa for the past one year, the Tonse Alliance government has not developed a short to medium term economic policy outlining how it would recover and grow the economy.
“Yes, we are all bound to the 2063 Vision, but this government has miserably failed to articulate its short to medium term economic plan to move the country towards that Vision.
“Malawians have realised that they got a raw deal on 23rd June, 2020, and they are now yearning for a progressive political movement that is decisive, aggressive and understands that the youths of Malawi, the rural people of Malawi, and small and medium enterprises in this country need an economy that works for them. Malawians are yearning for a decisive leadership that can inspire hope and confidence in the management of public affairs,” he said.
He said on Tuesday, Malawians celebrated our 57th political independence anniversary and that they are now yearning for social and economic emancipation.
“To borrow from our founding President, late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Malawians should live in houses that do not leak when it is raining; they must have decent clothes to wear; and enough food to eat, among others.
“57 years after independence, most Malawians still cannot afford even one meal; they still sleep in grass-thatched huts; they still walk around half naked. We need to change this status quo as a matter of urgency,” said Nankhumwa who is also MP for Mulanje Central.