Honourable Folks, the other day I asked a friend of mine who is quite senior at the Malawi Electoral Commission secretariat if they are worried that it’s less than a year to our first-ever tripartite polls yet there’s very little, if any, sign of serious preparations on the ground.
Honourable Folks, it’s understandable why JB wants to make us believe her government’s Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) is bearing fruit and will take us out of poverty this year.
The President is aware of the centrality of poverty reduction on the political agenda for Malawi. The ERP is touted, not so much because it has the magic wand to turn around the economy this year or next year—that optimism isn’t shared by many of its champions.
Honourable Folks, government decision to replace ministerial Mercedes Benz cars with Toyota Prados came in the name of cost-cutting, a symbolic gesture to show the world that the austerity measures adopted to restore the economy back on course haven’t spared the Cabinet.
Honourable Folks, I’m not surprised government has not paid much attention to the damning Oxford University study that shows, at the rate we are going, Malawi needs at least 74 years to eradicate its poverty (The Daily Times, March 22).
Indeed what would have been unusual is for our political leaders in government to focus attention on a story that does not portray a positive image of the country at a time their eyes are trained on the 2014 elections.
Honourable Folks, way back in 1999, I was among the Sadc journalists who had a stormy session with the region’s Heads of State and government on whether a smart partnership is possible at all between those in government and the media, especially the so-called independent or private media.
Honourable Folks, it beggars belief that 20 years after we chose the multiparty political system through a national referendum, and 19 years after adopting a Constitution that provides for freedom of association and freedom of assembly, the police can stop a leader of a major political party in Malawi from talking to supporters.
Honourable Folks, it’s now 13 months to go before the tripartite elections. Political parties are busy holding conventions to elect their candidates, especially in the presidential race.
On Thursday and Friday, it was former ruling party, DPP, where Peter Mutharika and Henry Chimunthu Banda contested for party presidency, the first-ever sign of intra-party democracy within DPP since the late Bingu wa Mutharika formed it a year after assuming power in the 2004 elections on UDF ticket.
- Category: Back Bencher
- Published Date
- Written by George Kasakula
Honourable Folks, listening to Nicholas Dausi the other day describe the terrible cell conditions at Lumbadzi Police Station in the outskirts of the capital city, I quickly remembered my own cell experience at Mulanje Police Station two years ago.